I’m a big fan of goals, especially at the start of the new year. That said – I am terrible at keeping them. So SoCalHiker‘s Six Pack of Peaks Challenge sounded like just what I need. I am good at planning though, so I’ve been thinking about which routes and seasons I want to tackle each of the peaks.
So many choices here! There’s the route I did a year ago, fondly called The Goat Trail, which was very demanding but very beautiful. There’s short shuttle route we’ve aborted twice (first illness, then weather) that goes up Bailey Canyon, hits Jones Peak and then Wilson via the Toll Road. Or any of the trails from Chantry Flats. I’ve also come up the north side via the Rim Trail, but that trail was banked and murder on my knees. I wound up hitchhiking to the bottom. There’s also an 18-mile out and back on the Toll Road. How to choose? This will be the easiest to complete, as snow doesn’t stick around here.
This will be fun – I haven’t climbed this peak before. There isn’t as much choice here, so probably we’ll climb via Icehouse Canyon. Snow will determine the time of year we try this one.
Mt Baldy (officially Mt San Antonio)
A year or so ago I climbed this via Bear Creek, 6 miles up and 5800 ft of gain. It was harder than day hiking Mt Whitney – almost the same elevation gain but in half the mileage. I was thrilled to take the Ski Lift down. I summited because I could not will myself to tackle the steep downhill of back tracking! This time I’m thinking it will be a loop out of Manker Flats. Unless I save it for last, and then maybe I’ll be masochistic enough to try Bear Creek again.
San Bernardino Peak
This one is also new for me. I’ll probably stick to the SoCalHiker recommend route.
I’ve done this once before as well. We took the tram up in winter and did a a snowshoe to the summit. It wasn’t exactly on trail, and it was a lot of fun.
I would really like to repeat this trip. And if not – maybe via Marion Mtn or from Idyllwild via the Devil’s Slide Trail, potentially as a backpacking trip. My friends have been wanting to do Cactus to Clouds for years now, but I don’t think I’m interested in summiting the same day I do the rest of that slog.
Last time I hiked this we did a lollipop route via Dollar and Dry Lakes. Since then, the Lake Fire has scarred the landscape.
My first choice is a Dollar/Dry Lake repeat, but as a backpacking trip. My second would be to try the Vivian Creek Trail.
I have until the end of October to complete all six. Can’t wait to see how these adventures shake out!