|Hiking||10.50 Miles|| 10 Hrs || ||1.05 mph|
|8,200 ft AEG|| || || |
Sun_Hiker and I attempted the Cactus-to-Clouds hike on Friday, Nov 14, 2008. We pre-parked a car at the tram on Thursday about 5:00 PM. There are 2 small lots specifically for overnight parking there. It is necessary to pre-park a vehicle there if you plan to take the tram back. Its too far from the trailhead at the Art Museum to do anything else.
We started hiking at 2:30 AM (3:30 AM Phoenix time it gets dark there at 5:00 PM now) under a full moon and clear skies. Just beautiful. I did post a number of shots as good as my Panasonic TZ5 point-and-shoot could do. These shots will supplement Tims set since he did not shoot on this part of the hike and I know why. Doing the hike he did in 12 hours, Tim did not have time to take out his camera and shoot or even breathe. Thats an impossible time for me personally.
The first 10+ miles to the tram is very difficult. After hiking 8.7 miles and gaining 6,000 feet I patted myself on the back for doing a good on a strenuous trek. But then came the last 1.5 miles to the top with 2,000 feet to go. That translates into steep. So I trudged up the rest of the seemingly never ending mini-switchbacks to the top. I plopped down on the ground by Sun_Hiker who got there much faster than me. We discussed whether to go on to San Jacinto peak or just hop the tram and call it a day which is what we ended up doing. Turns out the ground had a firm hold on my butt and wouldnt let go.
We might have been able to do the whole enchilada but not without a lot of suffering, a word I have deleted from my personal dictionary in recent years. We did San Jacinto peak from a trailhead near Idyllwild CA a few years ago so we have been there before.
An 8,000+ foot elevation gain on a day hike is a personal record. I have it on my calendar to do the entire hike in my next life. Congratulations to Tim and his group on doing the whole hike in an impossible 12 hours. That is some mean feat.
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