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SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/09/2011 21:12:52 MST Print View

Wind howling, I find myself drytooling up a desperate dihedral, doing everything I'm capable of to avoid taking a fall...a 35' runout on nickel and dime-sized edges. I get to a decent rest spot, getting one axe into a thin crack, fumbling with numb hands to pound in a knifeblade below it. Anchor in, I'm screaming for some slack but realize my partner can't hear me over the wind. Unable to pull up the rope to clip in, I give up, settling instead for a rest on my fifi and daisy chain. I lean out from the wall, spindrift blowing down my collar, forearms screaming...we're in over our heads. Trying to pull it together, I stare into the white above.

Suddenly I'm jerked back to reality, thrust into the present moment by an unexpected call.

"Good Morning! Can you take our picture?" a middle aged Korean hiker asks.
"Sure...", catching my breath.

Daydream over, it's just another beautiful "winter" run up Icehouse Canyon below Mt. Baldy.

Screw mountaineering sufferfests.

1

2

3

4
Microspikes and trailrunners freakin' rock.

5
Shirtless snow trailrunning! This is what we call "winter" 'round here. Strangely, everyone else was decked out like they were climbing K2.

6
Baldy from Icehouse Saddle (about 8 miles and +/- 7500 feet from the car).

7
Completely stoked on the day.

Going back to run Timber Mountain next week, maybe snow camping with my son.
Cheers, it's beautiful out there!

Edited by xnomanx on 01/09/2011 21:21:13 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/09/2011 21:16:49 MST Print View

That's sweet. A lot better than the sufferfest.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/10/2011 14:48:41 MST Print View

Craig - Cool trip reports. Keep em coming. On a winter run like that, what all are you taking with you?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/10/2011 15:21:02 MST Print View

I'm not taking much of anything. The weather was good and I'm moving fast so I didn't need much; in fact, I took too much.

On this run I had:
shorts
wool hat
windblocker gloves (didn't need them)
Patagonia cap 1 l/s (didn't wear for 30% of run)
Marmot Ion windshirt (didn't need it)
1 20 oz. water bottle
camera
NB MT101 shoes w/ injinji socks
Kahtoola Microspikes

I found what others were carrying to be pretty excessive; there were people up there in hardshells, down jackets, gaiters, mountaineering boots/w crampons, carrying axes, poles, snowshoes, and large packs...all for clear skies and sun. I guess people like playing "Himalayan Mountaineer" at the first sign of snow around here. But I guess the more you carry, the longer you take, and the more you need. If it takes you 3 hours to climb a 4 mile saddle, I guess you need all that stuff because you're out in the snow all day.

Edited by xnomanx on 01/10/2011 15:23:10 MST.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
SoCal Himalayans on 01/10/2011 15:30:03 MST Print View

"I found what others were carrying to be pretty excessive; there were people up there in hardshells, down jackets, gaiters, mountaineering boots/w crampons, carrying axes, poles, snowshoes, and large packs...all for clear skies and sun. I guess people like playing "Himalayan Mountaineer" at the first sign of snow around here."

If you live in SoCal, when else are you going to use all your mountain expedition gear??? :)

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
epic on 01/10/2011 16:15:29 MST Print View

Yeah I used to wonder what people were doing with all their fancy gear up there but then I realized that they just want to use all their toys they paid a lot of money for or practice with them before a bigger trip. I got an ice-axe for christmas and went up there just to play with it.

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Ice House Trail on 01/17/2011 09:53:30 MST Print View

I need to hit this trail already. I've done Baldy a bunch of times but never ice house.

You can get to cucamonga peak from Ice house right? Think I'll give it a shot soon.

Great trip report! Making me feel bad for staying at home, sick in bed lol : \

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: SoCal Himalayans on 01/17/2011 10:12:39 MST Print View

Do not under estimate the southern California mountains. They can through everything at you the Sierras can. Avalanches, white-out conditions, cold, ice chutes, etc.

Most of the time they are mild, as Craig's trip.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: SoCal Himalayans on 01/17/2011 12:21:05 MST Print View

"Do not under estimate the southern California mountains."

True. I know a guy that lost a toe to frostbite in an accident/storm on Baldy.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/17/2011 13:05:22 MST Print View

Craig, thanks for the info on gear you took!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/17/2011 17:13:42 MST Print View

I wonder what would have happened if you had tripped and sprained an ankle?

Cheers

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/17/2011 17:18:17 MST Print View

I wonder what would've happened if I had spilled coffee on my lap and driven off the mountain on the way up there.

Cheers.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/17/2011 17:48:31 MST Print View

> I wonder what would have happened if you had tripped and sprained an ankle?


glissade back?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/17/2011 18:04:58 MST Print View

"> I wonder what would have happened if you had tripped and sprained an ankle?"

Probably tape it, take an anti inflammatory, and self evacuate or continue the trip, depending on the seriousness of the sprain.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11" on 01/17/2011 19:53:07 MST Print View

I wonder what would have happened if you had tripped and sprained an ankle?

Eh.

What's a runner expected to do when the entire point of the activity is to travel light... very light, push the pace, build endurance and challenge the body? Do you carry a first aid kit? Pack a shelter in case he/she injures themself and can't make it out? Bring insulation for the night in the event you become stranded, injured, or lost? If you go down this route too far you venture right back into backpacking territory and it becomes something other than trailrunning.

Granted... a SPOT device, headlamp, and essentials only First Aid kit tucked away in a hydration pack might have been a safe(r) measure for a self-propelled alpine outing, but I think that quickly starts to encroach into the territory of backpacking and chips away at the core of what trailrunning is all about. Is one to pack a certain amount of gear when in the mountains regardless of the activity?

I think you nailed it Craig, the more you take on your walk, the slower you travel, and the longer you are exposed to the elements. Year round, there are endurance athletes and conditioned enthusiasts alike who run the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim in less than 24hrs., the fastest doing it in a smokin' 8hrs! Then you have others who take significantly longer (by choice and often physical limitation) to do so and due to the extended nature of their trip have to rely on overnight and multi-day permitting, food, stoves, shelters, insulation, and other "just in case" items and necessities to get them through their outing. These are tools necessary for the activity, this is backpacking.

Trailrunning is a sport, backpacking in most cases is... dare I say (gasp), not a sport and this is the big difference between the two.

Edited by Eugeneius on 01/17/2011 19:55:09 MST.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
SoCal Winter Epic, 1.9.11 on 01/17/2011 20:25:02 MST Print View

Eugene +1

When leaving my home each morning at 4:30 for my early road run I'm likely putting my life in greater danger then on the trip described in the OP. The roads are slick, its dark and drivers are less aware of someone being crazy enough to be out running in winter conditions at that time of day.

I carry nothing but the gear I'm wearing and to often do not even leave a note regarding which run I'm on (I need to do better with this).

I could slip and get hurt, or even worse I could get hit. Putting my trust in my others is not a comforting thought.

I need to run trails more often, even in adverse weather conditions, it's safer then the road.

Edited by thomdarrah on 01/17/2011 20:46:55 MST.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Re: Re: Re: SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11 on 01/17/2011 20:28:40 MST Print View

Craig said, "I wonder what would've happened if I had spilled coffee on my lap and driven off the mountain on the way up there."

Craig, youre right, get a spill proof cofee mug, its just not worth the risk man.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11" on 01/17/2011 20:35:35 MST Print View

Well said Eugene.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11" - what is sport? on 01/18/2011 16:35:35 MST Print View

"What's a runner expected to do when the entire point of the activity is to travel light... very light, push the pace, build endurance and challenge the body?"

+1 How light depends strictly on the individual's risk tolerance.



"Trailrunning is a sport, backpacking in most cases is... dare I say (gasp), not a sport and this is the big difference between the two."

What is your definition of "sport"? Just curious, because the dictionary definition refers to a physical activity with a defined set of rules, often engaged in competitively. This would seem to eliminate not only backpacking, but non competitive running, including trail running, hiking, climbing, et al, but not such physically demanding activities as curling and shuffle board. Go figure. My definition is a bit more inclusive: Any physical activity undertaken for fitness and recreation. Competition has nothing to do with it, indeed often detracts from it at some point.

Edited by ouzel on 01/18/2011 17:55:02 MST.

Mike W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: "SoCal Winter Epic,1.9.11" on 05/28/2011 13:59:32 MDT Print View

Nice photos.

A month before this trip report there was a day hiker who lost her life on Mt. Baldy. She was also traveling light. The Socal mountains can definitely bring the unexpected.

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-mt-baldy-missing-hiker,0,1025976.story