Unlike most of the American population, my husband and I were far from relaxing, BBQ-ing and drinking this Memorial Day weekend. Instead, we were testing our mental grit summiting California’s third highest peak: Mt. San Jacinto.
SAN JACINTO PEAK
Elevation: 10, 834ft
Distance: 19.50 miles
Climbing: 5,080 ft
Trailhead: Deer Springs Trail, Idyllwild
**PERMIT ONLY (for day hikes and overnight camping)**
Wilderness Camping Permit:
– $5.00 per person (payable by check or money order)
– For more info: click here for a step-by-step guide from The Hiking Guy
With most of the snow melting off, I decided last month to resume my personal quest to summit all six mountains of the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge I previously completed Cucamonga Peak and Mt. Baldy last September and October respectively.
My sweet husband, Ben, accompanied me, letting me wake him up at 4:15AM, just so we can make the 2.5 hours drive east to Idyllwild from Los Angeles. We packed our bags the night before and made the rookie mistake of over-packing at least 10 lbs of unnecessary weight.
We began our trek at around 8AM at Deer Springs Trail in Idyllwild, and we ascended up the mountain for at least 9 grueling hours. The trail itself, despite the constant incline, was not unfamiliar to me. Mt. Baldy, Cucamonga Peak, and Havasupai have prepared for distance and the incline, but having 30lbs extra weight on my back made each step a test of my mental stamina. Ben carried most of the load, including our tent and additional water—which, in the end, was the defining error that made the hike so torturous. We could’ve gone without the extra water weight considering there was a heavy-flowing stream near the campgrounds. Rookie mistake #2!
The journey up to 10,834 ft was by far the most challenging climb I’ve ever done to date. It was a physical and mental test of grit. I wanted to throw in the white flag and quit so many times, but what’s even more difficult for me is to imagine how I would’ve done it without Ben. Throughout our entire trek, as I cried and moaned and complained about my thighs burning, my hips feeling sore, and tummy grumbling, he remained kind, supportive and patient, cheering me on and offering words of encouragement, despite the pain he was also experiencing. I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect man to marry.
San Bernardino Peak next?
Thanks for reading!