Friday Photo – October 27, 2017

Clouds, they make a painting out of the sky.

~Marty Rubin

Today’s Friday Photo is the fifth of a six-week theme to commemorate my completion of the 2017 Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. Each week will feature a photo I took on the trail to the peak, or from the summit of the peak itself.

This photo was taken from the summit of Mount San Jacinto Peak (Peak Number Five in the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge). This view is looking in a westerly direction. Even though it was after 4:00 pm PDT, the sun was still quite high, but still cast some nice cloud shadows for this shot. Through the shadows the lower mountains are dwarfed by the second tallest peak in Southern California (elevation 10,834 feet). Further still is a seemingly small body water called Lake Perris, a local boating and recreation spot in Moreno Valley.

This was the one hike that took three planned attempts to complete. The first attempt was via the Devil’s Slide Trail. I did all the necessary preparations for the hike but apparently still had a trace of a cold left in me. The end result was an asthmatic type of breathing condition and low energy and strength in my legs. I had to abort the mission after about two miles and headed back down. Very frustrating to say the least but it’s very important to listen to your body, especially when doing a difficult hike like this.

The second attempt was work-related. In a nutshell, I was granted the time off to do the hike on a Friday with a few of my fellow hikers, but wound up not being able to leave due to a staffing problem  Strike two!

My third attempt was both successful and sublime. Even though the Tram Route is the shortest route to the summit at 10.5 miles round trip, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain, it still qualifies as a legitimate hike for the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. Some give this route less recognition however, because you take the tram up to the trailhead, and it shaves off about 1,700 feet of elevation gain when compared to the Devil’s Slide (16 miles RT) and Marion Mountain (11.5 miles RT) routes which include it. Not having done those other routes, I found this hike to be a very rewarding experience. This was one of the most beautiful hikes that I’ve done in and out of the six-pack! The tram ride alone is unbelievable, especially if you go back down at night. And Mountain Station is a beautiful lodge with a bar, restaurants, and amenities. The Round Valley trail to the summit is definitely not easy, and it meets up with the Devil’s Slide trail, at around 3 miles, at Wellman Divide. From there, the remaining 2.25 miles to the summit is the same route.

~ Photo Taken September 1, 2017, 4:10 pm

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