This hike was to get familiar with the C2C trail of Mt. San Jacinto for future attempts and the goal of reaching the summit in the future. The idea was to get an estimate on climbing rate, time, weather/climate change, terrain, trail maintenance, challenge level, and provisions/gear needed to successfully climb the mountain. Future attempts to follow.
-Start early like 2 or 3 am in cooler temp and to maximize daylight later. Have an adequate light source (headlamp w/ spare batteries)
-Start w/ minimal warming layers at the bottom to avoid overheating and only add as the altitude and atmosphere demands. Wear good footwear (hiking boots) for there are many ankle twisting points along the way.
-the trail is easily identifiable and easy to follow, the first mile or so has white spray painted dots every so often on the rocks identifying your path. Once you pass the white painted rock stating,"Long Valley 8 Miles" the paint indicators seem to stop but the trail is still easy to follow. Watch the trail....a lot of locals have etched shortcuts into the trail eliminating a lot of unnecessary switchbacks. However using the switchback shortcuts add double the gain for the distance needed to shortcut. where just sticking to the trail gives you the normal gradual gain but the unnecessary distance. Either way watch the trail at these points so you maintain your bearing and stay on course.
-Bring water! those that are conditioned can move requiring less but those less conditioned will need more. I went through a gallon by 4500 feet. The only place to get more along the way is at the tram station another 4000 feet up!......
-Make no mistake, when you take your first step on this hike the mountain immediately throws it's elevation gain against you and doesn't really let off until around 4500 feet and even that is brief. This point is indicated as the furtherest distance traveled on this map. The first 10 miles your climbing 8,000 and you feel it in every step forward so be mentally prepared to get fatigued.
-Constantly calculate your provisions (food, water) to assess how long you will be able to push. Along with this prior to stepping off ensure you know the sunrise and sunset times to include into your back planning. Weather is the other big issues, temperatures, wind, and lightning. ensure your packed for the elements and if you plan on crossing into the snow level that you have appropriate gear for you safety and freedom of movement. If you are ill equipped for the task or run out of provisions or feel at anytime your going to need to turn around, make sure you plan a drop dead time no matter where you are to turn around and descend. In a nutshell have a plan for the worst case scenario.
-Bring a good partner to share the experience and help motivate you up the trail.
-Most importantly, enjoy your climb and play it safe and smart.