Saturday, September 26, 2009

2009 Seven Summits of Big Bear comes to a close!

The 2009 Seven Summits of Big Bear had its final group hike of the season on Sept 19th, finishing off with the “biggie” San Gorgonio. This year the Seven Summits coordinators Heather and Ted Devito of Mountain Fitness Center decided to make this final hike an overnight experience for the group. Even though summiting San Gorgonio is something that you can do in one day, the group was able to experience reaching the summit and then getting to spend a night above 10,000 feet.

On Saturday morning fifteen hikers and one canine loaded up their packs with everything they would need for the overnight trip into the wilderness. The hike started at the Jenks Lake trailhead at 6880 feet. Hike leaders were Ted and Heather, as well as, Equada Outfitters owner and guide Pete Fulkerson. The group climbed about 8 miles via the Dollar Lake route up to what would be the “base camp” at Red Rock Flat at 10,100 feet, where the overnight packs were dropped and smaller day packs were used for the final 5 mile push to the summit of San Gorgonio at 11,499 feet. The group made good time to the summit, mostly motivated by a setting sun and rumors of an amazing dinner to be had back at camp. Everyone who set out, made the summit and were rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views. Once back at base camp the group was treated to an incredible Pad Thai dinner made by Peter on just 2 small backpacking stoves. A truly incredible meal that was dubbed “10,000 foot Thai!” As the chilly evening set in, the group settled into their sleeping bags for a night under the stars. The next morning, an amazing sunrise and a breakfast of coffee and pancakes were the first order of business, followed by some relaxing, reading, packing and even a game of Frisbee golf. The hike down the mountain was definitely easier, faster and lighter. Congratulations, goodbyes and exchanges of contact info was made between new friends once back in the parking lot before the drive home.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2009 Seven Summits of Big Bear and a big congratulations to everyone who did all Seven Summits!

The punches will remain up on all but San Gorgonio for about 4-6 more weeks. It will be posted on the Seven Summits website when the punches are removed for the winter.

Check back here for more information!

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