Mt. San Jacinto

Storm shelter on Mt San Jacinto


I was told this was a high snow year for the west coast but I had no idea how much snow I would encounter this early into my journey.

When my alarm went off at 4:30 am I was already walking down the streets of Idlewild on my way to summit Mt. San Jacinto. In the first five miles alone I gained over 3,000 feet of elevation.

Once off the side trail leading from the town and back on the pct, I encountered my first bit of snow. It was a small patch about 2×2 ft. I didn’t think much of it but as I pressed on the snow patches grew in number and size. A few miles after reaching the pct I the trail was buried and I had to follow were the foot tracks of those who had gone before me.

The summit of Mt San Jacinto

While trudging through the snow I realized how slow it really was. I was moving at about one to one and a half miles per hour, half the speed I normally walk.

After three hours of steep uphill elevation gain without a trail I reached the storm shelter close to the top of the mountain. The stone hut made me feel as though I had stepped back in time. Although amazing, I still had to press on a few hundred more feet to the top of t

he mountain.

Summit of Mt San Jacinto

Finally, after hours of climbing I reached the top (10,834 ft above sea level). From this vantage point I was able to look across the desert and see how far I had traveled, as well as what laid before me.

My successful journey to the top was celebrated by eating my lunch with a view that most people only in pictures.

Although exhausting and time consuming, the feeling of accomplishment I got from climbing my first mountain in the PCT was enough to fuel my journey for the next couple days. Many people skipped the summit but I think going for it is the true nature of the trail. It is the nature of adventure.

7 Replies to “Mt. San Jacinto”

  1. Noel, I have such pride and awe if you! I truly hope this journey blessed you far beyond your expectations and that you will use this time to allow the Lord to speak to you in ways you may have never seen or heard. Dave and I are praying for you and are excited to see where this journey takes you next!! Hugs, Kat Curlee

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us, Noel. Glad to know you are safe and enjoying yourself. We’re praying for ya.

    Mrs. King
    (Seth’s mom)

  3. As you can imagine, tears are rolling down my face as I’m reading these updates! Imagine that. I am so proud of you Noel Nelson and so excited to continue this journey with you. I’m going to stay here and read updates from my living room while you’re out there having the adventure, but thanks for letting us tag along! Praying for you every step of the way. I’m praying that the Lord speaks strongly in your heart and gives you such great direction and discernment for the life that lies ahead of you. Tim and I are so proud of you and love you bunches! ❤️

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