Seventeen skiers, including 4 on randonee gear, showed up for the San Jacinto Peak Bag, January 23. Leading the mob was this writer and Reiner Stenzel. SMSers on the trip were Richard Contreras, Seth Clark, Joy Goebel, Ken Deemer, Mark Reed and Larry Bigler.
The day was sunny and calm and conditions ranged from crust and cardboard to occasional patches of powder. We were stunned by the amount of snow left by the two weeks of continuous storms in early January; none of us having seen trees in the local mountains clad with so much ice and snow. San Jacinto has never looked so beautiful. Snow depths went something like this: 5' in Long Valley. Up to 7' in Round Valley (the ranger station there was nearly buried and several of us took the opportunity to ski off the eve of the roof). Eight to 10' for Tamarack Valley and above.
Many of you are familiar with the peak itself and how you normally have to scramble up large boulders to reach the summit. No scrambling was necessary on this trip. We skied right to the top, the boulders buried somewhere beneath our feet.
For an introductory tour, the group was surprisingly strong and able, and after bagging the 10,804' San Jac, half of us bagged the 10,670' Jean as well. We enjoyed a fast and crusty ski back to the tram.
See scanned pictures below (click for larger images):