My passion for hiking started two years ago while searching for a way to lose weight and simultaneously maintain an addiction to cheese. Since then I have further discovered that hiking is more scenic than a treadmill and more peaceful than city streets. The mountain air is fresh. The animals and flowers are pretty. Sometimes a trail goddess talks to me, or I find a new hiking buddy. These are all wonderful things. However, for me, hiking is now primarily about the next challenge of the wilderness, the next unique peak, the next steep ridge, the next isolated canyon, the next cross-country route. For me it's about doing something different and perhaps more difficult than the last time. This goal keeps me motivated while moving through the mountains, and eating cheese.
Two years ago I was in poor physical condition, and my first challenge was Mt. Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. I decided to hike the Mt. Wilson Trail from Sierra Madre over and over until I was able to reach the summit. After several attempts, I finally succeeded on a drizzling spring day. Cold and slightly faint from insufficient food, I looked around and saw nothing but fog and a parking lot. I could barely see the radio tower complex a hundred feet away. But I wasn't disappointed, because I hadn't climbed for the view. I had climbed for the challenge, and for the cheese.
In addition to climbing peaks and eating cheese, I help maintain some historic trails in Rubio Canyon above Altadena. Also, this year I started trail running and finished the Mt. Wilson Trail Race and the Chino Hills 10K. My most recent interest is fastpacking, which is hiking with a very light pack as far and as fast as you can without assistance. I'm currently training for my toughest fastpacking challenge yet. I call it The Cucamonga 50.
The C50 is a 50-mile course with over 16,000 feet of gain, covering all of the trails (out-and-back) in the Cucamonga Wilderness near Mt. Baldy Village in California. In addition to fastpacking the trails, there are also seven peaks to bag and a time limit of 24 hours. If you're interested in more details, please visit my C50 website.
I created this blog to document my training for the C50, which I plan to complete in the spring of 2013. I will post detailed trip reports, which could be of interest to anyone planning a hike or their own C50 attempt in the Cucamonga Wilderness. Once I finish the C50, I'll post the final trip report here. Afterward I plan to devote this blog's contents to my other hiking adventures.