A Sleepless Overnight on Cucamonga Peak
It was a long night. Ten minutes after we went to sleep, the wind picked up to about 50 mph. It wasn't gusts, it was a solid 50 mph wind.
Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon Quick Facts
A free self-serve permit is required
Adventure Pass required for parking
Dogs on leash are allowed
Snow and ice in winter
Allow 8 hours
5,125′ of elevation gain
14.5 miles out and back
Trail tops out at 8,858′
Caffeine is one of the greatest tools a hiker can have in his med kit, and 15 minutes later Wes was feeling great, so we powered up the mountain.
We decided to press on to Icehouse Saddle, and assess where Wes was at. He wasn’t great, but he had improved enough to keep going. We continued to the base of the upper mountain where he could make a final decision about whether or not he had it in him to push up the steep final segment of the trail to the summit.
Wes was back to his normal self so we pushed to the summit. We were all huffing it as usual, but made it in plenty of time. The sun was just on its way down. I think it was about 4 pm. We set up camp and had a great time taking pictures and watching the beautiful sunset. Wes and Liz even posed for some hero shots on the Cucamonga Peak “Pride Rock,” as we call it.
The idea of sleeping on a summit with the stars out always seems cool, but practically every summit I’ve slept on gets exposed to crazy amounts of wind.
We all turned in pretty early that night. Ten minutes after we went to sleep, the wind picked up to about 50 mph. It wasn’t gusts, it was a solid 50 mph wind. It stayed that way until about 4 am. The idea of sleeping on a summit with the stars out always seems cool, but practically every summit I’ve slept on gets exposed to crazy amounts of wind. It makes it nearly impossible to get any sleep. That night was no different.
The wind picked up again when we woke up. I got a picture of the kids’ tent, which was practically folded over. It was barely standing on its frame, giving Wes and Liz barely any room to breathe. Fortunately for them, they were so tired they didn’t care and slept through it.
Despite the crappy night’s sleep, I was up with a lot of energy, ready to get back down the mountain. I went to bed at 8:30 pm that night and it felt great to make up for all that lost sleep.