Spent most of the hike in clouds and fog until the last 500 ft...where I got above the cloud line and then had the pleasure of eating lunch on the peak above the clouds. Awesome moment.
Route up/down: McClellan Butte Trail
Took a long forest road to the Copper Butte trail...where I and my hiking partner saw a lot of wild flowers and cows, while trying to avoid stepping in cow patties a lot of the time. Yes...it's that kind of country. We later found out that the trail was created by farmers who herd these cows up the trail to large water troughs. Frankly, having to wait for the entire heard to pass before continuing back down was a pain in the tukus. Use a different approach if you ever hike this mountain.
Route up: Forest Trail 250 to Copper Butte Trail
Listened to a lot of Coldplay, completed the 11-mile roundtrip via Ira Spring Trail in 5 hours including breaks and a photo session at Mason Lake. I physically dominated this trail. Wonderful views from the top of Defiance. It's currently my favorite peak from last year.
Route up/down: Ira Spring Trail to Mason Lake to Mt Defiance 1009
Ridiculous amounts of fog and snow above the 4,000ft elevation. Had to really use experienced hiker instincts to find the peak. Very little snow pack from any snowshoeing activity made finding the clear path along the trail difficult. Could not see a thing in the fog, thus making getting to the peak only for the sake of saying I did.
Route up/down: Bessemer Mountain logging road/trail to the top
Physically prevailed over this trail known to others as a fairly tedious one to climb in the local area. The frozen snow patches were a little annoying, considering one slip in certain parts of this trail could certainly lead to severe injury or worse. Otherwise...cool way to get some views of the Inland Empire without spending the extra calories burning up the sides of Mt.San Antonio
Route up/down: Icehouse Canyon
First hike of the 2011 season. Got my ass handed to me on a steep plane. Snow...a lot of it...without snowshoes or crampon. Trail was frozen and packed down so that regular hiking shoes wouldn't stand a chance. Had to improvise much against the advice of warning signs telling you not to...and sloppily made our way up the peak. The hike was already rigorous enough without the deep snow...adding snow stepping without snowshoes made it miserable. But, the reward of snow-capped Cascade made it all worth it...sort of.
Route up/down: Mailbox Peak Trail