Since moving to southern California for medical school I've had one goal that I had never been quite able to put on the back-burner. I've had a nagging voice in the back of my mind reminding me for years now that that highest peak off to the east - had not yet been conquered. Every time I looked at the massive grey-topped dome of Mt. San Gorgonio I was reminded that there was an 11,500 foot peak, a non-technical climb, yet a climb to the top of southern California - the highest peak south of those around Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevada, that I had not climbed. San Gorgonio is an unusual mountain in that this bulk of earth is separated for the most part by lower elevations from mountains of comparable size making it what Wikipedia calls, "one of the most topographically prominent peaks in the United States."
I started the climb with a classmate at Vivian Creek at an elevation of about 7000 ft. From there it was an eight mile hike to the summit with an elevation gain of 4,500 ft. Southern California is unfortunately not known for its clear skies but we still got to take in some awesome views during the climb. The climb was not difficult but the sixteen miles round-trip was a good workout. Here are a few pictures:
Looking West at an altitude of around 9000 ft. I never thought Southern California could look this green.
Looking south from at about 11,000 ft.
At the summit - 11,500 ft. It's hard to see but Big Bear Lake is in the background.
This small marker is in a boulder at the summit.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring aboveThy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.-Walter C. Smith