San Jacinto Peak
By: Graham Stephenson
VIA SNOW CREEK
Described as "very strenuous", this particular event was not disappointing. In probably what is an extremely bad year for such a climb, 12 climbers led by Eric Schumacher and myself, made the summit(everyone), which was somewhat remarkable in itself.
Using a car shuttle from the bottom of the Palm Springs tramway, we left the Palm Springs Water Company parking lot at the foot of Snow Creek at about 6:15 AM Sat. The day we picked to climb was extremely hot, resulting in several persons getting a good case of/or leg cramps.
Using the usual Snow Creek route, we made several very high class 3 detours around waterfalls. The snow started very high on the mtn which was very soft during daylight and didn't require the use of crampons. Icy was the condition after dark. The first of the climbers made the summit in about 12 hours and the tail-enders arrived about 12:20 midnight. Three participants spent the nite in the near-summit cabin while three others stayed near the lodge by the top of the tram. The remaining six souls were able to make the last car(garbage trip) down the tram. All reached the parking lot by 8:30 AM Sunday. In the future, emphasis should be put that the climb is exceptionally strenuous, and should be done only in relatively heavy snow years. All climbers should be screened for physical condition and ability as the trek necessitates the best of both-especially on a hot day.
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