Mount Sally, Mount Mooney, Vetter Mountain (LO)
11 January 2003
By: Ron Jones
We had 19 hikers show at the La Cañada carpool point, a good mix of newcomers and veteran hikers. Fog and clouds blanketed the L. A. basin but the mountains above La Cañada were glorious and clear, and incredibly warm for a mid-winter hike.
Our first stop, about 20 miles from our starting point, was Mt. Sally, which we climbed by the usual Route 2. Since there had been rain a week earlier, the slope was perfect for walking, no sliding, and no dust created by all the folks. The views of Mt. Baldy were spectacular, some snow still on the top, and clear as a bell. The southland was socked in though. Everyone signed in, enjoyed the view, and soon we were on our way back to the cars below.
Second we headed to Mt. Mooney. We parked our cars in slush not quite melted by the sun as yet, and headed up Route 1 and the wide trail for 1/2 mile. No register was found but the summit is marked by a large letter "M" outlined with stones. Again there were some nice views to behold. It was close to noon so we decided to head back to the cars, head on over to Vetter Mtn and have lunch there at the lookout.
We drove out to the highway, and basically across the highway to 3N16 at the entrance to the Charlton Flats Picnic area. The gate to the area was closed! The ranger said due to the high winds the week before there were lots of down trees and limbs and it wouldn't open until they had cleaned it up. So our lunch was a bit delayed.
We parked outside of the gate in the small parking area, and headed up the asphalt road to what would have been our trail head. It added a couple of miles to our day, but no one seemed to mind much. Scattered about on the rocks below Vetter Lookout we enjoyed a leisurely lunch and the views. It was such a beautiful day. We couldn't help but be thankful for living in Southern California and have access to these mountains. We were back at the cars saying our goodbyes by 2:30. Thanks to all for a good hike. My 13 month old hip replacement slowed me a bit but I was comfortable on this easy day. Looks like I'll have to have the second hip operated on this year.
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