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Hiking Notes: Goal – Tackle the Highest Peaks in Southern California

Andrew Skurka

Lately, I’ve been quite obsessed with hiking and backpacking, of making trips to the local REI, going on local hikes around the county, and even adding jogging/running to the mix.

I guess you could say my total training consists of walking, hiking, jogging and running, with future adventures in backpacking on the way.

So why am I doing all of this?

Why All The Walking, Hiking, Running?

I know it sounds like I’m totally being obsessed, but my reasons are quite simple and logical:

  • 1. For health. I have high blood pressure and I made a commitment to myself that I would exercise pretty much every day to help lower my blood pressure.
  • 2. To do regular cardio workouts to improve my drumming. And, I’ve found out that this truly works out well. My stamina and endurance and physicality has improved considerably since I became serious again about doing the cardio.
  • 3. To lose the weight and to look good. There, what exercise regimen wouldn’t be an exercise regimen without the need to improve one’s physical appearance! I wanna look lean and mean… there, I’ve said it.
  • 4. And lastly, everyone should have some sort of bucket list, or things they want to accomplish in life… I actually prefer “Life Goals” to “Bucket List”, but that’s what seems popular these days. And, my goal is to climb as many peaks as possible before I kick the bucket. And, it would be awesome to climb to the top of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states!

So, come what may… those are my goals with regards to all the walking, hiking, jogging and running, because that’s what’s going to help me accomplish my goals in life, by getting in peak condition for performance.

The Highest Peaks to Tackle

These mountain peaks in Southern California are my upcoming goals:

1. Mount San Antonio (aka Mt. Baldy) – San Gabriel Mountains – Elevation 10,068 ft.

Mount San Antonio, commonly known as Old Baldy or Mt Baldy, at 10,068 ft (3,069 m), is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, and the highest point in Los Angeles County. Mount San Antonio’s sometimes snow-capped peaks are visible on clear days and dominate the view of the Los Angeles skyline. —Wikipedia

2. San Jacinto Peak – San Jacinto Mountains – Elevation 10,834 ft.

San Jacinto Peak, 10,834 feet (3,302 m), is the highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountains, and of Riverside County, California. It lies within Mount San Jacinto State Park. Naturalist John Muir wrote of San Jacinto Peak, “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!”

San Jacinto Peak is one of the most topographically prominent peaks in the United States. It is ranked sixth among peaks in the 48 contiguous states. According to John W. Robinson and Bruce D. Risher, authors of The San Jacintos, “No Southern California hiker worth his salt would miss climbing ‘San Jack’ at least once.” —Wikipedia

3. San Gorgonio Mountain – San Bernadino Mountains – Elevation 11,503 ft.

San Gorgonio Mountain, also known locally as Mount San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback, is the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503 feet (3,506 m). It is in the San Bernardino Mountains, 27 miles (43 km) east of the city of San Bernardino and 12 miles (19 km) north-northeast of San Gorgonio Pass. It lies within the San Gorgonio Wilderness, part of the San Bernardino National Forest. Spanish missionaries in the area during the early 17th century named the peak after Saint Gorgonius.

Since it is the highest point in a region which is separated from higher peaks (e.g. in the Sierra Nevada) by relatively low terrain, San Gorgonio Mountain is one of the most topographically prominent peaks in the United States. It is ranked 7th among peaks in the 48 contiguous states[3] and 18th among overall. —Wikipedia

Wish me luck!

About the author:
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Randomguru is a musician and blogger living in San Diego.


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