August 3, 2012

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Santiago Peak via the Holy Jim Trail in the OC was #6 of 10 in our training for Whitney and it was not exactly our most favorite hike…  To start we had a pretty long drive down to the OC, then there was a fun few miles of off roading in our Subaru but the majority of the time was spent behind a Hyundai that looked lost amongst the Rubicon Jeeps.  Once we finally made it to the trailhead it was already quite hot and we knew the lower elevation wasn’t going to give us any relief.

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The hike was long and slow, winding our way up the chaparral paths and sharing the fire road with pickup trucks leaving us in the dust literally.  The 5,689′ peak didn’t have a spectacular view compared to the 10,000 foot mountains we were used to.  The peak was covered in utility buildings and groups of off roading vehicles.

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Although the view and terrain were by no means spectacular, the hike did what we needed it to do… kick our butts.  It was a long 15.5 miles and 4,450 feet of gain.  We left sore, hot and tired, but were looking forward to taking on Mount San Jacinto, a mountain that denied us a summit a couple years ago.