December 25, 2010

San Jacinto: Fortress of Solitude

Here's a slide show of my trip up San Jacinto Peak on Thursday. Speedster Brent and I went up the tram and then up the east face. Snowfall totals and icing were eye-popping higher up the mountain. Around Mountain Station and the ranger house, there was still probably a solid 2-3 feet of snow. The day was incredibly warm and windless. Snow turned gloppy as soon as the sun hit it, so skiing was on the challenging side. Amazing summit views, though, thanks to the clear air.

Standing on top of San J and looking down the north face reminded me that Snow Creek is simply one of the most magnificent big mountain routes in North America. Just don't get caught trying to climb or ski it! We went with the much easier (and legal) East Face descent. Note that rime on the summit boulders made it possible to ski directly off the true apex of San Jacinto—a rarity. Enjoy!

Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow

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