I hadn't been on a hike since January 1st so I was itching to get out despite the weather conditions. Actually it rained briefly in Torrance when we left at 7am but I thought we would give it a go once we got up into the San Gabriel Mountains. The locked gate at Islip Saddle had FINALLY been opened after 5 years and it was nice to drive up to Dawson Saddle where our hike would start today! I had never been on this trail before but had bagged Throop Peak on two other occasions. The weather was beautiful when we started out at 8:50am. Hardly a cloud in the sky. This would rapidly change however as we made our way up the trail. We took a planned "shortcut" up the North face of Throop Peak and signed the register (it was nice to see that someone had placed one there with pens no less!) at 10:25am.
We then scrambled down Throop's South face and connected with the PCT on our way up to Mt. Baden-Powell our end destination later in the day. At this point a weather cloud closed in on the mountain range and plunged us into a murky, foggy mess complete with light drizzle and increasing winds! (It reminded me on the Monterey coastline during the summer)
Andrew and I hustled our way up the switchbacks to top out on Mt. Burnham for lunch at 11:40am. We had the whole mountain to ourselves as there was no one else up there. The fog and drizzle increased as we scurried up to the top of Baden-Powell. There still are some snow drifts on the trail although easily avoided by hiking around.
We touched the top of BP at 12:52pm now completely enshrouded in a foggy, soupy mixture that made seeing others difficult! (Quite a few brave souls up there today!)
We left after 7 minutes (too cold and wet today to stay) and made it back to the car by 3:22pm. Because I haven't hiked for awhile this one REALLY got my legs burning! WOW! Here is our trip log:
8:50am Dawson Saddle Trailhead
9:57am "Shortcut" to Throop Peak
10:25am Throop Peak
10:43am PCT/Dawson Saddle Junction
11:40am Mt. Burnham
12:52pm Mt. Baden-Powell
2:33pm PCT/Dawson Saddle Junction
3:22pm back to Dawson Saddle at our car
Just another wonderful day hiking in SoCal! Many thanks to Andrew for hiking with this "old" man!
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Thanks for posting the report. Its been a few years but that area was a favorite of mine when I lived within reach (your post brought back a lot of memories). I remember doing a similar route on an overnight and one night crunched up in a bivy against that summit cairn, being slammed by wind that sounded like a freight train.
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