Ascent of San Gorgonio Mountain on 2013-07-23

Climber: Joseph Esparza

Date:Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:San Gorgonio Mountain
    Elevation:11499 ft / 3504 m

Ascent Trip Report

Statistics of this trip are of the ENIRTE 3 day backpack trip

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DAY 1:

We started at the South Fork Trailhead at 9:05 AM, and continued at a good pace until Horse Meadows (1.5 miles, 300' gain), where we breaked and rearranged our packs. Next we climbed through the rocky Chaparral zone and then entered to lush Rainbow Meadows (I named it that) and a spring. We crossed into the San Gorgonio Wilderness (2.5 Miles, 860' gain) and headed along the pathway to 2 areas wrecked with havoc from avalanches. At 3.7 miles and 1500' above the parking lot, we reached South Fork Meadows, a perfect lunch spot. After our delicious lunch we made the grueling switchbacks up the Dry Lake Trail which gain 800' in under 1.5 miles. After the switchbacks we entered a small canyon and walked alongside it until we beheld Dry Lake (though it could be anywhere from a lake to a marsh, meadow or sandpit). At the junction at the lake we went left and walked to Dry Lake Trail Camp. It was 2:30 PM. 5.5 Hours later. Plenty of time to set up camp draw water from nearby Lodgepole Spring (get a good map to find it), and cook our MOUNTAIN HOUSE Macaroni dinner with hot dogs. Lights out for the big day tomorrow at 9 PM. 3

To find Lodgepole Spring walk past the Dry Lake camp and follow the trail that goes ABOVE the lake and follow the sign pointing towards the spring. Charge through the wash and stay on the LEFT (NORTH) side of the Canyon for about 5 minutes until you find the tricking creek.)

DAY 2:

Breakfast of Oatmeal, Pop-Tarts, an orange and apple at 7 AM. We filled our backpacks with gear we only need for the day, which was for me, lunch snack, a long- sleeve shirt, a hoodie (I was wearing a short sleeve and cut-off pants), random gear, and about 150 oz of water.
We left our 'Base Camp' at 9:05 AM after Morning Prayers, and charged across Dry Lake to the Trail on the SOUTH side of the Lake. We struggled up the bouldery slopes up to Trail Flats, and then to Mineshaft Saddle (9,920') by 10:05 AM (2 Miles and 900' from Dry Lake). From here we took the trail to the right along the ever tree-thinning mountainside, through extremely steep unending territory for 1.5 miles. When we past the C-47 wreckage, we prayers for the soldiers' souls, and then continued on shortly to the switchbacks. Right before the first one, we took lunch break at 11 AM. After Lunch we switchbacked up the Northeast face of the mountain, which in 45 minutes ended at 11,000' (the switchbacks gain about 600'). From here we walked

the remaining 500' (the longest and hardest of my life), through the Alpine Tundra, past the large ditch called The Tarn to our left, and overtaken by Bighorn Peak behind it. We past by the precipitous Dragon's Head Mountain, which is literally probably at an 70 degree angle or more. Wow! This terrain looks like the High Sierras! The Trail crossed up towards the peak to the Summit Plateau and then we took the trail right at the junction (11,360'), and followed the sign that pointed right to San Gorgonio Mountain. From there we walked across the Summit Plateau to the rocky summit of Mt. San Gorgonio (11,503') , and savored in the glory of God's Creation. The temperature probably felt close to 40 F on summit (wind, and drizzle- no views). We got to the summit at 1:30 PM, and left around 1:50, returned to the camp by 5:15 PM. In time to make dinner collect more water, and pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

DAY 3:

A good breakfast Oatmeal, Pop-Tarts, tea, and fruit. We left camp at 9:55 AM, and arrived at the car at 2:40 PM. Basically the same as day one! We just walked down! A beautiful, slow paced walk back to the car.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4700 ft / 1432 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4700 ft / 1432 m
    Round-Trip Distance:24 mi / 38.6 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Thunderheads. No views from summit to cloudy. 40 F with wind chill on summit
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4700 ft / 1432 m
    Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:South Fork Trail to Dry Lake, to summit back to Dr
    Start Trailhead:South Fork Trailhead  6799 ft / 2072 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4700 ft / 1432 m
    Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:Same as Ascend
    End Trailhead:South Fork Trailhead   6799 ft / 2072 m

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