Hiking out of Big Bear Lake felt good after an relaxing “zero day” I had there. The weather forecast was quite acceptable for hiking, a little bit cooler and windy but dry. So I hiked out till it get dark and found a decent campsite, not too far from a river. Surprisingly it started to rain that night and temps dropped down near to freezing point. Just had my wind-shirt with me for the next 110 miles so I knew the morning would be could. Woke up at 5:30 and started hiking about 6:00. I felt really cold in this gusts of wind with snow and rain. 3 hours further north I decided to make camp immediately because I was unable to tie my shoes because my fingers where frozen. Once in my sleeping bag I felt better and fell asleep. 4 ours later the rain stopped and the warmth of the sun woke me up. I dried my soaked gear and hiked on. I arrived late at Cajon Pass, there where no chances to camp at least you hike out for about 3 miles further. I had already 28 covered so this was not an option after that day. So I took a room at the motel there. Next day storm warnings and even more rain, stayed another day at the motel. The next 3 days where great, good hiking conditions again, climbed into the mountains over Mt. Baden-Powell, which was snow covered with difficult or no trail at all hiking which was challenging but very cool. Really big chunks of ice where falling off this huge pine trees all the time so a helmet would be better than an ice axe which I did not bring).
Funny fact is that I have not seen a single rattlesnake while hiking 455 miles in Southern California. Others hikers have seen them swallowing a rabbit!
In 2011 I hiked the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. It took me 130 days to cover the 4265km distance through the States California, Oregon and Washington. It was a journey of a lifetime here are some entries I made during townstops.
Ok so this is it, by now it is impossible to put all my thoughts about this trip in words. It just overwhelms me!
I have seen so many different scenerys in the last days and met fantastic people as I did not in years.
Let me tell a litte bit about the trail so far, the PCT is pretty well marked by now so I just needed the map one time where the trail was covered with snow in the San Jacinto Mountains. It is also well worn and maintained, some sections are also overgrown and covered with fallen trees but more than 95% was easy to follow.
Southern California is not that flat as I was thinking, you go up and down and it can happen that you climb just less than 2000 feet in a 14 mile fully exposed to the sun switchback section. San Felipe hills for example, but I climbed them late and the light in between the hills was just awesome.
I encountered high winds at San Jacintos descending Fuller Ridge where my tarp was frozen by the morning. Trees looked awesome all covered with ice which fell down by the first sunlight. Looked like crystals on this huge pinetrees. I also was kind of weak by the high altitude and too less food which gets more and more important.
Descending from Fuller Ridge was a 25 mile downhill from 9000 feet just down to the bottom of the desert floor. Which was mentally tough but felt great the next day and San Gorgonio Wilderness balanced it more than well.
I changed my allready worn out Salomon XA Pro which did not work in this terrain because of the rubber toe cup I love normally on mountain trails. But it made my toes blistering because of the poor ventilation. You can feel the heat comming from the ground. I switched to a really wide and perfekt ventilated pair of Montrails. Love them from the first mile on trail.
Had some issues with my Laufbursche Huckepack at the beginning, the shoulderstraps are to poor cushioned for my needs. I padded them with some parts of my Z-Lite wich works good. But it seems that I get used to it more and more. But I guess I have to switch the backpack in when I come to the Sierras. Will need more gear because of the huge amounts of snow.
It took me ages to get this gallery done!Just a small selection of pictures I made so far.