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Strawberry Peak redemption song

Peak Summited2021 Strawberry Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadRedbox Canyon
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
Redemption Song! Back Mid-November, I attempted what I thought was the main Strawberry Peak route only to discover I was knee deep into the more advanced mountaineering route via Colby Cyn. After a half-hearted attempt at the first climbing section at the 3mi mark, I decided a detour was smarter and hiked all the way around to Strawberry Meadows to hit up the Redbox intersection. ~9mi into my journey, I was only .5-1mi from the summit but my knees just couldn’t go any further…so I prudently turned around for the return 8mi.
Friday evening I hit Rachel up for a ridiculously last min invite for a peak hike the following dawn. And away we went!
Arriving at dawn the parking lot was already filling up with eager hikers. We lucked out to see the sunrise just as we started. 🤩Nothing beats a sunrise at the start of a hike. After a few miles in, I was just laughing at how much easier this route is than the route I took in Nov. Its all good. We get in a leisurely start on our 2021 6-Pack of Peaks Challenge.
After checking out recent reviews on trail conditions, we felt confident that we wouldn’t have too much trouble w snow and ice. Thankfully the warm weather we’ve had since the last storms has melted most of the snow. There were a few shady stretches before hitting the saddle that were snowed over still but poles and a cautious step was all that was needed. After you started getting into the steep section w all the false peaks, there were more small patches of snow and ice on the back side of those, but again, nothing crazy. They were muddy on the return trip.
I made sure to take a pic passing up the spot I turned around last time. 🖕FU rocks!!! LOL The journey up was fairly quiet. We saw a handful of groups heading up and a handful that we passed on their way down. AND I had the pleasant surprise of getting recognized on the trail by a fellow SoCal Hiker member. It always blows my mind getting recognized by strangers on the trail. It’s ~50k member group and the entire SoCal area!😳 Small world!
The peak was getting busy when we got up there though. We stopped for our requisite peak pics and a snack, and then headed back. I’m glad we didn’t over-dress; the return trip was heating up and we were sweating. This is a perfect time of year to hit this trail since its so exposed. On the journey back, the trail was getting substantially busier. Lots of folks heading up. That’s why I love dawn hikes, you’re on your way back when the crowds are just getting started.
Wonderful day, wonderful company! I loved having some redemption after an unsuccessful first attempt. Peak #2 here we come!!!

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