I had went back home to Lake Arrowhead to be with my Wife and other Family who had spent about 6 weeks with her Sister in her final days.
Wendy had Lost Her battle with cancer and we all got together to celebrate this true Guardian Angels life…
The day After the service, My wife was on a flight back to Texas and since I drove out I would be here a few more days…the San Bernardinos were glorious and I could amost hear Wendy say, go hiking you Love that stuff as clear as My Wife when she said it the day before…to myself,I said, this is for Wendy and Im gonna go big as time allows.
It hit me Big Bear,on the way up I can drop in on My ol running buddy Jim Hess a forest Service Ledged and then head to Big Bear and do one of the chutes of the Arctic Circle these chutes are pretty gnarly chutes of snow ice and rock that climb off the Highway going to Big Bear
I made it to Jims House but he and his wife were not home…Damn it I adore them both…on to Big Bear and the chutes I saw so muchheading up so many great memories here and a few close calls
Snow Valley where when I had the first Sims Snowboard in the San Bernardinos but with a little help from local Ski patrol we could walk half the day up and “bootleg” one run down to a waiting car Where we would make our get away only to walk back up our broken trail for one more run before the lights went on for the night sesh.
Across from SV is the Cabin a Buddy Jim Lyons once had on a 100 year FS Lease featured in my “Cabin Mistake” post
The snow was coming down real light and the sky had broken clouds at different levels I stopped at Lake view point but knew I could not capture the beauty with my phone cam so I just took that all in.I was literally moved to tears I miss those Mountains so much…
The first chute turnout on the downhill lane was crawling with sledders and though they only used about 40 or 50 yards of the chute I couldnt park due to the hap hazard flatlanderedness nor could I stand the thought of wading through thier littering, snotting carcasses with my old timey Alpine kit…I kept driving towards the chute below Butler’s peak but the same scene of snow ticks were en-massed…
CASTLE ROCK! sez I that where I’ll go.
I crossed the dam and gave thanks as I hit the curves snaking through the boulders…Jim Lyons runs a Swiss 6 wheel off road service and I looked it up maybe ill check up on him.I spent about 400 hours or more doing followups on San Gorgonio with Jim and a chap named Pete Liapez who is a Mountain beast and knows more about the Natives that lived here than science since they once told Pete The San Bernardino county museum knows everything about the Yuhaviatam (Serrano ) and did not need his help…dicks
We did followups on San Gorgonio after the search for Jarred Negrette was called off we looked it all the weird stuff from reports from a Psychic,wild man,survivalist (cringe),cult chanting you name it this was in 92 and Jim Got the boot after he reported a pentagram was found layed out in rocks He was also the local news Man who featured yours truley on the local TV show demonstrating various Survival and Woodcraft skills…the County Sherriff demanded who ever said that shit is fired theres now devil worship in my forrest…but there was a big ass pentagram cause we found it and thats odd considering how big that intial search was…we’ll cover that later
Notes:Gave Jim a call, left message and headed to Castle Rock
Got a spot in theturnout aka Castle Rock trail head
From the road it looked like a load of snow and that meant I aint gonna f### around basic pack ice ax and crampons
There is a trick to crossing roads dressed like a extra in the Eiger Sanction it is the same as crossing a road dressed like a down aircrew member behind enemy lines…its pretty cool thats all im gonna say
Crossed the line of communication, I mean road, and shot up a gulley to the cover of some boulders and I was winded lol Big Bear is up there and it was a good burn ofthe lung and once thats over you just take your time
On with the “manclaws”…
To be continued