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Trail Report: Cactus to Clouds

February 14, 2012

Trip Dates: Feb 9th-10th

Intrepid trip leader Ari Davis (CMC ’13) led a group of ambitious hikers on a quest to summit Mt. San Jacinto. Their Feb 10th summit bid was ultimately unsuccessful due to heavy snow conditions. Hikers reported sparse snow on the trail beginning around 3,000 ft. By the tram stop at 8,000 ft., deep snow and dire warnings from the rangers forced the hikers to admit defeat. Though their objective remained just out of reach, the day was an overall success. Davis reports trip highlights of playing in the snow, and the awesome experience of looking out over the desert floor from a snowy vantage. He also reports a sighting of a rare breed of elderly Palm Springs hikers, who sped past the group of young athletes to take a smoke break, and were sighted again at the tram stop getting their drink on.

The greatest snafu was not the snow, but rather the lack of available camping at the base of the hike in Palm Springs. He advises future hikers to figure out camping beforehand, and anticipate 12-13 hours to make the ascent.

**If planning to undertake this trip, please mentally prepare for the shock of the luxurious mid-mountain lodge serviced by a tram and overrun with glamorous Palm Springs locals and tourists after ten miles of intense climbing through the wilderness.

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