Jewel Thief and I were dropped off at the Devil’s Slide Trail at 6:45AM and hiked the 2.5 miles back to the PCT by 8AM. It was another gorgeous day. Over the next mile the trail climbed a ridge to 9000’, and once again disappeared under snow. Out came the crampons and ice axe and we continued onward.
From this point we followed the general route of the trail, but we didn’t see the tread again until late afternoon. Leaving the official PCT, we began following the loop trail to the peak of San Jacinto. We traversed the side of several minor peaks across beautiful, steep, virgin snow fields. The ice axe and crampons both were key to the day’s success. We could only go a few hundred yards before we had to rest since each step had to be planted carefully to avoid a slide down the slope. About noon we finally gained the saddle below the actual peak. We left our packs and hiked the last half mile or so to the top. The view was absolutely spectacular. I could see I-10 in the San Gorgino Pass 9000’ below. It was perfectly clear and 70 degrees. We hung out up top awhile and then glissaded back down to our packs for lunch.
Our only water source was snow we scooped into our water bottles. I made a grape Koolaid slushie for lunch.
As always, losing elevation back to the PCT was fast – even more so on snow. We made it to the edge of Fuller Ridge at 3:30PM. The first half of Fuller was spent doing our best to follow the trail as it went in and out of snow cover. Halfway there we lost the trail as it disappeared permanently under snow. The next 2 ½ hours were spent bushwhacking across the north side through snow. Exhausted, we made it to camp at 7:30PM.