My first C2C

General Palm Springs area.

My first C2C

Postby Ellen » Sun May 06, 2007 4:18 pm

Howdy all :D

I completed my first C2C yesterday and have the bleeding to prove it :lol:

I started at 4:55. For some reason I got lost several times (even with a headlamp) and had to retrace my steps prior to reaching the picnic tables. People began flying by about an hour in, which was a little demoralizing.

I took a short cut and ended up above a hiker who had passed me at Shade Rock. He later told me he thought he was hallucinating and was ready to turn in his AARP card :lol: Unfortunately, my trail orientation ineptitude continued. I led us the wrong way until Z-dude flew by us going uphill. Z laughed and said I was doing this the hard way. Am I missing something or is there an easy way to do Skyline :wink: Fortunately, the other hiker did not take offense and went on ahead at the 4400 ft level.

Thanks for your kind words Kathy -- it was great to meet you!

At about 5,000 ft, I was paased by a very fast woman (Jean?) The last section before Flat Rock seemed to take forever -- I always struggle at this point and feel like my head is going to pop off due to the lack of air flow. Andy passed me here and provided encouraging words.

I started to feel better once I was past Flat Rock and heading up through the manzanita. Even better -- no rattlers 8) Two more men passed me. One used two huge wooden staffs in place of hiking poles. This lead me to ponder: 1) how much faster could he travel with light poles? and 2) was he planning to duel Robin Hood with a staff over a mountain creek?

Reaching the pine trees and cooler air is always wonderful. I was in the rocks near Coffman's crag when I lost the trail -- again :oops: As I made my way up through the rocks, I lost my foot- and hand-holds and slid down a large rock with a particularly rough surface. The result -- areas of skin on left shin, left forearm, and right thigh were peeled off. I now have empathy for potatoes and carrots.

Crawling over the notch and into the brisk, pine-scented air of Long Valley was particularly heavenly. I resolved to head directly to the ranger station for my summit permit and didn't glance at the tram walkway or listen to the draft beer calling my name.

I haven't been on this trail since 2003 and enjoyed the novelty of the hike up to Round Valley. I also discovered how many good Samaritans are on the trail. I lost track of how many people asked whether I was OK and needed bandages, etc. As I grew more fatigued, I wished that I wasn't bloody so I wouldn't have to respond.

The view from Wellman's divide looking towards Idylwild was exquisite -- clouds and mist interspersed with blue sky and green mountains. After Wellman's divide, I really started to struggle. I don't remember having to lift myself up over so many rocks on this trail on previous hikes. I passed several rangers who kindly inquired about my wounds. I said one word -- "Skyline" -- and they nodded knowingly.

The final one-third of a mile to the summit of San Jacinto felt like the last climb from the ridge trail up to the summit of Whitney. I was happy to not add to the bleeding as I crawled up over the rocks to touch the summit sign. It was a lively group -- some people were celebrating Cinco de Mayo (no beer, darn it!) with chips and salsa.

While sprawled on the summit, I met three hikers from San Diego who were also doing C2C. One (Steve) had done it over 150 times (good grief!) and another was the fellow I had mislead above Shade rock. All three congratulated me warmly. Steve said the blood was a testiment to the difficulty of C2C and several people took pictures of my bloody body next to the summit sign.

Steve was a saint and slowed his pace to hike back to the tram with me. He was terrific company and distracted me with great stories. His chivalry also helped me make a safe descent. Dick from Santa Monica joined us on the descent. We walked up the final climb to the tram just past 4 PM (I was so tired that I used my poles), met up with Steve's two friends, and I finally had my celebratory beer. Dick kindly shuttled us back to our cars at the museum. I think I almost have him convinced to take Skyline to the tram -- I told him about Cy and this forum.

Thanks again to Perry for this forum and to my fellow outdoors people.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Postby KathyW » Sun May 06, 2007 5:15 pm

Ellen: Congratulations on making it to the summit! It was really nice meeting you.

I guess I'm on desert trails too often - I noticed your bloody leg and it didn't concern me much - it looked a lot like my legs often do.

Kathy
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Postby Ellen » Sun May 06, 2007 5:27 pm

Howdy Kathy,

I think you saw me before the major rock peel, which occured at about 8,000 ft.

You're right, though, I always have some bleeding from scratches when I hike Skyline. Heck, if I'm not bleeding, I haven't been hiking :lol:

Hooah!
Ellen
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Postby AlanK » Sun May 06, 2007 6:14 pm

Ellen -- congratulations on a complete C2C. I hope your injuries heal quickly.

When you mentioned Cinco de Mayo, I thought maybe someone offered you a beer on the summit. That happened to me on my first C2C, although it was 31 de Mayo. On hearing I had come up from Palm Springs, a guy offered me a large bottle of Becks. I've never seen a better looking beer in my life! Unfortunately, it has not happened since. But I will keep doing C2C -- just in case.
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Postby zippetydude » Sun May 06, 2007 8:00 pm

Hi Ellen. CONGRATS!

Hey, I hope you didn't think I was being sarcastic saying you were taking the hard way. You two had just added in an additional ridge to go over, so I more or less assumed that Skyline had become entirely too easy for you and you were adding in extra challenges. :wink: In any case, nice job for a very long day on the trail.

I hope one of the photographers at the summit will send you a picture of your triumphant moment, however bruised and battered it might have been. In fact, I think the war wounds will make the pictures all the more memorable, as they will attest to just how hard it was to make it.

Incidentally, it's always a pleasure seeing you on the trail and talking online - such a fun, bright, tenacious personality.

So, what's your next challenge?

z
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Postby KathyW » Sun May 06, 2007 8:48 pm

Ellen: I didn't mean to make light of your injuries - I definately saw you before your injury near Coffman's Crag. All I saw was a scratch on your leg. It sounds like it was much worse later on. I hope you heal up fast.

Kathy
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Postby Ellen » Sun May 06, 2007 10:27 pm

Howdy Alan,

Thanks for your kind words. I am so envious of your offer of beer at the summit. I guess I'll just have to do C2C again and hope...

You left out the important part -- did you drink the Becks?

I can see the advertisement now -- "Summit San Jacinto from Palm Springs and receive a beer at the top." What an incentive :lol:

Howdy Z,

I thought your comment was hilarious. I told the other hiker about you and he was justifiably impressed. Thanks for your compliment. Since I can't keep up with you, I'm glad to have opportunity to talk on-line.

One of the people taking pictures is hiking the PCT from Mexico and said they'd post it on their web site. I'd love to have that momento.

Come to think of it, if too many people start going up Skyline, we could put up my picture to disuade them :lol:

New adventures -- I've never hiked the Grand Canyon. And, there's San Gorgonio from Vivian and along the ridge to Angelus Oaks. Come to think of it -- I haven't done most of the San Jacinto trails :wink:

Howdy Kathy,

No worries -- you are a kind person with a big heart 8) I look forward to reading your C2C report :D

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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My First c2c

Postby Cy Kaicener » Sun May 06, 2007 11:23 pm

Congratulations Ellen - Thats what I call true grit to go past the tram after experiencing all those scrapes. On my second c2c it took me longer getting back to the tram than going. I tried to take a short cut from the peak back to Round Valley and got lost. It took me more than an hour longer. There were no GPS's then. Sid Davis of the Sierra Club did a c2c before the tram was built and hiked out to Idyllwild. He was really good with map and compass and bushwhacking. My first one was just after the tram was built with Sid and the Sierra Club.
. Please visit my website at www.hiking4health.com for more information especially the Links.
http://cys-hiking-adventures.blogspot.com
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Postby magikwalt » Mon May 07, 2007 6:10 am

Congratulations Ellen! Sure glad someone made it. Its amazing how easy it is to catch a bad stumble up there. I took a nice fall less than 500 yards past the ranger station. Given my size most people nearby thought it was an earthquake. I think I saw someone take the cutoff you mentioned above 3200ft. As steep as it was it sure looked like a quad killer.

All this talk about beer at the summit may have given me the incentive I need to finish out. Great hike and great summit post!

Walt
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Postby AlanK » Mon May 07, 2007 7:49 am

Ellen -- In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I did drink it. On subsequent trips, I have had to wait until reaching the tram station at the end for a tall cold one.
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