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Monday, June 16, 2008

San Jacinto Peak Hike

As my date to climb Mt Whitney nears, I knocked out another local 10,000+ peak Sunday. San Jacinto Peak rises to over 10,834 feet. It towers over the Coachella Valley below. I ended up hiking the most direct route to the top, but also the hardest in the opinion of most hikers...the Marion Mountain Trail. The trail head begins at the Marion Mountain Campground near the town of Idyllwild. I went up Saturday afternoon and camped out instead of getting up at 3am in the morning to drive out there. I started my hike at about 6am, made it to the peak by 11am, and was back down to my truck at 2:30pm. On the way down I had a big scare. While cavalierly placing my foot on some loose rocks, I severely twisted my right ankle right below Little Round Valley up at 9500 feet. After a few high octave curses, I realized I needed to assess my situation and get down the mountain ASAP before any severe swelling set in. Luckily before the hike, I had taped my ankles. This mitigated further damage IMO. It was sore, but I was able to make it down without any further incident. I popped in a couple of Advil and then iced it when I got home. It's a little sore this morning, but it's not as bad as I thought it was. The other thing that saved me was having my hiking poles with me. If I didn't have those, I don't know what I would have done. I couldn't dial 911 because there is no service up there on the mountain. One guy I met at the summit had a satellite phone. Note to self: That seems like the ticket to have, especially when hiking alone when you're out of cell range. After all the drama though, It was worth it. The views from the peak are awesome. I was able to snap a bad cell phone camera picture of the sign at the peak.


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