Snowshoeing Onyx Peak

We had a good February for snow here in Southern California, but now in March it’s warming up and the snow is rapidly disappearing. One has to grab opportunities as they present themselves. So when a storm dumped some fresh snow in the San Bernardino mountains we decided to go out for a quick snowshoe experience. Since this was Srisuda’s first time with snowshoes I picked a predictable route: The access road to Onyx Peak.

We arrived at Onyx Pass just before 10 am. On the drive up we did not see much snow on the ground below 7000ft and even at the Pass (8400ft) there was noticeably less than 2 weeks ago. Walking was quite noisy. The snow had been through some thaw/refreeze cycles and it was early enough in the morning for it to still be frozen, so every step broke the icy top layer.

Srisuda quickly got the hang of things and moved right along. She also immediately noticed how much harder it is than regular hiking. It was not too cold and there was a light breeze on the more open sections, but with the sun out conditions were very good. About half way up we encountered deeper snow and wind drifts. Views of San Gorgonio and the Big Bear area were great. At the top we found a spot protected from the wind and set up for lunch. We had a nice hot meal of broth and instant noodles. The snow was wet here and melting quickly. After a nice break we started down. By this time Srisuda’s hips were really bothering her, so we took some shortcuts straight down the slopes in deep snow where possible, cutting off about a mile of walking.

After. 5.2 miles, 650 ft elevation gain and 6h we were back at the truck. It was fun to do another hike in untouched snow.

(click on image to enlarge/start slide show)

2 thoughts on “Snowshoeing Onyx Peak

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.