Day 14: Race to Beat the Storm

Start: Mile 179.4 Devils Slide/PCT Junction

End: Mile 190.5 Trailside Campsite

During our two zero days in Idyllwild we became aware that there was a potential snow storm in a few days. Many hikers were leaving a day earlier than what we had planned. Since we had rented a VRBO and planned to spend a few days with our son and his wife and our youngest grandson, we stuck with our original game plan. But we were a little nervous about the upcoming weather.

Trail Angel Bob and his Trail Angel Dog named Rusty picked us up at the VRBO at 6:30am. We were at the Devils Slide Trailhead in ten minutes.It was a chilly morning – probably in the upper 30’s but the trail was uphill from the start so we warmed up quickly. The trail went up over 1600 feet in 2.5 miles and intersected the PCT. It was good to be back on the official Pacific Crest Trail. As we continued to increase in elevation we had great views of Suicide Rock:And Tahquitz Rock:Both of these rocks are major rock climbing destinations that many elite rock climbers have climbed. Our son Blake has spent many days climbing on these rocks over the past fifteen years.

Although it was a beautiful morning, Donna and I were concerned about the upcoming weather front and wanted to get past Fuller Ridge. We could feel that the air was thinner as we reached 9000 feet in elevation a couple of times over several miles. Many PCT hikers take a side trail to climb to the top of Mt. San Jacinto which is 10,834 feet. Since Donna and I had climbed this peak on four or five occasions we stayed on the official PCT trail. As we hiked across the five mile Fuller Ridge traverse we could see the weather moving in.At Mile 183, just prior to the start of Fuller Ridge, we filled up with water. We wouldn’t have the opportunity for more water for over twenty miles so we loaded up. At mile 190.5 we reached the campground at Black Mountain Road. There were picnic tables and many protected campsites. It was getting cold and windy. We would have liked to push on for a few more miles and drop down in elevation but were concerned that any lower campsites may be more exposed to the weather. We decided to stay at the higher elevation (7700 feet) but protected campsites. We set up the tent quickly and were soon inside our sleeping bags and enjoying dinner.

Thanks for following our PCT adventure.

One thought on “Day 14: Race to Beat the Storm

  • You sure have experienced a variety of weather patterns…typical for California. Here on the Central Coast it turned cold and windy for the first time in a few weeks…so much for spring! Looks like rain may be on the way. I built a roaring fire this afternoon to stay cozy. I hope you did not get snow! Stay warm and dry! You will probably be hoping for cooler weather once you hit Mojave. Enjoy every second! I think of you both often! Love, M


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