Distance: 3.1 miles round trip on trail and dirt road
Summit Elevation: 8201'
Elevation Gain: 768'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.61
Round trip time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Recommended water: 32 oz.
Parking/Fees: Adventure Pass (on Polique Canyon Road)
Bertha Peak offers one of the best views of Big Bear Lake from the north. Thanks to a strong storm last weekend, the area was blanketed in snow and I wanted a chance to break in my Grivel crampons. After the long drive from the OC, it was clear most of the snow had melted on the south facing slopes. Rod and I pressed on heading up Polique Canyon to the Pacific Crest Trail intersection. It was a balmy 60F, so I left my top layer in the car. It was a pretty short hike from where we parked, and though there was some snow along the way, there was not enough to unpack the crampons, even for a break in session. We signed the register near the top tower and took in the awesome views of the lake. San Gorgonio stood far away, the north side buried in snow. I tried out my GoPro for the first time, expecting mediocre results as a novice. On the way down, Rod launched the drone for some lake cruising. Bertha was our first planned peak of the day. When we got back to the car, we headed toward McKinley Mountain off highway 330.