Snowshoe Backpack - San Jacinto

Saturday February 25 - Sunday February 26, 1995

What: A mid-winter backpack/snow camp in the San Jacinto mountains. We will take the tram to Long Valley at 8500 ft. From there we will put on snowshoes and backpack to Round Valley and possibly from there to Tamarack Valley, only a half mile further. Distance is approximately 2.5-3.0 miles one way with 800 feet of elevation gain. Although this is an easy to moderate trail hike in summer, it should be considered moderate to strenuous in winter on snowshoes with a pack full of winter gear.

Where: Palm Spring Aerial Tramway, off Highway 111 on the way to Palm Springs.

A Note on Equipment: The San Jacinto mountains are typically quite cold in winter, so if you are not experienced at snow camping I encourage you to ask Joe or Jack about what equipment and clothing is suitable.

Snowshoes (Skis): If you wish to use skis, you must first talk to Joe & convince him you are experienced enough to handle them safely on possibly icy terrain with a full pack; otherwise, plan to use snowshoes which are much easier to use even without prior experience. Rent from a local outdoor store such as A-16, Sport Chalet or REI. Make sure there is nothing broken, or ready to break on them before leaving the store. The rentals tend to be heavily used (and abused) and it may be difficult or impossible to make repairs on the trail. The best known and highly recommended brand is Sherpa although there are new brands on the market now probably as good.

Other Required Equipment: Sturdy mountaineering boots (can be rented), gaiters, layered warm clothing (no cotton please), warm hat and gloves, sunglasses and/or goggles, sunscreen, 1 or 2 quarts of water, remaining ten essentials, one breakfast, one dinner, trail lunches for two days, tent, warm sleeping bag, good ground pad, cooking equipment including sufficient fuel (white gas is best) to melt snow for water. Ski poles are useful for maintaining balance. Don't forget medications. Pack weight can be reduced by sharing tents and cooking equipment - we can work out the logistics before going up the tram.

Optional Equipment: Camera. Anyone wishing to bring ice axes or crampons should first speak to Joe or Jack.

Trip Description: We will meet at the bottom of the tram 8:00 Saturday morning. The cost of the Tram is approximately $15.00. We will then backpack at an easy pace to the vicinity of Little Round Valley, set up camp and relax in the afternoon. Sunday there will be an optional climb of San Jacinto or one of the other peaks in the area if conditions permit. Leader permission is required for the climbing option.

Reservations and Carpools: Reservations required, there is a limit of 8 people by permit. The leaders will assist in coordinating carpools.

Weather: The trip will be canceled in the event of a storm, but will still go in moderate weather. Be sure to call if there is any doubt.


Joe Wheeler(H) (310) 430-2888; Note: Joe will be gone from 2/4-2/29.


Jack Cook(W) 333-5214 (H) (310) 371-2706 E-Mail: JCook:El Segundo