Josephine Peak P500 HPS
Strawberry Peak P1K HPS
Mt. Lawlor P500 HPS
Mt. Wilson HPS
Mt. Markham P300 HPS
Mt. Lowe HPS
Mt. Disappointment HPS
San Gabriel Peak P1K HPS
Mt. Harvard P300 ex-HPS
Iron Mountain P300 HPS
Roundtop HPS
Granite Mountain P300 HPS
Rabbit Peak HPS

Sat, Mar 26, 2005

With: Matthew Holliman

Josephine Peak
Strawberry Peak
Mt. Lawlor
Mt. Wilson
Mt. Markham
Mt. Lowe
Mt. Disappointment
San Gabriel Peak
Mt. Harvard
Iron Mountain
Granite Mountain
Rabbit Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 Profiles: 1 2 3


Day 2 saw us up at 4:30a and out the door a half hour later. We left Valencia in darkness and arrived at the Colby Canyon TH off Angeles Crest Hwy an hour later. Before the weekend had started we hadn't expected to get down this far south. But the roads in the San Padres NF around Frazier Park were mostly closed due to the excessive wet weather, and we figured our chances of getting to the trailheads were higher in the San Gabriels, just north of Pasedena and the Los Angeles Basin. Because of the unplanned change, we had brought few maps for the area. Matthew had gotten the HPS directions and a map off the internet the night before, and we figured we could manage Josephine and Strawberry easily enough. Strawberry's NW Ridge was touted to be class 3 which explained Matthew's keen interest in choosing this peak. We had not planned the day to be a marathon outing - that part just sort of happened as the day wore on.

The hike up Colby Canyon was unexpectedly pleasant. We had come prepared for steep ravines and endless chaparral, but found a lovely stream, ferns, forest, and even a 30-foot waterfall along the first part of the trail. In the early morning hours and with spring runoff conditions, it was a very fine treat indeed. We picked out what we presumed must be Strawberry Peak as we started climbing higher out of the canyon drainage. Behind us we could see the hazy (I think that's the polite way to say "smog") LA Basin down through the canyon. We had 1,500ft to climb out of the canyon to Josepine Saddle on the ridge above. When about halfway up, it was easy to spot the saddle as indicated by the trail cutting through the chaparral leading up to it.

Arriving at the saddle at 7:20a, we took a short break before heading west to Josephine. We found nice views both north and south from the saddle. Our trail met up with the dirt maintainance road that winds its way to the summit, and we followed this easy grade to the top. Matthew had been ahead of me most of the way, but I decided to avoid the spiralling roadway and take a more direct approach which allowed me to arrive a few minutes earlier. The radio tower and building occupied a lower perch on the west side of the summit, leaving the top free for hikers to enjoy. The haze was thin enough to allow us to see downtown Los Angeles, and low enough to allow us to see the island of Catalina many more miles offshore to the south. The vast expanse of mountains to the north and northeast that make up the bulk of the San Gabriels were almost completely unknown to us - we couldn't have picked out a single named peak if our lives had depended on it. To the east we could see Strawberry rising up in shadow, and to the southeast we picked out Mt. Wilson by the sight of the vast array of telecom towers and the observatory domes found on the east side of its summit area.

Heading back, we retraced our route to Josephine Saddle, then set out for Strawberry Peak. Not 50 yards after leaving the saddle we found the well-traveled use trail as indicated in our notes, and followed this along the ridgeline. This was a very nice trail both for the views and the interesting terrain it traveled over. We bobbed our way around yuccas, ever ready to pierce the legs of the inattentive, and climbed over some fun class 2-3 rocks before eventually making our way to the sporting part of the route. The final 400-500ft to the summit rises abruptly from the ridge, forming the spicy part of the climb. The descriptions called it class 3, with class 4 to be found if not following the easiest route. It didn't take us long to get off-route, though the diversion was fully intended - this might be the only scrambling we'd get all weekend, so we wanted to make the most of it. Where the route ducked under some shrubs and around some rock faces, we headed up the stiff class 3 rock found right along the ridge crest. We tackled a class 4 dihedral, solid enough to be enjoyable, but with enough loose rock to make us take our time cautiously. We spent less than 20 minutes playing on the enjoyable granite before the slope lessened and we soon found ourselves at the summit.

Having gotten ourselves closer to Mt. Wilson, I recalled that it was an HPS peak (albeit a drive-up) and suggested we ought to at least drive up there since it was so close. Closer in was another peak about a mile and half off to the southeast along the same ridge we'd been climbing. "That's got to be an HPS peak," I offered, to which Matthew replied, "Yes, I think that's Mt. Lawlor." Our map ended just past Strawberry, so we had to guess somewhat about how one gets there. It looked like the use trail continued down the SE side of Strawberry (and in fact was the primary HPS route), and I suggested we ought to follow it to Lawlor. Matthew was all for the idea, and off we went on the first of many unplanned diversions this day.

A short ways below the summit we came across 2 hikers on their way to Strawberry. They were a bit puzzled when we asked them about where the trail ahead of us went and how we might get to Lawlor, until we explained that we had come up Colby Canyon. "Wow, you guys are hardcore," one of them commented, "just getting to Strawberry is enough for me." This amused us, particularly because they had no idea this was just half the day we had planned for ourselves (and ended up being about a third of it when all was said and done). Our route up and over Lawlor would bring us to Red Box Ranger Station, about 3 miles from our car parked down at Colby Canyon. I tried to drop a hint that the others might want to continue up and over Strawberry and down Colby Canyon, and we'd be happy to take their car down to the Colby TH if they'd like us to. This had worked splendidly for Matthew and I on a similar unplanned one-way hike in Ventana, but these guys didn't pick up on the suggestion. I didn't feel right pursuing it, particularly because we had no idea how comfortable they might be on the class 3 descent. Continuing further down, we came across a woman with an infant in a backpack waiting on an intermediate bump. Evidently she was the wife of one of the two we'd met earlier, and was only joining them for part of the hike. Once they reached the summit she was to start back, and so she started back shortly after Matthew and I passed by. She was yet another reason why the car shuttle idea wouldn't have worked out. I was pretty impressed that she was able to negotiate the steep trail in some of the looser places as much as she did.

We reached Strawberry Saddle where we met up with the regular trail that contours around Lawlor and crosses the saddle here. We continued on use trail along the ridgeline up to the summit where we arrived around 10:15a. We had a fine view to the snowy upper reaches of the San Gabriels to the east, crowned by the 10,000-foot San Antonio. Nearer still was Mt. Wilson, and down at the saddle between us was the Red Box station. Our HPS directions warned that the South Ridge off Lawlor was "very steep and very loose. A high degree of care is required" which made us pause only briefly. The route would save us more than three miles versus the descent back to Strawberry Saddle and then traversing back on the trail, and that was enough. It was steep and loose as advertised, but not frighteningly so. The biggest risk was slipping on some of the loose sections and sliding into a yucca, and that was enough to keep us cautious. Still, we made good time, getting down to the trail junction in only 15 minutes. Here we should have continued south over a small bump for the most direct route back, but I took the left turn at the junction and we followed the regular trail east and then back west to Red Box. While still on the trail above Red Box, we could look down on the Cal Trans roadblock below. Traffic past Red Box was closed on Angeles Crest Hwy, so we noted that we wouldn't be able to head to any of the peaks up that way later in the weekend.

Down at Red Box, Matthew went in search of water while I started down the road, thumb out, hoping to get a ride back to our car. As luck would have it, the very first truck pulled over to give me a lift. As we struck up a conversation, he seemed to have a typical Hollywood story - he was a writer working on a film version of his children's book, and had been driving up into the mountains to check out low-budget rental property in hopes he could live away from the bustle of the big city. Not knowing anything about available property in the area I was of no help, but I wished him luck on his search as he dropped me off at the Colby TH. I zipped back up the road so fast that I failed to notice Matthew waving on the opposite side of the road as I flew by. Up at the ranger station, I failed to find any sign of Matthew and was at a loss to understand where he might have gone off to. Thinking he might have taken the trail from Red Box down to Switzer (what looked to be another picturesque canyon hike), I figured I better head back to Colby TH. Half a mile down the road I came across Matthew and picked him up. We continued down the canyon another half mile before I realized we had failed to tag Mt. Wilson. We turned around and headed back to Red Box, then five miles up the side road to Mt. Wilson.

At this point we had no directions, no list of HPS peaks, so it was what you might call red-point peakbagging. Had we the directions, we'd have driven to the observatory and tagged the point just outside the snack bar. The directions note that the "actual highpoint is within a secured area near a radio tower to the northwest." It was to this highpoint that we drove to, following a public road that wound its way up and through the secured areas on either side. A sign indicates "County Road ends 300ft" and it was to the very end of this paved road that we went. We got out and found the highpoint just outside the secured area (the fence goes around this little knoll almost intentionally for this purpose it would seem), walked all around (noting beer bottles and other debris) and got back in the car. Later, after reviewing the directions, we wondered if the HPS crews had ever tried accessing the true highpoint - it was really quite easy.

On our way up to Mt. Wilson, we had noted a parking lot near another trailhead with a dozen cars parked nearby. On our drive back down, Matthew (correctly) guessed the peak near this trailhead to be San Gabriel Peak, and we decided to stop and tag this one as well (it was a matter of, "we ought to tag it while we're here to save us the trip up here again in the future"). We parked the car and boldly struck out for the peak without directions or map - how hard could it be, looming a thousand feet up almost directly from the parking lot? We poo-poohed the gated dirt road that traversed around the cliff-strewn South Face of San Gabriel and struck off on a use trail under the tangle of low trees and thicket that looked to provide a short route up the east side of the peak. This turned out to be a goose chase. The trail withered to a bushwack after several hundred yards as did each of half a dozen alternates we tried as well. Our confidence withered with the trail, and we decided our best course of action was to go back to the parking lot and ask for directions.

Accosting the first group of hikers we found back at the cars, they showed us their map of the area that indicated the only route to San Gabriel taking the gated dirt road we had shunned. Matthew suddenly lighted up and exclaimed, "Hey, I have this map in my car!" which seemed to amuse the other hikers as much as it did ourselves. Back to the car we went. It isn't as ludicrous as it might sound for Matthew to not know about having a particular map. His car is a rolling library for climbing in California, containing every peakbagging book available for the state, every NF map, and well over a hundred other maps to boot. After rummaging around for a few minutes in the back seat, he reappeared with the same map we'd just been looking at. Ah, now we were getting somewhere! Our map wasn't the best, but it had the regular trails marked along with many of the named peaks. Matthew recognized nearby Mt. Markham as another HPS peak while I recognized Disappointment, so before we started we were now out to climb three peaks from this trailhead.

It seemed to be fairly popular, not just with hikers, but mountain bikers as well. We even came across a family on the way back pushing a baby jogger along the rocky trail - that was fairly impressive really. The road took us through the Mueller Tunnel (built in 1942) which traverses steepest portion of San Gabriel's South Face, and to a saddle between Markham and San Gabriel. The map showed no trail heading up Markham, so we looked for a use trail heading up the North Ridge from the saddle. We found a promising lead, but we were soon ducking under branches and having some trouble following the trail, and I expressed to Matthew that I was getting a bad feeling about it, much like the one to San Gabriel we aborted on earlier. But our persistence paid off and the trail soon came out from the undergrowth and onto a rocky section of the ridge. The route became enjoyable actually, and my ill foreboding faded with time. Atop the summit we found the HPS register in a PVC pipe container, and dutifully signed our names to it. Aside from the expected good views of Disappointment, San Gabriel and Mt. Wilson, another slightly lower peak made itself apparent a short distance to the south. "That's got to be one too" I guessed, noting the name "Mt. Lowe" on our map. We added yet another peak to our itinerary.

It took only 20 minutes to go from the summit of Mt. Markham to that of Mt. Lowe, following a fine use trail down the SE Ridge of Mt. Markham to a saddle, then along the regular trail to Mt. Lowe. We found several parties already atop Mt. Lowe, along with some interesting historical placards placed around the summit that explained Professor Lowe's dreams of building a tram to the summit back in the first half of the last century. He managed to build a railway to a lower nearby summit with a hotel and restaurant atop that were big attractions back in their day. Lack of funds kept the final segments from being completed, while fire and mudslides took their toll on the existing structures which were eventually abandoned around the time of the Great Depression. We also found a few viewing tubes that pointed to some of the nearby named peaks. One pointed to Mt. Harvard SE of Mt. Wilson. I recognized the name, erroneously recalling it to be another HPS peak (it was delisted in 2000), and we marked that one to visit after we were done with this bunch.

We followed the trail back to the Markham-San Gabriel Saddle, then up to another saddle between Mt. Disappointment and San Gabriel Peak. From there we walked an easy distance to the west to the flattened summit area of Mt. Disappointment. The top had been razed in the 1960s for a Nike missle defense site that was deactivated as part of a treaty ensuring Mutual Assured Destruction as the defacto strategy for the Cold War. None of the buildings remain from that era save for the concrete pads on which they rested, but a few smaller ones remain that house the electronics for the military radio towers that still operate from this peak. Looking to the west, I noted another lower peak that seemed a likely candidate. Later we found this was Mt. Deception and regretted not having the beta for this. It would have been an easy walk from Mt. Disappointment.

Leaving Disappointment, we retraced our steps to the saddle and then up to San Gabriel Peak in about 20 minutes. The skies were hazy all over now, and the views in all directions were somewhat obscured. It is said that something like 62 HPS peaks are visible from this summit on a clear day. We could probably have only identified 8-10, and made guesses at some others. Perhaps after we finish the peaks in the area we'd have to come back on one of those clear days to see for ourselves. It was just after 2p now, and slowly growing late. Jogging back down it took us about 20 minutes to reach the car (we half expected to find a ticket for not displaying an Adventure Pass, but found none), then a drive back up to Mt. Wilson.

We found the road unexpectedly ended just past Mt. Wilson, Mt. Harvard about a mile and a half further past a locked gate - can you tell we were getting spoiled expecting them all to be drive ups?. We set out at 3p for Mt. Harvard, and I was beginning to think our run at peaks in the Wilson area was going to keep us from our original plan to climb Iron/Roundtop/Granite/Rabbit after Strawberry. With so many peak names running around in our head it was hard to keep track of them all. We reached a saddle before the final hike up to Mt. Harvard and found the way blocked by a gate topped with barbed wire. Hmmm. Surely an HPS peak couldn't have barbed wire around it, could it? I was no longer so sure that this one was "on the list," but having invested a full 20 minutes into this dubious venture, neither of us was willing to turn around. We found that if we pushed on the gate enough, there was just enough room to let a couple of skinny guys pass through one after another. Continuing up the road towards the summit, we noted the road outside the gate had forked and was now visible below us and was contouring around the peak. There was no fence visible between the public road below and the private one above we were on. "If anyone busts us, let's just say we climbed up from there and didn't see any fence," I offered as a way out in case of trouble. We just needed to maintain some amount of plausible deniability. Just before the summit we came upon a second fence almost identical to the first. After squeezing through this one in the same manner, Matthew commented, "It's getting harder and harder to plead innocence on this one."

It was 3:30p when we reached the flattened summit area, chock full of telecom towers, generators, buildings, and miles of wiring running all over. I climbed up on one of the platforms for a better view, but it didn't help much. We marveled at the high tech gear around us for a short while before beating a retreat. We escaped undetected as we made our way past the two fences and then back up to the TH near Mt. Wilson.

It was 4:15p as we drove back down the road to Red Box. Unbeknownst to us, for the fourth time today we passed by Occidental Peak, another (easy) HPS peak just west of Mt. Wilson. We would have to come back again in the future after all, to get both this and Mt. Deception that we'd missed as well. It was getting much later in the day now and I didn't really think we were going to go after anymore peaks. I half-jokingly asked Matthew if he was still interested in going after the last four and he responded, "Oh, of course," without a hint of sarcasm in his voice. A quick calculation told us it would be after 5p when we started and surely it would be dark before we got back. "You got your headlamp?" I asked. "Yep," was the reply.

We took a potty break back down the road at the junction with Angeles Forest Road. Outside we sat on a curb while we looked over the map and route information I had (this group we had come prepared for) with me. With the roads open and a good 4x4 vehicle, all four peaks could be driven most of the way to their summits, with maybe a few miles of hiking total. We didn't know the conditions of the road, but it really seemed like cheating in a bad way to both of us. A more elegant route was to hike a loop along the circular ridgeline that connected the four peaks, a distance of about 9 miles and perhaps 3,500ft of gain. Our biggest concern was whether we'd be able to find our way in the dark, particularly along the circular path where we couldn't take advantage of knowing the route on the return. A nearly full moon would be rising tonight, but not until well over an hour after sunset. I was hoping we'd be back to the car before the moon could offer us any help. As we left our resting spot and drove on, we noticed a ranger's truck parked nearby - she was writing tickets for parked vehicles not displaying a pass. Ha! - we'd dodged that bullet.

We drove out to Mill Creek CG, and then started up the road that roughly follows the Monte Cristo Creek drainage up to a point between Rabbit and Iron. After several creek crossings and a few scrapings of the undercarriage, we decided our best course was to park the car and start from there (maybe half a mile up from the campground) - neither of us relished the idea of trying to negotiate the worsening creek crossings with the car under the shroud of darkness. As we were getting ready to start up, a yellow Jeep came cruising through and passed by, hardly slowing for the crossings at all. "Matthew, go buy one of those things," I urged. We never saw the couple again, perhaps they had driven up to Rabbit while we were on the way to Iron. It wasn't what you might call a major thoroughfare, and we were frankly surprised to see anyone else back this way.

It was after 5p when we started out, making a few more creek crossings before the road improved as it climbed higher out of the canyon. We wondered if maybe we should have persevered more with the car, but the rate we were driving wasn't much faster than our hiking pace, so in the end it probably didn't matter much. Where the road forked we went east towards Iron Mtn. It was nice to climb out of the cool shade into the warm sun again, knowing it wouldn't be up for much longer. The haze of the afternoon had dissapated and we were left with the soft golden colors before sunset. As we reached near the ridgeline we looked for a use trail leaving the road and cutting through the brush as indicated in our instructions. Reaching there first, I tried one, then a second path which shortly aborted. Matthew took his own crack at it while I found a third option, which turned out to be the correct one. It had been some time since its last grooming, but it required a minimum of bushwhacking. Matthew meanwhile was forcing one of the other routes to go and was having a tough time of it. I called over that my route looked the best, but I don't know if he didn't hear me or wanted to forge his own way. Having reached the firebreak clearing on the ridge above, I waited for Matthew, hearing only some faint rustling in the chaparral now and then. Then Matthew called out my name. I responded. He just wanted to know that he was getting close, and a few minutes later he appeared, looking only slightly worse for the wear. It was evident that we were both getting tired by now.

We climbed the final few hundred feet to the summit of Iron Mtn. One down, four to go. It was shortly before 6p. I was happy to see the other three peaks and the connecting ridgeline all plainly visible to us to the north. This allowed us to get a mental picture of the terrain we would be covering in the dark. We didn't have much information on the trail conditions ahead of us, our primary concern. We both agreed that the last short section we had just covered would have been far more difficult in the dark. Between the peaks ahead we could see portions of firebreaks along the ridges and this bolstered our hope for the mission. I guessed that we ought to be able to make it to Roundtop, our next peak, before having to break out the headlamps. A dirt road would then lead us to Granite, and we'd have only to contend with the remaining distance to Rabbit over an unsure use trail.

We headed off to Roundtop. At 6p, shortly after leaving Iron, the sun set behind the hills to the west. There was plenty of light left as we started up the long SE Ridge to Roundtop, but this slowly diminished by degrees, barely perceptable as we continued up. The use trail was indistinct and we lost it many times. It didn't matter much in the upper half of the mountain where the vegetation was low and hardly slowed us down whether on the trail or not. I had underestimated this 1,600-foot climb, fooled by several false summits that made it stretch out for a long time. After a while I had to just resign myself to the simple truth - we'll get to the top when we get there. It was almost 7p and fairly dark when we got to the summit. We broke out the headlamps immediately, needing them to have any chance of finding the summit register. We were unsuccessful in locating one. With a road leading to the summit, I'm not sure that one would even exist, as the drive ups are almost always the ones that get vandalized the most. We were done with the last of the serious elevation gain, and this offered us relief for our weary bodies. It actually served to revitalize us, knowing most of the remaining distance was downhill. We took a few nighttime exposures of the LA lights in the distance, then started along the road to Granite Mtn.

The road was as easy to follow and gently graded as we'd hoped. It made for a very nice nighttime stroll. The breeze we'd had earlier had all but died down, and the temperatures were comfortably in the high 40s. This was turning out to be far better than the miserable conditions we were expecting. Shortly before reaching Granite we noticed the sky growing bright in the east, and we stopped to photograph the rising moon. We were two and half hours into this hike at this point, and it was clear that the three hour estimation beforehand was well off. 9p was looking to be the more likely finishing time. We were enjoying the stroll along the road so much that we didn't notice we'd missed the turnoff to the summit until we were a few hundred yards past it. We were now hiking through the forested area around the summit, and consequently it was easy enough to just head cross-country straight up the hillside - no chaparral to contend with.

We found the same difficultly in locating a summit register atop Granite as we had found at Roundtop, though we searched through the three or four rock outcrops that made the most likely candidates. We were treated to brilliant display of city lights to the north, something we hadn't expected, evidently the lights of Palmdale and Lancaster in the Mojave Desert. We spent a good fifteen minutes at the summit playing with various exposure settings on our cameras before we decided to continue on.

It was now 7:45p, and the moon had risen sufficiently that it provided a good deal of illumination. We were unable to locate a use trail heading off the the SE Ridge. The ridgeline is indistinct near the summit area and requires a westerly tack before it descends to the southwest. We used a compass to our advantage to be sure we left the summit heading the right way, and eventually found the firebreak we were looking for after several missteps in locating it. Once on the firebreak I switched off my headlamp to navigate by moonlight and enjoyed the enchanting setting on the descent. It was great fun. We were having so much fun in fact that we had let our guard down and stopped paying close attention to the trail. We found ourselves in thickening chaparral as our trail dead-ended. A short thrash through the brush brought us to another short run in the clear before it too would dead-end. This confused us a great deal, as we couldn't imagine a use trail just going cold like that. We criss-crossed back and forth looking for it in vain. Ahead, we could see over the chaparral and along the ridge, and I pointed out Rabbit Peak ahead of us. It seemed obvious which way we had to go, we just couldn't find an easy way to get there. We doggedly pushed on. I stopped briefly to get out my leather gloves as it didn't look like the thrashing was going to end anytime soon. Matthew had forgotten his gloves and regretted this a good deal. I was able to make much faster progress with the gloves, and all I could hear behind me was the occasional curse from Matthew who was not enjoying himself any longer. There were yucca interspersed in the dense chaparral, and these would periodically stab the inattentive awake. This went on for a good twenty minutes and perhaps half a mile before I sobered to the possibility that we were going the wrong way. I got out the map for the fifth time in this section, and now I was able to discern a split in the ridgeline between Granite and Rabbit. We were following a southern spur which led nowhere. Ok, not exactly nowhere - if we somehow managed to continue our thrashing down for another mile and a half we would reach the road below, but it would take hours at the rate things were going and the contours showed a steepening hillside ahead. It was an ugly prospect. Further, the peak ahead of us that I had identified as Rabbit was actually Iron Mtn. Rabbit was now distinguishable further to the west. A grand screw-up, one we'd never have made in daylight. There was no other option - we had to return to ridge above. Once determined to correct our course of action, I had renewed energy to fight my way back out of the trap we'd fallen into. Matthew followed behind at a distance, every now and then I would catch a glimpse of his lamp when I turned to look for it. But he left no doubt that he was still behind me as I heard his curses increase both in volume and frequency. It was so unlike the usual quiet demeanor of his that I couldn't help chuckling to myself each time I would here "Fuck!" or "Dammit!" I have to admit that I was guilty of deriving some amount of pleasure from his misery. I wonder if that makes me a sadist, or just a mean person?

We survived our derailment and found the correct route to descend, having lost almost an hour. The descent was now easy as we found the wide firebreak we'd spotted from Iron Mtn earlier during the late afternoon. Once again we were having fun. We made the final few hundred-foot climb to the summit of Rabbit, arriving shortly before 9:30p. The moon was high above now, glowing brightly behind some scattered clouds. We found a register among the summit rocks and signed in. After a short break, we headed down the South Ridge of Rabbit. We lost the trail somewhere along the way and had some minor bushwhacking to contend with, but we knew this would shortly end when we intersected the road below. The crux came in trying to descend to the road. The roadbed cut sharply into the hillside, and being on the uphill side of this, we had a drop of 10-15 feet to get down onto the road. Some slow sidehilling with poor footholds by headlamp added the final zest to a long hike.

Back on the road, we continued down. It must have been a long day as I found myself confused about the several forks in the road we encountered. Little of it looked familiar to me until we were nearly back to the cars. Matthew showed none of my uncertainty and insisted we were going the right way, so I dutifully followed him. It was 10:15p when we got back to the car, a very happy sight indeed. We'd covered something like 25 miles and 10,000ft of elevation gain in climbing 13 peaks, and mostly felt like we needed a good rest. We drove back down to Pasadena and took a room there. Jack in the Box never tasted so good. It was well after midnight before we got to sleep since we still had to plan where to go the next day. One thing we were sure of, we wouldn't be getting a 6a start at the TH the next morning.


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More of Bob's Trip Reports

For more information see these SummitPost pages: Josephine Peak - Strawberry Peak - Mt. Lawlor - Mt. Wilson - Mt. Markham - Mt. Lowe - Mt. Disappointment - San Gabriel Peak - Mt. Harvard - Iron Mountain - Roundtop - Granite Mountain - Rabbit Peak

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