With a few days’ break between Atmospheric Rivers 11 and 12 this storm season, Beth and I headed back out in the mountainous wilderness of the Angeles National Forest. This time, we drove for just over an hour to the trailhead of Hike 3 from Trails of the Angeles, “Sierra Pelona.” The chapter on this outing recognizes it as appropriate for any season of the year but cautions, “not on a windy day.” Of course, we knew we would be ready for any wind that the pressure gradients would cast our way. Video below shows our survival at the turnaround bald ridge.
But before that … starting out, we had our first encounter of the year with people hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Our own plan today followed the PCT southbound for a few miles, with our turnaround at the wind-battered summit ridgeline. We met the first two members of this five-strong group within the first ten minutes of our climb. They had already had to leapfrog past some snow-packed inaccessible sections in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, and neither Beth nor I believe that the Sierra Nevada range will be passable anytime in the next two to four months, so we think they will have to bypass a few more sections before reaching the Canadian border. But the most recent problem they had was that they tried to spend the night at the same place where we had warning of winds. They must not have slept much.
We had lots of beautiful green hills, a couple of sections through oak groves that formed tunnels for the trail, a dripping spring, and lunch in a tree-sheltered nook below the windy ridge. We made it back to the car a few hours after our start and then had a nice drive home.