Sunday, June 19, 2016

Telegraph Peak via Icehouse Canyon

Hiked: 6/19/2016
Distance: 13.5 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 8985'
Prominence: 1183'
Elevation Gain: 4500'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 3.6
Round trip time: 7 hours 10 minutes
Recommended water: 140 oz.
Parking/Fees: Adventure Pass
Difficulty: Strenuous

My second trip to Telegraph Peak started at Icehouse Canyon. The previous visit was from the other side via Manker Flat. This wrapped up the initial set of training hikes with my wife for Half Dome. Telegraph enjoys a uniquely central perch to see both the Mt. San Antonio (Baldy) constellation of mountains and the Cucamonga Wilderness mountains. It might be the best view from any peak in the area.

We started early to escape the hordes that flock to Icehouse Canyon on weekends. There was a heat wave that hit the area this weekend but we were comfortable above 8000'. It was a routine ascent to Icehouse Saddle. We made a short stop there for fuel, then continued up the 3Ts trail toward Timber. Beyond Icehouse Saddle, the forest is mostly large pines with very few small plants. It is a beautiful area and reminds me of the San Bernardino forests at similar elevations. We bypassed Timber thinking we might get it on the way back. The trail dropped about 250' feet down the north side of Timber to a saddle, then climbed about 1250' to the summit of Telegraph. This part of the trail was new to me. The south face of Telegraph has some jagged looking cliffs and crumbling rock. The views from the summit did not disappoint. It was the clearest day I've seen in a long time. Downtown LA was visible, Saddleback, the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains, and the ocean. The photosphere came out especially nice. We had the peak to ourselves, but noted that parties had signed in nearly every day in June. This is a peak that deserves the popularity. We signed the register and took photographs. After more fuel, we returned the way we came. Leisa wasn't interested in adding to the hike, so we skipped Timber on the way back.


Heading up Icehouse Canyon


3Ts sign at Icehouse Saddle


Telegraph Peak from the flank of Timber Mountain, summit to the right


Grinding up Telegraph Peak


Cliffy south face


View of the summit from the plateau


Benchmark


Leisa and I on the summit


Looking down on Thunder Mountain and up at the Mount San Antonio cluster


Descending back toward the saddle with Timber




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