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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,193

    TR - Night mission hike on PCT

    So I went for a pretty cool hike weekend before last. Night mission.

    With Covid, fires and forest closures this year Iíd have to be creative to do my annual PCT backpack. Dispersed and backcountry camping are currently prohibited in all Socal national forests. But I noticed a full moon was coming up, and figured if I hiked through the night then it isnít camping if you donít stop to set up camp. Temps looked good and I had a reasonable route picked out that looked mostly doable in one push. Thought I might need a nap around sunrise which would make the route doable. The route would be PCT from Fuller Ridge above Idyllwild and Palm Springs, south to Fobes Saddle.


    Headed up mid afternoon and dropped the moto at the end of the hike on Fobes Ranch Rd. The drove up Black Mtn Rd to Fuller Ridge. Had a nap, caught an awesome sunset and at my burrito.




    The full moon was almost as spectacular as the sunset




    With the full moon no lights were needed for much of the hike, pic taken using Pixel phone night sight




    Fuller ridge is a pretty nice hike. I recalled it being overgrown but didnít seem like it going up. I wasnít going super fast so it took around 3 hrs to get to the trail intersection at the top of the ridge. Trail got real nice from there, like a dirt sidewalk




    Uneventful hike around past Strawberry trail camp and intersections for Marion Mtn, Deer Springs and Seven Pines trails that climb up from Idyllwild. Night view of Idyllwild and Tahquitz Peak from PCT above Suicide Rock:




    I passed Junction Saddle around 330am and thought Iíd seen headlamps on the trail below, heading for San Jacinto summit for sunrise. Starting to see hints of first light as I reach the corner to turn south around Red Tahquitz peak




    Iíve seen sunrise here a few times, it is always spectacular




    Looking down the desert divide towards the Santa Rosa mountains, Salton Sea in the distance




    This area burned in 2013 and 2018, leaving some lonely snags






    The sun finally makes an appearance




    I love how the trail traverses the spine of the ridge here. So rugged, with amazing views off each side




    Morning golden hour








    The rockfall below Antsell Rock is still there. Still sketchy to pass, even with the climbing rope someone installed




    Rare patch of trees further south




    After a number of miles peppered with downed trees and overgrowth, the trail gets nice again towards the end for me at Fobes Saddle.




    The final miles took longer than I thought as the trail seemed to stretch on and on with some extra climbs that didnít seem to register much in the elevation profile.

    Finally hit Fobes Saddle around 1030 as it was starting to warm up, and then it was a quick drop down to the moto. Felt good the whole time, never even felt tired until I got home. Feet felt good, knee was bugging me a bit the last 6-8 miles but not terrible.

    This was a pretty rad way to do the hike. I barely needed lights even under heavy tree cover I could pretty much see the trail. Turned lights on for descents mostly so I wouldnít twist an ankle. Temps were great, the only time it felt cold was when I had some wind exposure up on Fuller Ridge, otherwise it felt like shorts and t-shirt weather, mid to upper 50s which is not bad for 8-9k elevation in November. Iíll definitely be doing something like this again at some point.

    Stats 24.9mi, +4100/-6,800ft. Time around 15 hrs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,153
    I feel like I get out there but man, you do some cool shit. Thanks for putting these out there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11,187
    i could feel the warmth of that sunrise. thanks for sharing.
    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC burbs
    Posts
    2,253
    Classy way to work around the closure! Those sunrise pics are $$, there nothing quite like the feeling of watching your surroundings slowly emerge outside of the little bubble of headlamp light...
    Your post makes me want to put together a mini-TR of some of the dumb hikes I did in the Uintas this summer when I couldn't ride.
    "Your wife being mad is temporary, but pow turns do not get unmade" - mallwalker the wise

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,193
    Do it!

    I've taken my bike for a few walks in the Uintas. Cool place. Interested to see what you got up to!

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ghlight=uintas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    6,984
    Good stuff. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    144
    Great post, I love that section. I used to live in Idyllwild and helped rebuild that trail after the 2013 fire. This time of year is so perfect up there, I'd be trying to move back except I got hooked on skiing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    140
    Approve

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Spokane/Schweitzer
    Posts
    5,713
    Very cool hike and beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    32,138
    Love that view of the Salton Sea!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,584
    awesome photos! Nice work on the timing too, because now covered in snow.

  12. #12
    very cool photos. gloomy at first, and then warm. I felt the whole range of emotions. cool!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    144
    Quote Originally Posted by Idyllwild View Post
    Approve
    Username checks out!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    44
    Gorgeous photos! Thank you for sharing.
    Shake it, shake it Sugaree...

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