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Palm Springs C2C hike

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby LoveThisSite » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Hi folks, Planning a tentative vacation in the Palm Springs, CA area around end of Dec.
I happened to come across the C2C hike - I'd never heard of it until now!

10,000 vertical feet up, 20 miles to the summit and back to the tram station.
I know I was pretty tired after Long's - 15ish miles and 4500 ft. But being at lower altitude may make it easier ..

Has anyone done this hike? Any feedback/thoughts?

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby San Juan Ron » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:48 am

I have done this hike twice and it is a butt-kicker. Once in November and once in June (probably 10+ years ago). Both times we started between 2AM and 3AM and it took roughly 12 hours to complete. This hike is not for the faint of heart. If I recall correctly, the first 10M you gain 8,000+ feet until you reach Long Valley (Ranger Station with WATER). This stretch takes a lot out of you -- ensure that you have plenty of water to get to this point. I have encountered 40-50 MPH winds near the top of Mt. San Jacinto with temps in the 20s in December. You must be prepared for any kind of conditions, be mentally and physically strong, and start very early. SJ Ron :)

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby AndyJB444 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:12 am


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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby peter303 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:35 am

When I lived in Southern California there were the "four 10K" peaks and "100 5K peaks" (really 277 5K peaks including deserts).
Tye 10Ks are San Antonio, Bernardino, Gorgonio, and San Jacinto. I believe the last two require permit self-registration.
These usally all have significant snow by New Years.

San Bernardino for the guy who cant find it:
http://www.summitpost.org/san-bernardino-peak/152113
We sometimes drop the "Saint" adjective from mountain names.
Last edited by peter303 on Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby bonehead » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:57 am

San Gorgonio tops out over 11,500. So not a 10er.
I have spent the night on Baldy and Gorgonio a few times each.
I have spent the night on San Jacinto's summit a dozen or more times.
Mostly in the winter and quite a few on New Years Eve.

I have never heard of Bernadino.

I do have some guide books of the Southern CA area
that I probably will never need or use again.
I'd be willing to donate them to an aspiring climber hiker.
PM me if you could get good use from these.
Pat

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby doggler » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:03 pm

LoveThisSite wrote:Hi folks, Planning a tentative vacation in the Palm Springs, CA area around end of Dec.
I happened to come across the C2C hike - I'd never heard of it until now!

10,000 vertical feet up, 20 miles to the summit and back to the tram station.
I know I was pretty tired after Long's - 15ish miles and 4500 ft. But being at lower altitude may make it easier ..

Has anyone done this hike? Any feedback/thoughts?


"Ran" this a few years back over Thanksgiving weekend. Started at the museum thing around 4AM. Only had one minor routefinding issue just before I reached the tram station, so all the initial trail was done in the dark without incident.

You definitely won't feel the altitude, but prepare for a long day.

I would say it's slightly tougher than Pikes via Barr Trail, then back down to Barr Camp. More vert, more mileage , but no altitude issues up top.

Luckily you don't need to load up like a pack mule, as the tram station has plenty of goodies.

Summit is pretty cool, but not nearly like an above-timberline view. The big trees between 8k and 9k are sweet.

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby bonehead » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:13 pm

doggler wrote:Summit is pretty cool, but not nearly like an above-timberline view.

Unless you think 100 mile views aren't cool.
You can see islands off the coast on a good day.
The 60s and 70s were horrible for good skies.
That problem has been cleaned up years ago.
At night you see the glow from LA, San Diego and Las Vegas.
Those are some pretty long distance views.
You are sitting right above the lights of Palm Springs
and countless towns to the west like Banning and San Bernardino.
It also has the greatest vertical relief of any mountain in the lower 48.
10k in just a few miles.

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby MuchosPixels » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:26 pm

The C2C has been on my list of hikes to do for years. I have yet to go over there. I did do Pikes via Barr trail a few years ago in March and loved the weather but the wind kicked my butt (to the ground a few times) above the A frame and I had to abort at around 13,000 feet (I went straight up the gully). Below A Frame the trail was superb. Even with a little snow it was very easy to find the way. The first three miles are brutal and the last few miles as well but the middle is pleasant.

I have researched quite a bit on the C2C and overall I think it's best to go when the weather is cool down low but not extremely snowy up top. The higher elevations get a LOT of snow during the winter but early winter should be ok if there are no storms. I read that people have gotten in trouble up there in icy conditions. Best to go light as possible but be prepared with lots of water. There is another route called snow creek but it is a spring snow climb. Epic but requires much more gear and knowledge, best done in a group of 2 or 3.

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby bonehead » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:06 pm

MuchosPixels wrote:There is another route called snow creek but it is a spring snow climb. Epic

It is up the 10K relief I mentioned.
It trespasses electric co. property
and is very frowned upon.
For scawflaws only.
3-4 am makes for a good start.
Quiet stealth and a different descent required.

Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby gzrrnnr » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:36 pm

Living in SoCal, I have done the C-to-C a few times. Supposedly it is the greatest elevation gain on a trail in the lower 48, with 10,600' of gain in the 16 miles from Palm Springs to the summit at 10,800+ feet. It is not just a long hike - its an adventure. It is usually done in the fall (pretty good temps), the spring (snow above Long Valley (the Ranger Station and the upper Tram terminal)), summer (maybe, with 100+ temps in Palm Springs means early start), and winter (snow, wind, cold on a high peak). The trails start at Ramon Road or the museum in Palm Springs, and after a mile and a quarter from Ramon Road, turn left/west at the large rock pyramid in the trail. The C-to-C trail is a little over eight miles and 8,000' to Long Valley. It is a tough eight miles of steep and technical trail in some places, and NO water. If you pay attention, you probably won't get lost, but some people do. It was constructed in the 1930s, but any maintenance since then was probably done by the users and locals. It is also known as the Outlaw Trail, because the agencies do not encourage use of the trail. Some say this is because rescue would require a helicopter cable.

After you get to Long Valley, the San Jacinto summit is 5 1/2 miles and 2,000+ feet up a well maintained trail. Expect herds of people (hundreds in the late spring and summer!) in the fall and summer who get to the summit from the Tram. Great view from the summit - John Muir said it was the most sublime sunrise.

Most hikers go back down the Tram ($12, plus taxi fare back to the TH). Some ultra hikers/runners go back down the C-to-C, which is a lot tougher and slower than expected due to the technicalities of the trail, and not recommended for most hikers. The 32 mile RT can take 13-16 hours, which is what some hikers do the 20 mile trip in.

Check out the Palm Springs Tram website for the weather forecast and current conditions. As others have said, google has several websites with additional information on the C-to-C. Good Luck!

Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby tdallred » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:56 pm

bonehead wrote:It also has the greatest vertical relief of any mountain in the lower 48.
10k in just a few miles.


Not to get too off topic, but wouldn't Mount Rainier have the greatest vertical relief in the lower 48? Either way looks like a phenomenal trail.

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Re: Palm Springs C2C hike

Postby tlongpine » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:43 pm

tdallred wrote:
bonehead wrote:It also has the greatest vertical relief of any mountain in the lower 48.
10k in just a few miles.


Not to get too off topic, but wouldn't Mount Rainier have the greatest vertical relief in the lower 48? Either way looks like a phenomenal trail.


Badwater Basin to Mt Whitney.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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