Going first time, solo, Last weekend of Jan - Pls advise

General Palm Springs area.

Going first time, solo, Last weekend of Jan - Pls advise

Postby Mister T » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:20 pm

Howdy. I am planning on going to the mountain next weekend bymyself for an overnighter, and have never been there before. I have been reading the forum and the most useful advice ive found thus far is the need for crampons (which i just ordered.)

I have a couple questions for anyone willing to advise:

Any laws or rules on overnight small campfires? ( I always cover my tracks, do not destroy scenery)

Any laws on carrying a firearm? ( I dont want to encounter any problems, and am always safe)

Water supply? Should I carry in a gallon in addition to my full canteens?

What is the Tram exactly? What is the best trail to just climb up for a day, camp below summit, summit next morning, and climb back down?

Where do you park your car and not risk being tampered?

This will be my first time trying to summit, and I will be solo. I have mountaineering experience from the military, and am confident, but overconfidence is the first mistake. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I will post my packing list for anyone that is interested in seeing and offering advice. Thanks alot guys, great forum!!
Mister T
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Re: Going first time, solo, Last weekend of Jan - Pls advise

Postby Pilgrim » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:20 pm

First of all, try the state park website for pdf's of maps and rules. Fires are generally not allowed nor Firearms.

You can only camp in designated camp areas so your choices of camp sites is narrowed down to which trail you come in on (from the Tram being the easiest).

As you are likely to be in snow, water isn't a big concern is it? Just have enough fuel to melt it.

The Tram is the cable car from PalmSprings that saves you some alitude gain. http://www.pstramway.com/

There currently isn't a lot of snow in the wilderness so it isn't a very technical approach (at least from the Tram, the western approach may be a different story).
"So we are probably about where this pebble is, 2 inches off the edge of the map."
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First trip

Postby Mister T » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:58 pm

Thanks for the heads up. I wasnt quite sure if there was designated camp sites or not. I was assuming campfires were out of the question as well considering the terrain on top of it being a state park.

Trail question: What is the best trail to take from the bottom without using the Tram? I was thinking it would be more fun to go from another entry route. Any suggestions of where?
Mister T
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Postby KathyW » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:36 pm

Here's a list of some of the hikes:


Have fun out there!
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Fuller Ridge Trail

Postby wanderwoman » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:37 pm

I really like the Fuller Ridge trail for a great day hike to the peak.

If you want to camp overnight, you could take Deer Springs and stay at Strawberry junction and then do the peak in the morning.
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Open Trails

Postby Mister T » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:50 pm

I really appreciate all your help, I am getting a clearer idea of what to expect. I have one addition question concerning the trails though. I was planning on taking a trail from the bottom, to the peak, and back. (marion trail?) But from the list you provided, it appears those trails are closed this time of year, is this really the case? If so, are there any bottom to top trails that are open or do I HAVE to take the Tram? I just want to get the most out of the experience. Thanks for all the help!
Mister T
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Postby Mister T » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:04 pm

Basically this is my gameplan: Take the Deer springs trail from Idlywild up as far as I can, leaving approx. 7am. Depending on my progress, camp at strawberry junction for the night, or move to the next camp ground and stay there. Next day, Peak, and try and make bottom by sundown.

Since I have never done this, I dont know if I am projecting a realistic timeline for this. I will just be carrying a backpack with the essentials, stove, food, water, bag and shelter, w/ map. I will bring crampons Just in case, and will have Trekking poles. Does all of that sound sufficient? Sorry for all the questions, this will just be my first time doing something like this recreationally, and by myself. Thanks again guys.
Mister T
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Postby KathyW » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:13 am

Actually, for your first trip you might consider taking the tram up and backpacking out to Round Valley to camp. From there you can take various day hikes to check out the wilderness. Typically you can get to Round Valley without any special equipment, but the trail can be a bit icy. To go beyond that point you may need an ice axe and crampons and maybe even snowshoes if we get much more snow, or you may find travel easy on a packed down trail all the way to the summit of San Jacinto.

The Devil's Slide to Wellman's Cienega and on to San Jacinto Peak (7.7 miles with 4400' elevation gain) is a really nice hike.

Check with the ranger station in idyllwild to see what roads are closed.
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First time trip

Postby hillbasher » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:55 am

I agree with Kathy W. For the first time up in the area with the amount of experience it sounds like you have, going in from the tram would be a safe and enjoyable way to go this time of year. You will be around others
(not as many this time of year as compared to the summer),in case help in anyway is needed, not knowing what conditions will be, this is the shortest way to the top, yet very alpinistic,(is that a word?), and there is always the rest of the winter to try doing it from anothr trailhead if you so desire. Good luck on what ever you decide on doing, and post here after the trip to let people know how it went.
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Postby Mister T » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:01 pm

Hmmm. Well, my goal here is to start gaining experience with mountaineering and of course get the satisfaction of going from bottom to Peak, then back down. From the sound of it, it may be in my best interest to go visit the hill this weekend first, take a look at what I am up against, then actually go in for the real thing the following weekend. My question is, is it possible to climb from bottom to top in two days? Just one over nighter? THanks guys, I have gotten some great info from this forum.
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