Icehouse to Timber in a Snowstorm

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

Icehouse to Timber in a Snowstorm

Postby Ellen » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:49 pm

Howdy All :)

December hasn't been a great month. I came down with an upper respiratory infection and my mom was hospitalized with severe pneumonia. Mom is now home and doing better. I needed serious mountain therapy.

On Tuesday, I headed up Register ridge to Baldy and came down via the Ski Hut trail. Amazing what being sick and not working out does to one's fitness. It took much longer than usual and on the summit I coughed like a three pack a day smoker. Didn't care -- mom was home and I was outside.

It was a beautiful day -- great views of the southern Sierra, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto. I was sitting at 10 K wearing shorts and t-shirt -- only in southern CA. I saw metal glistening in the snow at the rock shelter and discovered at least four full cans of Tecate beer :lol: I suspect it will disappear this weekend :wink: unless it's buried under a lot of new snow.

Yesterday I headed out to Icehouse Canyon to experience polar bear (winter) weather. About halfway up to the saddle, it began snowing lightly. All I could hear was my breathing and the crunch of my feet in the snow -- very peaceful. I started seeing lovely rime ice and snow flocked trees near Icehouse Saddle. From the saddle to Timber, I could feel the temperature drop substantially. Had a quick fuel stop, added more layers and swapped gloves for mittens.

When I started descending, I was amazed to discover that my boot tracks were already starting to fill in :shock: I didn't think it was snowing that hard. I was also in near white out conditions. I channeled the master orienteer Hikin' Jim and carefully made my way back to Icehouse saddle. This unsettling experience made me acutely aware of how easily someone can lose the way in a snowstorm. (Note: I did have my map and compass).

About 10 minutes down from Icehouse saddle, I ran into two bundled up hikers who asked about the conditions past the saddle. When I described the temperature change (from tolerably cold to hypothermic) and the white out conditions :oops: , they laughed knowingly -- they'd made this same mistake before and based on my beta would happily turn around at the saddle.

The descent was actually enjoyable. Normally it seems to take so long, I think I can feel my hair growing. It was snowing gently, not too cold and of course the snowfall created a lovely winter wonderland. I started seeing more hikers about halfway down. The attire of some was concerning -- the strangest sight was the group wearing normal attire and carrying blankets.

It rained fairly hard on the Foothill freeway -- amazingly people were driving carefully and courteously. I went to the PF Changs in Victoria Gardens for lunch. The great day went south when I went to pay -- my wallet was not in my purse. I went outside and double-checked my trunk. Then I started getting fraud alert messages on my iPhone.

Went back inside and told the manager Jeff that my wallet was stolen while eating. He checked the videotape. Two effeminate Latino guys had sat next to me briefly at the bar before leaving -- I just assumed they were getting a table. The videotape showed the jerk next to me riffling through my purse as I was texting my family :evil: Jeff and the bartender were apologetic and felt terrible -- not their fault that two evil shits robbed me while I was distracted. At least this happened in an establishment where I'm a regular.

I contacted the appropriate people regarding my stolen credit and debit cards. The shits also got $130 in cash. I won't be keeping my valuables in my purse anymore. What a buzz kill :x

Heading up Skyline with sister Sally tomorrow -- I can always count on the Skyline to be cathartic.

Happy Holidays and Watch Your Back,
Ellen
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Postby lesper4 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:04 pm

Love hiking that canyon in the weather but yes when everything is white it can get confusing. The only thing I don't like about that canyon (year round) is the number of "tourists" that hike up there and even some of the regulars are so loud. You have to hike past the saddle to get away form them or even the chapman trail which is much more enjoyable with much less numbers. Thanks for the report, any pictures ellen?
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Postby Ellen » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Howdy Lesper4 :)

Sorry -- no pictures. It was too cold to take off my gloves/mittens. I'm sure there's still a lot of lovely rime ice if you want to head up tomorrow.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Postby Sally » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:13 pm

Ellen, we WILL salvage what's left of this "joyous" season with a great hike up Skyline tomorrow!

Since I will probably be too busy after tomorrow to log on much in the coming week I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! (And, Santa, could you please give us more snow to play in? Please?)
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Postby Hikin_Jim » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:51 am

That really sucks about the wallet. I hope they catch those guys.

HJ
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Postby arocknoid » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:24 am

ha, a bot with a picture, and no hotlink.

Ellen, sorry to hear of the wallet theft. grrrr, what a PITA.

Thanks for the trail reportage. Hope we get some snow in our neck of the woods; redistribute some of that Polar Brrr-tex out west, in just the right amount to be appreciated.

c ya out there,
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Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:05 am

arocknoid wrote:ha, a bot with a picture, and no hotlink.
In the famous words of Inspector Clouseau, "not anymore." :twisted:

Hey, 'Noid, nice to see you on the forum. Hadn't seen you on for a while and was wondering where you had gotten off to.

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Postby arocknoid » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:48 pm

Howdy Jim,

I was out for a bit after receiving a "bimp on ze head."

(not really, but loved your Clouseau ref.)

So busy that I've not had much time to post, and scant enough time to hike as much as I'd like. Baldy-Cuc-Ont-3Ts-BH only, lately. I'll get some pics of beasties posted in the next week or two.

kind regards,
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Postby Sally » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:33 pm

arocknoid, the curse has been lifted: Ellen I finally saw a bighorn beastie today!
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Postby HH8 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:17 pm

Sally wrote: I finally saw a bighorn beastie today!


Congratulations. What did that resident think of YOU?
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