Saturday, April 16, 2016

Fuller Ridge

Day 11 - April 16
Mile 179.3 to 193 plus 3 mile side trail
up/down: 4300/4100


Fuller Ridge strikes fear into many hikers, especially this early in the season. The ridge protrudes to the northwest of San Jacinto Peak and has several miles of trail on north facing slope that holds icy snow. We watched the reports from the past few days and felt if we hit it in the afternoon while the snow was soft all would be good. And so it was. 

First we had to get from our camp in Idyllwild back to the PCT. There are a number of approaches and we chose one that would get us very close to the end of the fire closure. The Devils Slide Trail would work but the trailhead was about 4 miles from town. As luck would have it our friend Alison came down from Kern to have breakfast with us in town this morning, and be our angel of transportation. We really appreciate the effort Ali, thanks again. 



We started hiking in a stiff cold wind, remnant from the last few days of high winds. Thankfully by the time we reached the PCT a few miles later the wind was tolerable and stayed so all day. From the we moved north toward the San Jacinto summit and skirted around the west side with incredible views back toward Taquitz Peak. We reached last water for 20 miles at mile 186 and tanked up our storage for dry camp and hiking most of tomorrow. Next up - the infamous Fuller Ridge. 







There were some tough sections with plenty of snow to cross on exposed slopes but overall it was anticlimactic. We made the end of the ridge and dropped down some elevation before finding a campsite. From Fuller Ridge to the bottom tomorrow is a 7000 foot descent - the largest single descent on the entire trail. I'm sure our quads will have something to say to us before tomorrow is over. 

Birding was excellent all day with montane species typical of our Sierra. Lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Chickadees, nuthatches, VG Swallows, and even some Red Crossbills. 




San Jacinto Peak from camp

There is another fire closure coming, the 2015 Lake Fire south of Big Bear. I'll talk more about that tomorrow. 

13 comments:

  1. I don't know why, but I get chills when I read your blog posts. Just excellent.

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  2. Agreed. You're doing an excellent job of posting daily. Terrific writing, pictures. Nice!

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    1. Thanks guys. It's hard to keep you thoughts together after a long day hiking, camp chores, etc.

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  4. Tell Susan she has a branch head meeting at mile 652. Lol

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    1. Susan says only if there is lots of pizza and a car ride involved. :-)

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  5. Hi Bob & Susan... Am following your blog with great interest and admiration. My wife and I are in the UK and our boy and his friend set off on the PCT about the same time as you. They were at 'Mikes Place' whilst you were there. They are Tom & Josh walking at a similar pace it seems so look out for them on your travels. Fantastic blog. Well done to you both. Happy walking.

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    1. Hi! I saw the boys at Idlyllwild campground day before yesterday. Haven't seen them since but will keep an eye open. Thanks for coming along with us. Cheers!

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    2. I saw the boys yesterday afternoon the Mojave River dam. They are looking well, fit, and happy. Tom blew by me this morning with a mission to make it to McDonald's near interstate 15 by dinner time. 😀

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  6. It was my pleasure to help. I am looking forward to bringing you lots of agua over the next few weeks. Be well and safe. Heat wave looms. But I have a strong feeling of lots of rain the last week in April.

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  7. I'm loving your blog! I turned my boyfriend on to it too. We lovingly call you the Bird Nerds. Fuller Ridge is super beautiful and you got some great pix! Have a blast out there!

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