Yesterday I posted the final trail update (available here) for 2019, which has been a truly unique year for weather, for the San Jacinto mountains, and for Idyllwild. The Trail Report has certainly been kept busy. In December the website passed 100,000 views for the year, literally ten times more views than I would have ever expected.
Never have the effects of long-term changes to the climate been so clear in the San Jacinto mountains. The winters at both the beginning and end of 2019 have been marked by wild fluctuations from unusually warm temperatures to frigid storm and back again, often all in the same week, an effect especially noticeable at the highest elevations.
The weather year was bookended by two dramatic events. Valentine’s Day brought a once-in-a-lifetime rainfall and flood event that left it’s mark on mountain life for the entire year (and likely beyond) with closed roads, closed campgrounds, and quiet trails. It then ended with the heaviest November snowstorm in recorded local history right over Thanksgiving. In between, we had the largest ever northbound Pacific Crest Trail season, which combined with the aftermath of our strongest winter in years, brought considerable challenges.
At a personal level, new all-time records were established for the number of ascents of San Jacinto Peak in a calendar year (147) and consecutive days with an ascent (33). While all these ascents were great fun (and pretty good exercise!), they were also done while patrolling as a State Park wilderness ranger, and gathering information for both the Trail Report and the local PCTA trail crew. I have a feeling both records may get broken again in 2020.
Now to the real purpose of this note. Reporting on the trail conditions during the remarkable year of 2019 was made possible with the help of the donors listed on the Supporters page. Also listed there are many other folk who have assisted the Report in various ways. A huge THANK YOU to all.
Particular mention must be made of the invaluable recurring donors without whom the Trail Report could not continue in its current format: Chris Singer (Silver Pines Lodge & Village), Marc Oberlin, Christine Vanek, Constance Brunig, Charles Phelan and Marcia Harlan, Florian Boyd, Christine Rheaume and Mark Gumprecht, Steven Morris and Martha Ludlum, Brian Green, Brad Marston, Ron Brown, Don Line, Natalie Mikecz/Nat Nak Eng, LLC, Pamela VanZandt, Cris Hazzard, Andrea Lankford, Cathy Tarr (on behalf of the David O’Sullivan search team), Ross Craft, and Sean Reed.
Thank you all again, and let’s see what 2020 brings to the San Jacinto mountains!