Headed up Skyline again yesterday -- my fourth time in 8 days. Yes, I am in a rut, but all of my hiking buddies were on Skyline those four days. I carried enough fuel to go to the summit just in case. I haven't done C2C -- the full monty-- since the spring.
The dry conditions made the air feel cooler and also provided spectacular views of the Salton sea, Coachella valley, San Gorgonio and Baldy. My group started at 5 AM. Based on pace, I wound up with Perry A, Krai, Lindella, Brian and Ryan. I was struggling from the beginning, probably due to the cumulative elevation gain, though I thought two days of rest was sufficient time to recover.
In Long Valley, we met my friend Tim Gillam, who had also done Skyline and was planning to summit. We topped off on water and headed out. Thank goodness the trail to Round Valley was more forgiving than Skyline. The cardiovascular agony kicked back in as we headed up to Wellman's, though we were treated to exquisite views at the divide. Then we endured the loonng slog up to the Miller switchback.
We left the trail at the Miller switchback and headed up the winter route. Scrambled up the rocks to the summit and took in the amazing views. I discovered that this was the first C2C for my friend Tim. Of course we took the obligatory summit pictures. For the group shot, I laid on the rocks in the front of the sign (that's really how I felt at that point) but my friends insisted that I be upright for the photo.
We retraced our route back to forested area at 10 K, then went XC down to Tamarack valley. That's when I tripped and fell sideways into a bush. Arrgh
I was hoping to get through JUST ONE C2C without losing blood. Picked up the Sid Davis drainage and headed home. I was definately in beer mode but could only slow twitch up the ramp to the tram bar to celebrate our C2C.
Ran into our friend Ben C at the tram bar while we were relaxing. He had untouched home fries on his plate and I asked if I could have one. When he told us to eat all of them, EVERYONE dove in. It was hilarious -- a SNL landshark feeding frenzy
Jym gave us a ride back to our cars. I had my first cheeseburger and fries at John's -- yummy
I added up my elevation gain and discovered that I'd climbed 35 K in 8 days. A mere triffle for Speedy Steve and InFerno, but I don't have speedy alien DNA. The old blonde mare she ain't what she used to be
Note to self -- do not attempt a C2C after doing Skyline three times in five days. Yesterday was a wonderful lesson in both humility and friendship. Fortunately, my friends let me set the pace and were wonderful company the entire time.
Miles of smiles,