A number of the guys in our church (Bill Fisher sitting above) and myself went on a 13 mile “conditioning” hike last Saturday to the top of the San Gabriel mountains. We hit the trail around 7 am up a beautiful little canyon next to the San Antonio creek. Chris Langdon, who knows these mountains well led the way. We only had light “day packs” on so we were able to hike at a pretty good pace up a number of steep switch-backs climbing 2000 ft in about 2 hours! There was a wonderful cool breeze blowing on us and we didn’t need to stop until we reached the top of a ridge called the “saddle.” Here we stopped and rested awhile enjoying our energy snacks under the shade of tall trees before moving on. The next 1000 ft was not as steep but we were now above treeline along an exposed ridge so the sun’s rays were pretty intense. I started to feel the heat and wasn’t sure if I could keep up the pace so I fell back and let them get ahead of me. But we all did fine. We reached the top around 11:30 and enjoyed an early lunch and took in the view. We are planning a 4 day trip early in August to climb Mt. Langley (14,000 ft high next to Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Mountains). It’s a hike only the most conditioned hikers should attempt, so we hope to prepare for this climb with a number of shorter hikes in the local mountains. I know I certainly need to get in shape but looking forward to the experience! —Chris

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