Today was the day we began our training for Tour du Mont Blanc and the Walkers Haute Route with the So Cal Six Pack of Peaks. We almost didn’t make it, as I woke up incredibly tired from a week of business travel in New Orleans. With the two hour time change, 5 hours on a plane, and the exhaustion of a conference, a large part of me just wanted to stay in bed when the alarm went off at 5:00. I forced myself out of bed, made some French press, and watched the first half of the Liverpool vs Manchester City match to prepare myself for the first hike in the six pack. I knew if I could just get moving, the energy I consumed in NOLA would help propel me (and Julia made some oat cookies).
Our goal was to get to the Chantry Flat parking lot fairly early, and we party managed to succeed by arriving at 7:20. To our astonishment, the entire lot was full, and a good deal of the road before the lot was packed with cars. Next time, we’ll try for a start time closer to 6:30. Nonetheless, we found a spot on the road a half mile from the trail head and set off.
I’m not sure where everyone in the parking lot decided to go because the trail was completely empty and Sturtevant Falls didn’t appear to be much more crowded. It was nice to have a hike all to ourselves more or less, with the sun illuminating a cloud canopy pierced by the tall streaking tree limbs all around. Within a few miles we had made our way into the clouds and were surrounded by a thick fog, which was heaviest from 2000-4000 ft. Just before the summit of Mt Wilson, we punched through the fog and were treated to incredible views from above it all. Peak number one in the six pack is done!
The total hike distance was 13.67 miles and took 5:51:09.