C2C2C Newby trip report-1st time on a forum as well

General Palm Springs area.

Postby tlmaclennan » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:40 am

Congrats on a successful hike!

Just curious where you got the mileage for you hike of 28.2 miles. Did you use a GPS or grab that from online. Reason I'm asking is because there seem to be differing info online for the actual mileage.

I understand there are a few shortcuts along the Skyline trail that may attribute to this discrepancy.
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Postby Robert Hunt » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:15 pm

Thanks Tim. I don't think I lost any distance due to cuts, they were few and similer in distance to the portions cut. This milage is from my phones gps, my Garmin etrex legend's memory was filling up and started to delete the beginning of the trail. It read 27.96 miles parking lot to parking lot. I don't know if this is accurate or truncated. To be honest, I was paying way more attention to the geology and plant life than milage. Awesome change in environments! Forgot to list gps on stuff carried.
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Postby KathyW » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:25 pm

I think the Skyline portion was a good 10 miles at one time and then it is about 5.5 miles to the summit, which would have made the trip 31 miles at least. It is no surprise that it is down to 28 miles. I don't think most people do more than 9 miles on the Skyline portion anymore.

Maybe the shortcuts are becoming the trail - that would be better than all that braiding on the lower part of the route. I hope the mountain is healing - that would be nice and it would probably be a lot easier for the shortcuts to become the trail than to expect people to stick to the original route.
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Postby Robert Hunt » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:36 pm

Hi Kathy. I'm a little confused on the milage. On Google Earth, my tracks seem to follow the visible trail except for a couple hundred feet combined. Maybe your right, the mtn is healing as it evolves? I just can't see any old trail that would make up the 2-3 mile discrepancy.
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Postby cynthia23 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:20 pm

I can understand your confusion as a newcomer. Unfortunately, within the last six to eight years, the trail has changed quite drastically, and not for the better. There are so many huge shortcuts, which newbies like yourself innocently believe are the real trail, that--imho, and that of quite a few others--it's not meaningful to post trail times. The route you took is likely significantly shorter (by a mile or three) than the one taken by Perry when he made his PR. There is no way to know, now, who is 'the fastest'. Only people who've been doing it for more than several years actually know, now, what the 'real' trail is (it's still there, you likely just didn't notice it.) This is not meant personally (you seem like a sincere/responsible guy) but I, and many others on the board, also don't think it's a good idea for people to post their times, as it only encourages further shortcutting. The mountain is not healing, unfortunately, because every new shortcut begets new ones. Every time I go up the erosion is much worse. I have no particular attachment to a given route (the old trail is not sacred), it's the constant creating of new shortcuts--because of the overemphasis on PRs--and the widespread publicity they now gain because of the Internet boards--that is problematic. Additionally, much of the 'new' route is not sustainable, because it's not properly graded--just people cutting straight up slopes, totally indifferent to the new watercourse they created. Switchbacks are there for a reason, which is stop erosion. Unfortunately, some of the people who are obsessed with their PRs don't really give a f--- about wilderness, only about ego. Hence, I think it's better not to publicize Skyline PRs. It adds fuel to the fire.
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Postby Robert Hunt » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:21 pm

Hi Cynthia- All good points, I've watched it happen over the years on some of the more sacred Borrego trails. I note my times for future reference as to water & fuel use, maximum use of daylight, but you are right that there is little need for that info to be made public.
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Postby Rick F » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:12 am

Common belief or convention on C2C distances used to be:
Skyline segment, museum to Long Valley Ranger Station = 11 miles
Long Valley to Summit via Wellman Divide, Miller Saddle, and West Approach Junction = 7 miles. Total = 18 miles one-way, 36 miles round-trip.

There's quite a few ways to improvise short cuts both on Skyline and the upper mountian.

Some GPS tracking systems calculate distance based on interval way-points that miss some of parts of an alignment, in other words sometimes GPS tracks don't include all of the switchbacks and curves.
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Postby KathyW » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:41 pm

cynthia23 wrote:I can understand your confusion as a newcomer. Unfortunately, within the last six to eight years, the trail has changed quite drastically, and not for the better. There are so many huge shortcuts, which newbies like yourself innocently believe are the real trail, that--imho, and that of quite a few others--it's not meaningful to post trail times. The route you took is likely significantly shorter (by a mile or three) than the one taken by Perry when he made his PR. There is no way to know, now, who is 'the fastest'. Only people who've been doing it for more than several years actually know, now, what the 'real' trail is (it's still there, you likely just didn't notice it.) This is not meant personally (you seem like a sincere/responsible guy) but I, and many others on the board, also don't think it's a good idea for people to post their times, as it only encourages further shortcutting. The mountain is not healing, unfortunately, because every new shortcut begets new ones. Every time I go up the erosion is much worse. I have no particular attachment to a given route (the old trail is not sacred), it's the constant creating of new shortcuts--because of the overemphasis on PRs--and the widespread publicity they now gain because of the Internet boards--that is problematic. Additionally, much of the 'new' route is not sustainable, because it's not properly graded--just people cutting straight up slopes, totally indifferent to the new watercourse they created. Switchbacks are there for a reason, which is stop erosion. Unfortunately, some of the people who are obsessed with their PRs don't really give a f--- about wilderness, only about ego. Hence, I think it's better not to publicize Skyline PRs. It adds fuel to the fire.


I'm sorry to hear that the lower part of the trail isn't getting any better - I haven't been up the trail in a while.



RickF wrote:Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:12 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Common belief or convention on C2C distances used to be:
Skyline segment, museum to Long Valley Ranger Station = 11 miles
Long Valley to Summit via Wellman Divide, Miller Saddle, and West Approach Junction = 7 miles. Total = 18 miles one-way, 36 miles round-trip.



I never realized the trail from Long Valley was 7 miles each way at one time. I thought it was always about 5.5 miles. I wonder what the difference is. I know it is between 3 and 4 miles each way if you go more directly through Tamarck Valley.
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Postby lilbitmo » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:17 pm

Like Kathy, I've always been confused about the distances.

The official map for the state park below shows it to be 5.8 Miles from the ranger station, if you add the distance from the tram door to those distances
it comes out to be 6 or 6.1 miles, I'm wondering if the rangers used the old rolling on the ground instrument or if that is multiple gps tracks averaged, anyone know?


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Postby arocknoid » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:48 pm

Patrick, those mileage markers are on an old San Jacinto map I still have from 1989 (actually on the obverse from the topo side, as a pictogram). Pubbed in '89, it would have been generated at least a year or two prior.

That is likely before the USFS had much utilization of the early incarnations of the GPS system, so the measurements were almost certainly done by wheel measurement.

GPS was created and realized by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and was originally run with 24 satellites. It became fully operational in 1994. Bradford Parkinson, Roger L. Easton, and Ivan A. Getting are credited with inventing it.


I think my earliest map of SJ is from the late 60s; it was not with this batch I kept on hand, which includes old maps from the 70s --ANF, Cleveland NF, etc. 1969 was especially memorable because of the tremendous snowfall and precip in SoCal--as well as huge waves. Time flies! and those trail distances endure. Just the elevation delta has changed.
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