This Saturday I finished hike number 34/52 for the 52 Hike Challenge in 2015. With my hike of the John Muir Trail only two weeks away, I’ve been crunched for time trying to mix in my training and planning with the demands of everyday life. I’m very lucky to have the San Gabriel mountains so close, as it is allowing me to get a lot of elevation and mileage training in without taking huge chunks of time out of my day. For this hike, I once again made my way up to Icehouse Canyon to complete the 12 mile round-trip journey to Cucamonga Peak. This hike gains nearly 4000 ft, and I hiked it in a personal best time of 4 hours.
I’m so used to hiking early in the morning, that I decided to mix it up and leave at 2 PM. For the JMT, I’ll be hiking at all hours of the day, and I want my body to be ready for anything I throw at it. It was nice to leave so late, as the parking lot was already clearing out, and most of the morning hikers were off of the trail. It was an unusually cloudy day here in Southern California, which made for the perfect speed hiking conditions.
I made it to the summit in 2 hours and 10 minutes, and took a 10 minute break to let my legs rest and take in the views. I met a gentleman who was camping at the summit, and also passed a group of about 5 other guys on the way up with sights on doing the same. Having camped at the summit of Cucamonga Peak a few times, I was jealous. The incredible cloud formations on hand must have made for a spectacular sunset.
I made my way down just as quickly as I’d ascended, and am feeling really good about my conditioning for the JMT. I just have to keep planning, continue putting in miles, and stay healthy.