Published: May 22nd 2012April 14th 2012
April 14, 2012
This weekend was to mark the first of several training hikes in preparation for the Mount Whitney summit in July. A group of eight was to meet at the trail head, somewhere an hour west of Indio, California. Our intended hike was to take us to Tahquitz Peak (8,828 ft) with a possible side trip to Red Tahquitz Peak. The elevation gain would be 2,400 ft with a round trip distance of about 8.5 miles. Kyla and I were both eager for this major ass-kicking hike.
The day before, a storm blew into the Southwest. From San Diego to Las Vegas, rain poured at the lower elevations and snow dumped on the mountains. Many of the group backed out, but Kyla and I were “tough” Washington girls who could make it in cold weather. We met at her aunt and uncle’s home in Indio late Friday night. On my journey through the desert, I experienced torrential rainfall and then snow on the higher elevations. I really didn’t correlate that this would impact our hike the next day.
Donning our warm layers and gear, Kyla and I piled into her SUV early in the morning. We
hadn’t even left the driveway when Kyla received a message from our hiking guide that the entire mountain area was closed. Access roads, trails, anything having to do with where we intended to go – closed. She and I ate a Subway breakfast disguised to be healthy and considered alternative activities for the day.
The Bump and Grind, a well-traveled trail behind Target about 20 minutes from Indio, was our hike of choice. We chose it not only for the fun name, but the level of difficulty was the best we could match with our intended hike. We summited a small mountain at 1,200 feet with a round trip of 4 miles. While it could not recreate the same intensity as the trail at 8,800 ft elevation, we practiced using our hiking poles and pacing our steps. After a couple hours we returned to the car, slightly tired, but successful. What I wore:
Silk toe socks
Wool hiking socks
REI convertible pants
Eddie Bauer moisture wicking exercise tank top
Old Navy cheap thermal long sleeve shirt
Sunglasses What I brought:
Backpack w/ 2 liter bladder
Snacks, including goldfish crackers, teddy
grahams, gushers, cheese n’ crackers, s’mores granola bars, (3) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, drink flavor packets
Zip top plastic bag containing: biodegradable toilet paper, sun screen, mile skin, small scissors, pain killers, travel Neosporin, a few band aids, hand sanitizer
12-year-old pepper spray bottle
One pair extra socks
Debit card, ID, cash
I left the fleece jacket, rain jacket shell, and gloves back at the house, since we would not be facing snow. For the short hike, I brought way too much stuff, but the bag was packed for a much longer and more strenuous hike. Kyla wore a tank top on the trail, and admitted she was a little chilly without some kind of wind breaker.
There are more photos below