Consolation Completion – Mt Pinos and Sawmill Peak

Peak Summited2019 Mount Pinos
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadMt Pinos Nordic Base
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnowfields to cross - could be difficult
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Had a great day hiking in the snow from the Mt Pinos Nordic Base to the summit of Mt Pinos then down across Sawmill Saddle and up to the summit of Sawmill Peak.  The trail was completely snow covered but easy to navigate to the Mt Pinos Summit.  We descended a bit to Condor Peak where we “picked up” the Vincent Tumamait trail, which was more difficult to follow, but we were easily able to navigate down to the saddle via a combo following the geography and occasionally checking GPS.  We used snow shoes a bit in the morning but ultimately found that the snow pack was firm enough to cross without them.  Microspikes would have been nice in sections, but careful attention and good snow travel technique was sufficient on this hike (I was wearing mountaineering boots, which likely also helped).  It was quite windy on the summits and across the saddle, but otherwise it a quite pleasant for a hike.  We really enjoyed the day.

I had planned on hiking Cucamonga as my 6th peak, but we had to turn back after the Icehouse Saddle due to running out of time and energy in soft, deep snow and freezing rain on December 7.  We had intended to return this week hoping the snow pack had firmed up, but the wilderness has been closed and likely wont reopen until after the first of the year.  With the snow, his hike turned out to be really enjoyable and a great consolation to finish my Six Pack.

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