A training hike for our coming Mammoth Lakes visit was badly overdue, as I haven’t done any “serious” hiking since my knee injury last year in November in the desert. I haven’t had my ACL rupture fixed because the surgery is kind of scary (to me!) and the recovery time is pretty darn long (6-8 months). The cartilage damage however has “fixed itself” (probably just worn in by now…) and I can fully move the knee again. The lower temperatures this weekend were a good opportunity to put myself to the test, in multiple ways. 🙂
I’ve hiked Tahquitz Peak before – well, almost. In December 2011, I approached it from Humber Park via the Devils Slide Trail. It was snowing up in Idyllwild, and as I was nearing the peak everything was in the clouds. As I had never been there before I couldn’t see the historic fire lookout at the peak (or anything else), and the trail just vanished in at least a foot (30cm) of fresh snow. So I turned around and went back. When I looked at my GPS tracklog at home I saw that I would have reached the peak within 3 minutes! 🙂
This time my friend Hans and I picked the approach via South Ridge Trail – this is both shorter (11km), and as it turned out also more scenic than the approach from Humber Park (15km). The wind was pretty strong and cool, and when we reached the peak, chatted with the volunteer ranger and enjoyed the views, clouds moved in from the west. That was quite a treat.
When we first arrived at the trailhead the sky was all blue and clear. I decided to not bring the camera. I didn’t really feel like hauling the extra 1.6kg (D800 and the 24-120VR) up the mountain in these conditions, I just wanted to have a nice feel-good hike. I made some snapshots with my phone and uploaded them to Instagram. Here’s the gallery:
Sidenote: when I visited Germany’s honorary consul in San Diego two weeks ago I learned that there are 90000 Germans living in and around San Diego. It was no actual surprise anymore that we promptly ran into a fellow German at Tahquitz Peak – hello, Florian from La Mesa. 🙂
Last not least, since WordPress.com doesn’t allow iFrames so instead of a fancy map, here’s a plain old boring and simple link to the tracklog of our hike on Everytrail: Tahquitz Peak via South Ridge Trail