Ski Mountaineering

Visiting the Antonia Cedar in the San Gorgonio Wilderness

Nov 4, 2017

Reiner Stenzel

Friends of May Adachi planned day hike in the local mountains. Sure, I thought I would join. The trip was planned by Scott Swaney and Aysel Gezik, outstanding mountaineers. They wanted to visit an old cedar baum in the San Gorgonio Mountains, more precisely on the 10,000' ridge. This sounded adventurous. The estimate stats were 10-20 mi and 5000', lots of XC. Got up at 3 am, at the trailhead (Heart Bar Cpgd) by 7am, where we met Randy and Ania to form a group of 6. The planned shortcut on a 4WD road did not work, since contrary to Ranger's information the road was closed. So we made a detour along the Pacific Crest Trail, which brought up memories from hiking it earlier. Then a XC roller coster hike started from ridge to ridge, sometimes looking like a (b)ridge to nowhere. By Scott knew the place and guided us well with a GPS. The landscape reflected recent wildfires. It helped hiking since the brush was still low. We encountered no snow at 10,000' but at times it was cold and windy.

We found a peak register on the high point of the 10,000' Ridge and signed it. Soon thereafter the magic tree was found 500' below the ridge. It was indeed an impressive specimen of a cedar. We got all excited that we found the tree. We played around it, took many pics, had lunch, Scott measured the circumference to be 30', which should be about 10' diameter.

Then it was time for the long return. Low clouds began to move in. When we hit the PCT we were caught in whiteout and darkness. After 8pm we reached our cars. It was an adventurous day with a fine group of interesting people.

The drive home was fine, the day was long (4am-11pm), the fun was plenty.

Thanks to everyone, especially Scott, for organizing this great trip.

Back to Trip Reports
Back to SMS Home Page