Brett Maune ran the C2C2C FKT on May 21, 2014, reaching the summit in 3h39m54s and doing the round-trip in 6h16m54s.
Yesterday I did the full C2C2C route. The main objective was to re-establish an FKT for the “SoCal Triple Crown” using all car-to-car routes (C2C2C, Vivian Creek, Bear Flats) but I stopped after summiting San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. The trip was planned at the last minute. On Tuesday I noticed how unusually cool the forecast was for Wednesday (Palm Springs high of 84 and a chance of snow showers on all the summits!) and decided to take advantage of the opportunity.
I started at 5:33 AM. About 15 minutes into the run I got a pleasant surprise. I encountered a group of three hikers and realized I knew the lead female hiker. Many years ago she generously gave me a ride from the tram station back to my car. Amazingly this was the third time we have crossed paths even though I have done the Skyline portion only ~8 times. She has done it many, many more times…
The second coincidence of the run was that I think I struck the same cactus as I did the last time I ascended Skyline. Unlike the previous encounter, this wasn’t an all-out effort up San Jacinto and so I stopped and spent the few minutes to pull out as many spines as I could. On the way back down I struck two more cacti. This is becoming a painful habit of mine.
Regarding the route, I tried staying on the main trail as much as possible. For the ascent in many places people have placed rocks to mark the secondary trails. When descending one does not see these markings when the trails diverge and so it is essentially impossible in many places to know which trail to take.
Lastly, descending back down to Palm Springs is a serious affair and should not be taken lightly. People have died doing that. Even with the cool temperatures (by Palm Springs standards) I was moderately dehydrated by the time I got back down. When I got to my car I drank a half-gallon carton of orange juice and I don’t think that was quite enough to fully rehydrate me.
1:45 Flat Rock
2:28 Grubbs Notch
4:34 Grubbs Notch
5:00 Flat Rock