Vivian Creek Yesterday

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

Vivian Creek Yesterday

Postby KathyW » Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:13 am

Steve and I headed up the Vivian Creek Trail early yesterday morning. The snow starts at the parking area and is pretty much continuous from there. We strolled along at an easy pace realizing it probably wasn't going to be a day where we'd have the energy to push on for the summit. It was pretty easy going until Halfway camp. After Halfway Camp we headed up the winter route along the ridge and needed crampons. It was a mix of ice and soft snow on top of ice from there on up. After a while the snow started balling up on my crampons, so they became useless unless I wanted to knock snow off every step. Off came the crampons. After we picked up the 1/2 mile traverse over to High Creek Camp it got to be really slow going - some post-holing, some ice spots, some spots with a few inches of soft snow on top of ice. When I hit the icy sections I had to stop and chop steps, so it got really slow going. Steve opted to keep his crampons on - the plates on his seemed to help, but I've never had much luck with those anti-balling plates. We decided to turn around just as we were in view of High Creek Camp at 9200 feet - still a good 9 mile round-trip/3200 feet hike in the snow. Overall, it was a really pleasant hike until that last traverse toward High Creek Camp where it wasn't any good with or without crampons. After turning around, we stopped and took a really long lunch in the sun where there's a nice view of the Yucaipa Ridge. We only saw 3 people all day - a young man who hiked with us for a while until we turned around - he headed on up higher, and a couple of young men who came up late in the day and were going to camp at Vivian Creek Camp overnight.

Pictures from along the trail yesterday:

I guess I'll head back out in the snow next weekend to see if I can go a bit higher - it's time to get in shape for spring/early summer snow climbs further north.
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Postby AlanK » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:38 pm

Kathy -- It looks like you did a very similar hike to the one we did with our friend last week, under somewhat different conditions (we also stopped slightly earlier). It is always great to get out to that neck of the woods.
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Postby simonov » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:56 am

Thanks for the report and good luck on the next attempt. I'd like to get out on this trail as soon as it is reasonably navigable this year.

Saturday I climbed Baldy and yesterday I was up on Santiago (Saddleback). I'm starting to get the Fever.
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