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snow camp report
Total posts: 1134
Joined: 49 year(s) ago
Posted 10:58 AM 1/17/2005

We just concluded our trip on the North Side of San Gorgonio, yesterday.

It was just a marvelous trip.  Of course, the thing that really makes such things, is the people, and we had a great group of 6 strong hikers.  Second, it was perfectly clear weather.  Actually warm during the day.  Probably about 20 at nite, but we didn't measure.

The parking lot had clear spaces, so parking was not a problem.  There were probably 10 cars there when we arrived.  We got one of our typical "crack of noon" starts, about 11:20, and headed up on the generous snow.  The trail was totally buried, the entire way.  This actually presented some problems, as there were divergent paths of various skiers, and snowshoers.  We ended up on a fireroad that was heading the wrong direction, which two of us realized from being there before.  We simply headed the right direction, and found the meadows for which we were searching.  So nice to have navigational confidence, plus we got to see some pristene areas. 

One nice thing:  we ran into no less than 3 other groups of people who are ODC members, some I knew, some I didn't.  We also missed Kimberley's group that was also up there.  There were a few others, but not many.

We ended up above South Fork meadows, at a reasonable level spot, not too far from water, so we didn't have to melt snow.

The snow surface was powder, but 3 inches down, it was boilerplate ice.   To construct our cooking area, we had to use an ice axe to be able to dig down.

One little new trick:  I brought along a thing that is designed to start fires, sort of a mini "pine mountain log", that is sawdust impregnated with wax.  We set it on a random green branch on the snow, and lit it.  It gave us a nice little campfire for about 3/4 of an hour.  quite light.  I'll definitely use in the future. 

This area should be good for snowshoeing and snow camping for the next month, I'd guess.