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In anticipation of Airsoft Camp 2014 in August, this is part of the training plan for our airsoft team. You can use this plan for your own training.
These hikes will be up Mount San Gorgonio via the Vivian Creek Trail. The hikes begin at 6,000 feet elevation, and end at 11,500 feet elevation. There will be two hikes in July. This is a 7.8 mile hike (15.6 mile round trip).
The goal is to be at the Vivian Creek Trailhead and ready to hike by 5:30 AM. (This time is not arbitrary, but based on experience.)
Our plan is to hike uphill to the summit of Mount San Gorgonio. A reasonable time to expect the uphill hike to take is 7 hours assuming we are not all seasoned hikers. If it takes longer, that's fine, however it is almost always imperative to be off of the summit by 2:00 PM at this time of year due to afternoon thunderstorms.
Each car needs a parking permit, so it is best to carpool, The National Forest Adventure Pass serves as parking permit. It is available at Big 5 sporting goods, the Mill Creek ranger station, and other places. You'll also need to get a wilderness permit at the ranger station. One wilderness permit allows 5 person and a dog to traverse the wilderness.
Fire danger is very high and likely to remain so throughout our training period, please be extremely careful with anything flammable, especially if you smoke!
Based on experience, here's what I recommend you bring:
1> Layered clothing -- (Chilly in morning, HOT in afternoon. There is NO shade above timberline , which is at 10,000 feet or so.)
3> Insect Repellent (mainly for the morning, optionally, you could just cover up) I have some and can share.
4> Approximately 5 to 6 liters of water (NOTE: Weighs 12 pounds) I personally freeze a couple of 90% full plastic bottles to have cold water at the hardest part of the hike.
5> Snacks (nothing heavy, perhaps trail mix)
6> Light lunch
7> Hat (You're going to sweat off your sunscreen)
8> Comfortable shoes or hiking boots (Recommended: gel insoles due to high impact descent)
9> One or two doses of advil/tylenol/aspirin, though aspirin may not be advisable at high altitude if you have high blood pressure. (Your knees may be KILLING you on the way back down, but it doesn't matter... you have to keep going. No one is going to carry you. I know, I've asked.)
Additionally, the National Forest Service recommends the following items:
2> Cel-phone, preferably with solar charger (There is service at most points on the mountain)
3> Chalk (I have no idea why, to draw a line around yourself if attacked by bear?)
4> flashlight, with extra batteries
5> Water purification tablets (wishful thinking this time of year I'd say)
6> First aid kit
Notes on the journey:
1> The trail is well marked, and getting lost is generally NOT an issue, as long as you stay on the trail.
2> Most people bring too much food and not enough water
3> The first 0.25 miles to the trail head from the parking lot is pretty easy. It seems farther than it is.
4> The next 1 mile (to Vivian Creek Campground) is pretty grueling as you hike up out of Mill Creek Canyon.
4> The next 3.6 miles (past the poorly named 'halfway' camp ground and the 'high creek' campground) are pretty laid back, with occasional steep rises, but nothing that is maintained over long distances.
5> The next 1.5 miles of switchbacks from high-creek to timberline is quite difficult. (You are now at a higher elevation than camp Ta Ta Pochon and training has ensued!)
6> The last 1.5 miles (it feels like 50) from timberline to the summit is hell on earth. You will question your existence at this point, and this is where you will truly be preparing yourself for August, as the piddly 7500 foot elevation will literally be a cakewalk after this. You will need to stop for breaks every minute or so. The lactic acid build-up in your muscles is apparently harder to deal with when there is less oxygen in your lungs. Your calves will feel like you just ran a mile every few hundred feet!
7> At the summit, there is a 'SWAG box' where people leave notes and mementos but nothing of value. You may wish to bring a pen and paper, and chronicle your accomplishment.
8> Since this hike will take us a while, there is a reasonable chance we could get rain and lightning on the way down. It's only super dangerous above timberline. The times I specify in this e-mail are good guidelines to staying safe! You could bring a plastic poncho if you're opposed to getting wet. The earlier we make it down, the less likely this is.
Expected Start Time: 5:30 AM
Expected Summit Time: 12:30 PM
Expected Descent Start: 1:00 PM (Latest possible 2:00 PM)
Expected Return to Vehicle(s): 5:30 PM (Latest possible 8:00 PM)
Experience says it takes about 2/3 of your hike time to ascend and 1/3 to come down.
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 03:07:14 +0400
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