XEROX MOUNTAINEERING AND BACKPACKING CLUB

WRIGHTWOOD AREA EASY/BEGINNER CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Saturday, Feb 27, 1993

Meet at Vincent Gap - 9:30am

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We will be going on an easy cross-country ski trip (beginners and first-timers welcome), originating at Vincent Gap (on Angeles Crest Hwy 2, five miles west of Big Pines). We will continue westbound on the two-lane Hwy 2 (on skis, of course) and return the same way. The road is flat to slightly uphill (westbound), so you’ll be able to ski downhill on the return trip.

Vincent Gap is the eastern side of the ’winter closure’ point for Hwy. 2. Since we’ll be skiing entirely on the highway, no permits will be required. Expect to see many people between Wrightwood and Vincent Gap using the area for snow play, and be especially alert for drivers, pedestrians, and children who are dumbfounded by snow, and leave their common sense at home! Even if it has recently snowed, and the plowed roads will be narrow, that won’t stop people from parking at odd angles and partially blocking the road. Leave early, and give yourself ample time to arrive. You don’t want to be rushing through this section. Also, the last five miles of road is usually littered with small boulders dislodged by the melting snow on the southern slopes, and some delicate maneuvering may be required to keep you from becoming the victim of a flat tire (or worse!).

HOW TO GET THERE (part 1): From I-10 (Santa Monica/San Bernardino Fwy) or 60 (Pomona Fwy) east, take I-15 north. From 91 (Gardena/Artesia/Riverside Fwy) east, continue north on I-215 through San Bernardino to I-15 north. From San Diego or points south, take I-15 north.

HOW TO GET THERE (part 2): Now that you’re all going north on I-15, exit at Hwy 138 and turn left (towards Wrightwood). At the top of the grade, turn left onto Hwy 2. Pass through the town of Wrightwood, pass the two Mountain High ski areas at Big Pines, then continue on Hwy 2 to the end of the drivable road (Vincent Gap). The ski areas in Wrightwood advertise a 45-minute drive from San Bernardino, and a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles. Add another fifteen minutes to get from the ski area to Vincent Gap. Park anywhere, and meet us at the ‘Road Closed’ barricades.

SKI RENTALS: Cross-country skis, boots, and poles can be rented at many sports shops in the greater L.A. area. They can also be rented in Wrightwood (right along Hwy 2, on the left side of the road) for about $12.00 a set. If you’re renting in Wrightwood, there are two cautions: add about 1/2 hour to your commute, since they also get a lively downhill-skier trade and are quite busy in the mornings; first-timers be SURE you ask for cross-country equipment, or you’ll be rudely surprised when you get to Vincent Gap!

DRIVING: The roads should be clear, unless there has been a storm the night prior. If chains are or may be required on any section of road we’ll be using, bring them along. Know in advance how to install them, and ensure that they actually fit your wheels (a dry driveway is ideal for practice). Call the Caltrans toll-free number (1-800-427-7623) for road conditions. Press the road number, followed by the pound (#) sign.

WEATHER/CLOTHING: The trip WILL BE CANCELED IN CASE OF BAD WEATHER (major rain/heavy snow); call if in doubt. The daytime temperature should be around 40-50 deg F., and it can seem quite warm if the sun is out and there is no wind. HOWEVER, it can get cold fast without the sun, so be prepared for chilly afternoon conditions. For X-C skiing, it’s not recommended to wear ski bibs, one-piece or ’snowmobile’ suits, or any single heavy garment; you’ll probably be soaked from sweating. You should plan on using LAYERS of clothing to keep warm (including one layer that can act as a windbreaker). You can then adjust your comfort layer by stowing or pulling out appropriate layers from your day pack, to suit weather conditions and physical activity.

RESERVATIONS & CARPOOLS: Call or e-mail the leader if you plan on attending. There are no restrictions on number of participants. He will coordinate carpools-contact him if you need a ride or can drive someone.

OTHER EQUIPMENT: Recommended are: Winter clothing such as parka, sweater, gloves, warm hat, heavy socks, etc. Also required are sun glasses or goggles, sunscreen, quart of water minimum, lunch, and the remainder of the 10 essentials. Recommended are: gaiters, tissue paper, camera.

CONTACT: Mick Herod work: 310-603-5529, home: 909-628-2431, e-mail: MHERO:WNDC