May 8th, this Sunday I will be testing my limits with a small group who is attempting a hike called “Cactus to Clouds”, a 23 mile hike in one day. Midnight we will start off on our journey from Palms Springs, taking step by step straight up to the peak of Mt. San Jacinto, sitting at 10,834 feet. 18 miles and 10,400 feet ascent and 5 miles back down to the tram is our plan. Dinner and drinks will await our arrival.
Cactus to Clouds Trail is said to be the 5th hardest Dayhike in America by Mike Lanza, Backpacker Editor: http://www.backpacker.com/trips/wyoming/grand-teton-national-park/america-s-hardest-dayhikes/3/.
I have done hard hikes before, but nothing like this one. The most elevation gain I have done in one day is 7,200’, Iron Mountain hike, which I defeated last weekend. The most mileage I have done in one day is 16 miles on our Mt. Whitney climb in September of last year. Though the last 5 miles of the 16 were descending to camp.
I have trained hard for this and definitely feel that I am physically ready and even mentally. I can do it, but things change when you are on the mountain. Things like weather, a flat tire, cramping legs, headaches, etc. Wait a minute, there is no buts, I am soooo going to doing this. Ask me why I want to do this? Because I love a good challenge and even better conquering that challenge. Bring it Mt. San Jacinto, I will summit you!
Read more here.
I’m fine with great distances – they don’t worry me at all – but I’m struggling with lots of height gain nowadays. When I was younger and fitter though I used to do maybe up to 6000 feet in a day walk in probably about 15 miles. That was over lots of peaks though as ours aren’t that big in the first place!