Mount Baldy and The Climb For Heroes 2017

For being so close to suburbia, this hike has a ‘far away land’ feel to it, and I’ll go so far as to say that, at times, it feels like being in a National Park.

Mount San Antonio, aka Mount Baldy, is known for many things, one of them being the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. With an elevation of 10,064 feet, and elevation gain of about 3,900 feet in an 11-mile out and back hike, this mountain makes for no easy summit. Given these facts, it’s easy to see why Mount Baldy is number three on the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge list. The ‘challenge’ is an annual opportunity to summit six of the highest and most prominent peaks in Southern California. Jeff Hester, who runs the website, SoCalHiker, hosts this challenge each year. SoCalHiker is also a major contributor in the annual Mount Baldy Climb For Heroes event. Climb For Heroes is an event hosted by the Heroes Project, a charity that raises money for our US military veterans. Continue reading

The Explain of Elevation Gain

In hiking, the amount of elevation gain, or to quote Wikipedia, cumulative elevation gain, or simply gain, is what makes a trail steep, really steep or not so steep.

In hiking nomenclature, there is the oft-incomprehensive term that is ‘elevation gain’. I’ve read a few blogs on this, and also Wikipedia’s entry, but some of these write-ups read like an episode out of physics 101. Elevation gain shouldn’t be that hard to figure out, and I think it’s very important to understand. Your hike could possibly become unexpectedly unpleasant because you misunderstood the amount of elevation gain on a given trail. So, in this ‘I Hike Far’ installment, I would like to see if I can come up with my own layman’s version of ‘elevation gain explained’.
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From The Fountain To The Falls

It’s a fun event and it’s pretty cool to see the younger kids doing this.

It’s a 10k run. No, it’s a 10k walk. No it’s a 10k trail run. No, it’s a 10k hike. Well, it’s actually all of these, and which description applies, really depends on how you tackle it. The event is called the Monrovia Fountain to the Falls Run/Walk. Even though it’s considered a 10k race, it’s actually closer to 7 miles. What makes this event rather unique is that the route starts out about halfway through the Old Town district of Monrovia, California at the public library. It is here that you will find a large and beautiful water fountain, hence half of the inspiration for the name of this event. It then ascends up Myrtle Avenue through several streets worth of foothill neighborhoods (with an abundance of turn of the century craftsman homes, and ‘old money’ mansions), and then enters into Monrovia Canyon Park. The route through the park then becomes a hike, or trail run, for the last 1.5 miles on the trail to Monrovia Canyon Falls. The falls, though somewhat smaller than the falls on neighboring waterfall trails, are an impressive two tier type. The City of Monrovia hosts this event on the second Saturday morning in May, which makes for perfect timing when the falls are flowing very nicely.

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Santiago Peak – The One That Got Away

My incomplete hike to Santiago Peak was not the most pleasant and rewarding hike I’ve ever done. I chalk it up to a good learning, and hiking experience.

It’s more commonly referred to as Santiago Peak. I’ve recently discovered that it’s also called Saddleback Mountain. I refer to it as one helluva hike. I have had the good fortune so far to summit every peak that I’ve set out to do, except for Santiago Peak. I missed it by about one mile. Maybe it just wasn’t my day, or perhaps I wasn’t physically capable of making it to the top. Maybe both? Whatever the case, it’s a tough 16-mile hike with about 3,900 feet of elevation gain. It’s also the highest point in Orange County at 5,687 feet, and located in the Trabuco Canyon area of the Cleveland National Forest.
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Here’s to Another Great Year of Hiking!

And it’s the invaluable advice, input, and really just hiking with them, that has made me not just a better hiker, but also someone who sees more value in experiences rather than material things.

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Today marks the anniversary of one full year of putting some quality, consistent hiking into my lifestyle. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always hiked off and on throughout the years but never on a regular basis. I regret that a little bit because I’ve discovered that we have some very beautiful mountains right here in SoCal. Then there’s Zion National Park, which I have been visiting annually for the past 10 years. Continue reading

You’ve Reached The Trailhead

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

-Unknown

Welcome! As I approach the anniversary date (May 7, 2016) of my first full year of hiking on a regular basis, I’ve come to the conclusion that this interest-turned-to-passion is not going to go away. And with this announcement comes, well…..This! My own chunk of wilderness on “The Net”. Here, I plan to fill it with “photologues” of some of the most interesting hiking experiences I’ve had, commentary of all sorts, via my blog, and reviews of some of the gear I use, and am interested in possibly using. As you may have experienced yourself, many people out there are already doing this, so it will be my goal to present my version in a new, intriguing, and engaging way. So, once again dear visitor, welcome! And please return often. The trail is always open.