Mountain Monogamy

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Mountain Monogamy

Postby Wildhorse » Tue May 24, 2016 5:41 pm

Backpacker has an interesting article running at its website now titled "Mountain Monogamy."

http://www.backpacker.com/trips/mountai ... al-hiking/

It contains some great lines linking peak bagging with serial first dates, and linking hiking in the same place with a monogamous relationship that deepens one's experience of life.

As for me, and my wife, we are in a long-term monogamous relationship with Cowles Mountain. We still enjoy more difficult hikes and going to new places, but as our relationship with Cowles has deepened we have found that we have enjoyed it more than any other place we have hiked, even more than the Grand Canyon.

Some who post on this Board have such a relationship with Skyline. A more difficult marriage, for sure.

Does everyone have such a place? Or is monogamy in hiking the exception?
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Ellen » Tue May 31, 2016 3:30 pm

Howdy Wildhorse :)

I love the high country of the San Jacinto's. It may sound silly, but I feel that we are related 8)

I felt that I had returned "home" when I hiked the Strawberry loop on Sunday and look forward to continued XC exploration in my home range.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Sose » Tue May 31, 2016 6:15 pm

The San Jacinto and San Gorgonio areas are like a childhood best friend, having spent much time there long ago practicing for our Sierra trips with my extreme hike scout troop.(they would probably be arrested today for child cruelty).When I return there, I feel like a kid. The San Gabriels are like a dangerous lover. The Sierras always an exotic adventure. Having covered almost every inch of the Santa Anas where I live to the point of being personal aquaintences of a couple of the cats there, having broken a shoulder and lost some teeth to them, they are just an ornery old partner I guess. But each area definitely has its own distinct feel!
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Ed » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:14 am

Sose wrote:...with my extreme hike scout troop.(they would probably be arrested today for child cruelty)


Cracked me up, Sose! I was never a scout. But I was born a month before Pearl Harbor, and received adult attention and supervision (parents, nuns, coaches, etc.) which would probably be considered cause for criminal charges today. I have no complaints about it, I am probably a better person for it.

Royal Robbins, in the first volume of his autobiography, To Be Brave, recounts how his scout troop backpacked San Jacinto by the Snow Creek route in June, 1951.
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby David W » Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:02 pm

I come from the desert to SR/Toro because they are the closest/coolest temps with big, shady pines and open, explorable forests. They remind me of my childhood home in WA. When I get every inch of them explored and if I get tired of them, I will start heading over to San Jac.
Last edited by David W on Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Sose » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:11 am

Ed wrote:
Sose wrote:...with my extreme hike scout troop.(they would probably be arrested today for child cruelty)


Cracked me up, Sose! I was never a scout. But I was born a month before Pearl Harbor, and received adult attention and supervision (parents, nuns, coaches, etc.) which would probably be considered cause for criminal charges today. I have no complaints about it, I am probably a better person for it.

Royal Robbins, in the first volume of his autobiography, To Be Brave, recounts how his scout troop backpacked San Jacinto by the Snow Creek route in June, 1951.
I will find and read that book. Yes, things are different now. Thankfully, the mountains and trails stay pretty much the same....except for the #*@&# tissue and foil party balloons I often seem to find. Oh well! I guess when we get older, we're forced to live amongst children for better or worse. All we can do is teach and hope they listen.
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Ed » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:06 am

...we're forced to live amongst children for better or worse.


And they are forced to live amongst us.

I have not read the third volume of Royal Robbins' autobiography yet, but loved the first two. I think they would be interesting to anyone who hikes, backpacks and climbs in Southern California and the Sierras. You can usually find them in the book section at REI.

Although I was in a later generation and never an elite climber, it includes people I knew well, such as Barbara Lilley, and others to whom I had some exposure, such as John and Ruth Mendenhall. John Mendenhall led the first rock climb I did at Tahquitz, and although he was a bit old and shaky, I was thrilled because I knew he had mentored Royal Robbins and Yvon Chouinard.
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Sally » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:49 pm

I attended a private girls' camp in Big Bear Lake every summer from 1962 to 1969. We did a hike every week in the Big Bear area, but the LAST week of camp, the girls who had proven themselves worthy hiked Old Grayback (or San Gorgonio) via the Southfork trail, starting at Poopout Hill. Slushy Meadows (Southfork Meadows) was quite slushy, and Dollar Lake was always a lake. We wore tennies, no one had a day pack, and we carried our lunch in a brown paper bag ( I was innovative and put my lunch bag in a bandana so that the contents would stay in.) We had those funky disc-shaped canteens that we wore with a strap over our shoulder. For the un-initiated there was a rumor that there was a malt shop at the top. The sign at the top said it was 11,502', and there were ground squirrels at the summit that we fed the crusts from our sandwiches.

Fast forward: the ground squirrels did not die from our donations, they are still there. Dollar Lake has not been a Lake for my last several visits, and now I can't even visit it because of the horrible fire last year. I am so grateful that I can visit "My Peak" from the Vivian Creek Trail.

San Gorgonio was my first mountain love. Being above tree line for the first time has never left my memory. I have shared this peak with my daughters and closest friends. It is a part of me, and should it ever be taken away from me I would be beside myself with grief.

These days there are several factors that threaten to take away from us our wilderness haunts that are so important to us: The San Jacintos, Skyline, Anza Borrego Desert, etc., fires and government legislation not being the least of these. It scares me. I always have to remind myself to be grateful for what we have and when called, rally to come forth and state my case to keep what I have.
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Ed » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:13 am

What a great start, Sally! I hiked San Gorgonio for the first time in the fall of 1969. We were unfit, started late from Poopout Hill, found it very tough, and were very proud of ourselves for making it to the summit and back. The next day I could barely make it up the stairs to my office. Hooked me, though. I don't recall seeing anyone else on the trail, even though it was Sunday; probably there were a few, but not enough to make any impression. I remember Slushy Meadows as green and overflowing with water, even late in the year.
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Re: Mountain Monogamy

Postby Sose » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:16 pm

That's very impressive even now, Sally! Back then, I would have had an instant crush! There weren't too many girls on the hard trails in those days. Kudos for your leaders for bringing you up there! Old Greyback, San Jack, Old Baldy. I was fascinated listening to the old timers share their knowledge and their nicknames of the mountains. Slushy meadows was where I first had a close encounter with a bear. Threw a big rock at it and it lumoxed away. Those experiences are always a part of us. One of the brightest and best parts.
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