C2C October 20th Trip Report

General Palm Springs area.

C2C October 20th Trip Report

Postby hawkbill666 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:35 pm

We arrived at the Desert Museum at 4am, to find a surprising amount of hikers and a surprising lack of cars. Yes, I get it, we cant park their anymore.
In my humble amount of 4 C2Cs over 8 years I have never seen so many hikers, not even close. There were multiple groups of 10 or more! I know this October set of weekends are the most popular but its also clear the word is out on this hike and mountain.

That put us on trail at 4:22am. First thing that surprised me in the initial hour was route finding problems….I didn’t really have them before, but I struggled quite a bit. I also saw a new (new to me) set of “rock dots” that I am not sure were helpful.
Rescue 1
Rescue 2
Flatrock!
Traverse

Saddle 8:06. For you hardcores, that is wimpy I know. But for us irregulars with only a couple of months of prep and looking at the closer side of 60, I will take it! Especially because when we did it five years ago we were 8:01. And our pace was direct, but not rushed. We did stop to make a call to my hiking partners son who was on leave from bootcamp - so we enjoyed outselves and took small breaks and again, I will take that time. At the ranger station I became ill, like gonna hurl…and then I just felt off, dizzy…just not right. Blood O2 was 90-93, that should be it… No indication of this on the way up, no overheating, good water, food and salt maintenance….I didn’t have in my heart to quit so just told my partner lets walk towards the summit for 30 minutes and see what happens. Unforgettably that next three miles is my least favorite part of the hike as its very similar to any old NW trail. But I felt better and better. As I got better my hiking partner got weaker and his Blood o2 was 80! I watched him carefully and coaxed him along. Real food helped as he had been eating nothing but gels.
Made it! Some marines were celebrating something at the top so we asked if we could get in on the flag action.

Just as we left the summit we ran into a scout troop with some poor cubscount throwing up – altitude sicknesss. Verified his blood O2 was 77! They were headed down and he was fine as we spent some time with them and he lightly ate and rehydrated. (Since my first c2c 8 years ago I got certified in wilderness 1st aid, just level 1, but it helps)

Down to Wellmens and to the tram I again experienced ALOT of people. It was at times a parade of headlamps when all previous times it was me and my partner ALONE all the way down.
I did well to Wellmens, and then was just DEAD tired. To tired to talk kind of thing, just look straight forward and trying to manage myself. Walking dead to the 400 foot concrete ramp, which killed me. Every year I have no problem with that ramp, even feeling like I have so much more and want a few more hours of hiking. This time, I was done and had to stop half way up!
But I will be back :D

What a beautiful hike and mountain.
Thank you to those of you on this forum for taking good care of it!

Scott
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Re: C2C October 20th Trip Report

Postby guest » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:10 am

Nice TR Hawkbil,

The crowds explains why the trail looks So hammered in some areas, especially the needless, lazy little short-cuts that gain nothing, just increase impact & errosion.
The white dots are confusing in areas, must be some local who decided that his way was IT, and sprayed away.
It's tough to manage energy & eat & drink enough to feel good the whole way, even on Skyline.
I've had days where it just felt crappy a good portion, others where it was smooth sailing.
I do think dehydration & electrolyte exhaustion is a big contributor.
Congrats on your climb!

BTW, anybody going up in the near future, (and who knows the trail); the area around 4,500 ft. (top of what some of us called the orange hill, where the Mar's Gutter & nasty short-cut called Spanky are), we're losing the old trail just past these. If one stays on the trail & heads over by Tahquitz Cyn, (south), once topped out there, the trail drops Down a few short switchbacks before a nice, 100 yd level area before the next climb, (Deer tr). Now, the new trail stays high on that ridge, (nice views), but gains unnecessarily, and encourages other cuts on that hill. Maybe place some rocks etc. to get folks, (who don't know better), that the Real trail is below.
Thxs
ss
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Re: C2C October 20th Trip Report

Postby Ed » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:40 pm

Congratulations, Hawkbill! You earned it! Sorry to hear about the crowds and dots. I've not been up this season yet, so I have not seen them. I tend to go on weekdays, so I miss the big crowds. Paint on the trail annoys the hell out of me.

Guest, I've timed the 'old trail' and 'new trail', can't see much difference, though I prefer the old trail. I don't think most people are even aware of the old trail. When people see me going that way, they look puzzled. When they ask me which way is 'the right way', I tell them it is 'down then up' or 'up then down', and about the same. That seems to simply confuse them.
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Re: C2C October 20th Trip Report

Postby zippetydude » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:09 pm

I agree, cool TR!

As far as those dots, some of them (in the section just above the museum after you pass the sign that says Trail/Steeper Route) are actually marking a very steep shortcut, not the trail at all. I know because I followed them last weekend deliberately to see if they were a good indication of the main trail. They are not. I'll see if I can remove the ones that are not even on the trail in the next couple of weeks.

z
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Re: C2C October 20th Trip Report

Postby guest » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:58 pm

Hi Ed & Zip,
Not to hijack Hawkbil's thread, but the trail really has some issues in areas right now.
Zip, I have a feeling the white dots are someone regular, (who may paint them back after removal), but it's doing a diservice to those struggling up an already steep trail, (they may never have been on), in the dark.
Ed, I'm glad your able to put a few footprints on the old trail when possible, a few of us here, like Doreen, Cynthnia, Hal, Florian & others, are sad to see that old trail get little, if any use.
I'm not on it much now, but I used to cover over the beginning of a new trail, to keep folks on the regular ones, but the hammerheads / "have to brag about new PR" peeps are only concerned about reaching the top, too bad. And, the trail will get harder & more abused as the years go by.
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Re: C2C October 20th Trip Report

Postby Ed » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:55 pm

zippetydude wrote:As far as those dots, some of them (in the section just above the museum after you pass the sign that says Trail/Steeper Route) are actually marking a very steep shortcut, not the trail at all. I know because I followed them last weekend deliberately to see if they were a good indication of the main trail. They are not. I'll see if I can remove the ones that are not even on the trail in the next couple of weeks.


At least there is a sign there, encouraging people to take the real trail, not the shortcut. I know many people on this discussion board confidently take the shortcut and prefer it, but I think there is some danger there if you are not surefooted. Toppling over backwards in the dark, for example. Taking the shortcut once or twice convinced me that with my wobbly knee I am better off on the real trail. On the other hand, if you take the real trail and are a first timer, you can be confused by the downhill section. I was the first time up, and since then have had to assure other people a number of times that it is indeed the right trail.
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