3/10 Trip Report - A Cold, Wet Skyline (w/Photos)

General Palm Springs area.

3/10 Trip Report - A Cold, Wet Skyline (w/Photos)

Postby mattytreks » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:53 pm

Just a few days ago I decided on a whim to do Skyline today -- this is a min-report of my trip:

A few related side notes about this particular jaunt up Skyline: it was my first solo Skyline (big surprise since no one else wanted to hike in the cold rain with me, haha); it was my first Skyline hike in any sort of inclement weather, and also this was, by far, my latest start (7:30am).

It was a nice change starting so late, as I was able to easily see all of my surroundings from the very start. I usually start between 2:30-3:30am, and as a result the majority of the hike is merely headlamp-lit. Almost immediately I started feeling raindrops, which became colder and more frequent the higher I ascended. Ominous cloud formations were visible over the Santa Rosa's, and eventually the San Jacinto's. Cloud cover really started rolling in and by the time I got to Neverending Ridge, I was enveloped in a dense fog, temps were dropping, and I was soaked -- albeit warm -- in my various wool/wicking/waterproof layers.

As far as humanity, I only encountered five people: two couples I ran into before reaching the first rescue box, and one fellow descending Skyline just before I reached Flat Rock.

5 1/2 hours later and having slogged through a muddy upper Skyline, I crested at Grubb's Notch, where it was raining the hardest. I was actually surprised to see so many people at the Upper Tram Station, given the crummy weather.

I for one absolutely loved the experience of hiking in such weather -- feeling the elements like that makes me feel so alive! And one interesting thing I noticed during the hike is that I was smelling a quite-strong smell in some places. After walking around and smelling the various plant-life, I concluded that manzanita gives off a strange smell during the rain. Has anyone else experienced that before?

PS, for those inquiring minds -- there was absolutely zero ice or snow encountered on any area of Skyline.

Happy hiking!

Image01 by mattytreks

Image02 by mattytreks

Image03 by mattytreks

Image04 by mattytreks

Image05 by mattytreks

Image06 by mattytreks
Last edited by mattytreks on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Click here to see my hikes, along with trail details
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Re: 3/10 Trip Report - A Cold, Wet Skyline

Postby Sally » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:47 am

Hi Matty, I always enjoy a trip report that triggers sensory memories of some of my hikes. Thank you! Yes I have noticed that particular aroma of manzanita in the rain. The rain really does make the scents and colors more intense. As long as I am adequately attired, I love hiking in inclement weather!
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Re: 3/10 Trip Report - A Cold, Wet Skyline

Postby Myth » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:16 am

Oh yes! I know that scent of manzanita in the rain very well. Ah! Just reading about it transports me in memory to various happy rain-soaked hikes.

I was also hiking, but way down in the desert, in the Mojave National Preserve. That hike was also saturated by that wonderful desert-in-the-rain smell. It started off pretty cool, around 48F or so and lightly raining. Then after a couple hours the cloud cover burned off and the breeze died. Immediately the temperature shot up to around 70 or more, and it was super, super humid. That was a bit miserable, I got soaked from sweat after the rain stopped, while I stayed dry in a light rain shell during the rain! So it goes. It was so humid that I had trouble with my camera lens fogging up.

I do love hiking in the elements when properly equipped. It really does make one feel so much more alive.
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