Hike Log

Max makes it


Vincent Gap

Type of Hike:

Day hike

Trail Conditions:

Obstacles on trail


Road suitable for all vehicles


No bugs


Trail snow-covered at times – Gear and expertise recommended

So, my first attempts at writing this trip report have probably been more difficult than the hike, but I digress…

The dog and I hit the trailhead at Vincent gap around 0745.  A few through hikers were at the bottom preparing.  I had attempted it last week but because of an error on my part I had to turn back at about switchback 11.  I had actually left my hiking boots and spikes on the driveway when I left home and was wearing approach shoes.  They were obviously the wrong choice.  Today we made it to Lamel Spring before I put on the microspikes and also where the switchbacks ended and we followed tracks straight up the side from this point.  The dog kept running back to visit a German PCT hiker and then rejoined me.  At about 30 minutes of the straight up assault my 56 year old body reminded me that I needed to take a break and let my pulse rate normalize.  I waited about ten minutes and was passed by the young PCTer who was setting a torrid pace up the mountain.  The dog of course followed him and topped out at the backbone towards the ridge and sat up on top taunting me as I trudges the last 200 meters.  Thankfully the snow was just hard enough to support me, but also soft enough to dig in and have decent footing.  You could see where people had glissade down the steep side of the hill and I wondered how many had been injured this year.  I finally reached the backbone and caught my breath as I took in the bright blue sky and no wind.  The dog and I then headed toward the summit and watched the PCT hiker top out.  About 15 10 minutes later we reached the summit and were greeted by cheers and clapping from about 20 PCT hikers who were resting at the top.   The dog was in 7th heaven as everyone up top pet and hugged him.  We all posed and took a photo to send to my wife who is a combat nurse currently in the middle east.  Max and I hiked around the top and took a few pictures and then began the descent.  The descent was much more difficult and I had my axe out and kind of jog/stomped my way down to avoid sliding.  This is where the spikes or even crampons were a must.  I ran into some young day walkers at the spring with just Vans on and I suggested that to go up much further in the snow could turn out bad.

Overall it was a great day and we had a great time and met many new friends.  I took a trail angel back to his car at inspiration point on the way down after he had hiked up and put in some trail supplies.  I then picked up another PCT hiker who was going to zero out in Wrightwood and he shared his story of the trail so far.

Next up is probably Cucamonga Peak.


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