Stranded In The Southland

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Icehouse Canyon and Rabbit Peak

Monday week (that is, April 18), I headed up Icehouse Canyon, as I hadn't been out hiking in several weeks, and wanted to shake off the cobwebs. Then, Wednesday, I wound up on Rabbit Peak.

The lower part of Icehouse Canyon was free of snow, but about halfway up, an avalanche had blocked the trail. It wasn't too hard to cross, following the trail of the many folks who'd preceeded me. After I got across, I notice that I'd crossed over an ice cave carved by a stream flowing under the ice. Woo hoo, I coulda fallen in and broken my leg (or my skull)! Oh, well, I guess the ice was thick enough that I was mostly safe.

After proceeding another mile or so, and crossing a couple of huge downed trees, I kinda got tired and turned around and headed back. Icehouse Canyon seemed as steep that day as it did the first day I went up it, and I was happy to head back before evening.

Wednesday, I'd intended to get up early and go out with the usual crew, who I hadn't seen in a month or so. Alas, I slept in instead. I decided I was gonna pick off Rabbit Peak, along with three others nearby in a giant loop.

I happily drove up into the San Gabriels, and found the dirt road leading up to Rabbit Peak. Alas, just a mile in, the Miata bottomed out trying to cross a creek, and I had to backup and park. To my surprise, I noticed some familiar cars at the trailhead -- part of the Wednesday crew had blown off the scheduled hike and come up here!

I was heartened to know that the Wednesday crew was around there somewhere, but kinda bummed that I was going to have to hike the remaining three miles of the road. I really wish I had a four-wheel drive, high-clearance car!

Or at least I did, until, less than a quarter mile down the road, I found an overturned truck blocking the road. I'm not sure how this guy managed to both flip the truck and get it positioned perfectly across the road, but it was impressive to see. The road leading up to the truck was no big deal, I wish I knew what the driver did!

After a long, boring slog, I ran into the Wednesday crew on the way down. P. cautioned me that there was some off-trail hiking to be done, but I assured him it was no big deal. Doh.

It turned out to be a killer slog up a steep, steep slope, dodging between the yuccas! On the way down, I tried to hike the ridgeline, but it was tough to find a way down from the ridge to the road I came up on. Hopefully the gang had a better way up there that I missed in my enthusiasm for bagging another peak.

Anyway, that's 22 now, so I have just three more to go!