Sunday, September 23

Pleasant View Ridge - Backpacking San Gabriel's

Not quite everyone knows about Pleasant View Ridge in the San Gabriels mountains. Heck, it took me some reading before I knew there was even a little know trail that wandered along the ridge top like a roller coaster with no handle bars. With no water in site & views for miles, this was a battle worth it's weight in nature's gold.

We opted for the longer route, starting at an earlier dirt turn out along HWY 2, not going the standard route from Islip Saddle. Putting on 19 pds of gear is no problem, then adding 11 lbs of water is a bit trickier. From step number one it was all uphill. Heading south on the PCT was easy going. Up sharply cut switchbacks on the backside of the craggy ridge that forms the only tunnels on the Angeles Crest Highway. Passing right below stunning rock formations looking out into Bear Creek Canyon.

Topping out on the PCT, there is a white arrow to direct those that are making the 2,000+ mile walk from Mexico to Canada. However, this is where Carlos & I tread off the main trail, making our way onto Pleasant View Ridge, towards Mt. Williamson. Without too much verbose detail the next couple miles of the trail is a true wonder. This are of the mountains receives far less traffic than many others. And the few people we did see where very kind & very serious about their love for the outdoors.

After a series of up and down hill struggles along the ridge, one of them easily being the steepest I have traversed down hill, while still being on some semblance of a trail, knowing very well the next morning we will be walking back up it......... the good kind of curses came out. For real adventure seekers, there is wreckage from a plane crash on one of the hillside we spotted (photo above). The video below has some great footage of this section of trail.

That eve we picked a wonderful spot along the ridge top, literally on a rounded ridge with barely enough flat area for our tent. I'll let the rest of the story be told in the video... enjoy.

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