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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

To the top of El Cajon Mountain aka "The Beast" Messages in this topic - RSS

surfponto
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6/12/2016
surfponto
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We took advantage of the June Gloom to summit El Cajon Mountain yesterday.

Man that is one hard hike! Violin
12+ miles round trip with numerous uphills on the way back which kind of mess with your head. Took us 4 hours there and back which was pretty good if you read some other accounts of this hike.

Will have to do this one again before our Mount Whitney trip in September.












edited by surfponto on 6/12/2016

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rockhopper
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6/12/2016
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Congratulations! That is one tough hike. Only 2 of 3 of us made the whole trip to the top of El Cajon Mtn and back. Our friends feet hurt so bad after about 3 miles in that he had to turn back. My Brother and I were too fired up and said "See ya later" and continued on to the summit.
Did you start at Wild Cat Canyon?
Looks like you will be in great condition for your Whitney trip.
btw I posted some more Sierra pics in my post below for your motivation :-)
edited by rockhopper on 6/12/2016
edited by rockhopper on 6/12/2016
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surfponto
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6/12/2016
surfponto
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Yep Wildcat canyon.

We will plan on doing this again, as long as it is overcast.
After doing this Whitney is starting to scare me Whaaaaa?




rockhopper wrote:
Congratulations! That is one tough hike. Only 2 of 3 of us made the whole trip to the top of El Cajon Mtn and back. Our friends feet hurt so bad after about 3 miles in that he had to turn back. My Brother and I were too fired up and said "See ya later" and continued on to the summit.
Did you start at Wild Cat Canyon?
Looks like you will be in great condition for your Whitney trip.
btw I posted some more Sierra pics in my post below for your motivation :-)
edited by rockhopper on 6/12/2016
edited by rockhopper on 6/12/2016


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ziphius
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6/12/2016
ziphius
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Bob, missed you by one day, just got back from the trail today. You chose the right day, the sun came out in full force up there today. I ran into a guy with a big pack at the summit who was training for Mt. Rainier. 4 hours round trip is a good clip.
edited by ziphius on 6/12/2016
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dsefcik
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6/12/2016
dsefcik
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I almost pulled off and went there Sat also, decided to head to the Cuyamacas instead...still have my permits though..!!

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surfponto
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6/13/2016
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My wife wanted to kill me for going out at a fast pace. We both really regretted it on the way back.
I am trying to break in new hiking boots so of course ended up with a huge blister upset

ziphius wrote:
Bob, missed you by one day, just got back from the trail today. You chose the right day, the sun came out in full force up there today. I ran into a guy with a big pack at the summit who was training for Mt. Rainier. 4 hours round trip is a good clip.
edited by ziphius on 6/12/2016


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surfponto
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6/13/2016
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We should plan to do this again.
I probably need a few weeks so Mary will forget about how hard it was than we will drag her back up there wink

dsefcik wrote:
I almost pulled off and went there Sat also, decided to head to the Cuyamacas instead...still have my permits though..!!

edited by surfponto on 6/13/2016

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dsefcik
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6/13/2016
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surfponto wrote:
We should plan to do this again.
I probably need a few weeks so Mary will forget about how hard it was than we will drag her back up there wink
I remember August as always being a good time to hike it...

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surfponto
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6/13/2016
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Let's plan on doing it smile

dsefcik wrote:
surfponto wrote:
We should plan to do this again.
I probably need a few weeks so Mary will forget about how hard it was than we will drag her back up there wink
I remember August as always being a good time to hike it...


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ImpatientHiker
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6/13/2016
ImpatientHiker
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4 hours round trip ain't bad! A night hike during a full moon would be nice this time of year with a great view of the lights Of Tijuana & San Diego. If you guys want to step up the adventure factor a bit, I'd be happy to finally meet you and lead you through a full moon point to point from El Monte Park (near the El Capitan reservoir dam) to El Cajon Mtn peak to Wildcat Cyn Rd. I'm guessing it'd take you maybe 30 mins to an hour more than your out & back from Wildcat.
-Robert
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ziphius
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6/13/2016
ziphius
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ImpatientHiker wrote:
4 hours round trip ain't bad! A night hike during a full moon would be nice this time of year with a great view of the lights Of Tijuana & San Diego. If you guys want to step up the adventure factor a bit, I'd be happy to finally meet you and lead you through a full moon point to point from El Monte Park (near the El Capitan reservoir dam) to El Cajon Mtn peak to Wildcat Cyn Rd. I'm guessing it'd take you maybe 30 mins to an hour more than your out & back from Wildcat.
-Robert


While the moonlight hike idea sounds like fun, it does flout the rules regarding when folks are allowed on that trail, which also passes through a shared roadway of the Blue Sky Ranch near Wildcat Canyon Road. I'd hate to give any of the rangers or Blue Sky Ranch itself any reason to further limit access (or revoke it) because we can't follow the rules. I already see a lot of cars parked outside of the Wildcat canyon gate prior to 7 am, which is the official 'opening time' for the Wildcat Canyon trailhead. I'm not trying to be a killjoy here, I have a vested interest in keeping that trail open for many years. It is my go-to hike, I've done the round-trip to the summit 75 times and would like to get to 100 soon. If enough people continue to ignore the rules, especially near the Blue Sky Ranch and the landowners decide enough is enough, then we're all hurt. Again, I'm all for radical moonlight scrambles myself, but not there. [ and Bob / Daren, if you guys want any company on another El Cajon Mtn. mission, let me know! ] Jim
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surfponto
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6/14/2016
surfponto
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Sounds interesting.
Once this blister heals (stupid boots) I will give it some thought smile

ImpatientHiker wrote:
4 hours round trip ain't bad! A night hike during a full moon would be nice this time of year with a great view of the lights Of Tijuana & San Diego. If you guys want to step up the adventure factor a bit, I'd be happy to finally meet you and lead you through a full moon point to point from El Monte Park (near the El Capitan reservoir dam) to El Cajon Mtn peak to Wildcat Cyn Rd. I'm guessing it'd take you maybe 30 mins to an hour more than your out & back from Wildcat.
-Robert


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surfponto
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6/14/2016
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I was wondering about that.
They do seem pretty strict as to when you need to be off the trail.

Bob




ziphius wrote:
ImpatientHiker wrote:
4 hours round trip ain't bad! A night hike during a full moon would be nice this time of year with a great view of the lights Of Tijuana & San Diego. If you guys want to step up the adventure factor a bit, I'd be happy to finally meet you and lead you through a full moon point to point from El Monte Park (near the El Capitan reservoir dam) to El Cajon Mtn peak to Wildcat Cyn Rd. I'm guessing it'd take you maybe 30 mins to an hour more than your out & back from Wildcat.
-Robert


While the moonlight hike idea sounds like fun, it does flout the rules regarding when folks are allowed on that trail, which also passes through a shared roadway of the Blue Sky Ranch near Wildcat Canyon Road. I'd hate to give any of the rangers or Blue Sky Ranch itself any reason to further limit access (or revoke it) because we can't follow the rules. I already see a lot of cars parked outside of the Wildcat canyon gate prior to 7 am, which is the official 'opening time' for the Wildcat Canyon trailhead. I'm not trying to be a killjoy here, I have a vested interest in keeping that trail open for many years. It is my go-to hike, I've done the round-trip to the summit 75 times and would like to get to 100 soon. If enough people continue to ignore the rules, especially near the Blue Sky Ranch and the landowners decide enough is enough, then we're all hurt. Again, I'm all for radical moonlight scrambles myself, but not there. [ and Bob / Daren, if you guys want any company on another El Cajon Mtn. mission, let me know! ] Jim

edited by surfponto on 6/14/2016

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ImpatientHiker
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6/14/2016
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Jim, I also want to see our trails remain open & new ones allowed for all of us (including my kids)and I try to be an active participant in that regard. San Miguel is a prime example of rule flouting helping to close off incredible trails, possibly permanently. I was under the impression that only the parking lot had closed hours as I usually ride my bike there but a search of the county's website shows you are correct. Thanks for cluing me in.
The sunset closure rule for Laguna & Cuyamaca Mtn parking has always irked me because it means that it is effectively against the law to watch a sunset from any of OUR peaks as you'd have to reach your vehicle by sunset.
-Robert
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ziphius
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6/14/2016
ziphius
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ImpatientHiker wrote:
Jim, I also want to see our trails remain open & new ones allowed for all of us (including my kids)and I try to be an active participant in that regard. San Miguel is a prime example of rule flouting helping to close off incredible trails, possibly permanently. I was under the impression that only the parking lot had closed hours as I usually ride my bike there but a search of the county's website shows you are correct. Thanks for cluing me in.
The sunset closure rule for Laguna & Cuyamaca Mtn parking has always irked me because it means that it is effectively against the law to watch a sunset from any of OUR peaks as you'd have to reach your vehicle by sunset.
-Robert


Thanks for the follow-up Robert. I actually ran into a couple that had camped near the summit of El Cajon Mtn one morning. I'm not sure if they were aware of the rules and I didn't feel compelled to preach to them on the spot. I've spoken with the rangers a few times about the 'situation' on El Cajon Mountain in recent years. What I mean by 'situation' is that since the advent of meet-up groups and Yelp hiking reviews ("toughest hike in San Diego County!") the trail has become swarmed with knuckleheads and the unprepared. The rangers / Sheriff's Dept. conducts about a rescue per week I'm told, some of those at night, mainly because folks underestimate the trail, leave too late, aren't fit, or a combo of all three. It's a hard enough hike during the day, heh? I agree that the rules are sometimes too restrictive. We live in a crowded world now and I know personally that I prefer to go hiking at oddball hours too (Iron Mountain used to be quiet at 11 pm, but no more - if you build a parking lot, they will come!). As far as freedom in the backcountry is concerned, I feel like I was born 200 years too late. smile
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tommy750
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6/15/2016
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dsefcik wrote:
surfponto wrote:
We should plan to do this again.
I probably need a few weeks so Mary will forget about how hard it was than we will drag her back up there wink
I remember August as always being a good time to hike it...


El Cajon is closed in August because of the extreme heat. Showed up years ago in August with my now fiancée packing two liters each and made it to the four mile saddle before realizing we'd made a huge mistake. Was 93 that day and well over 100 in some spots. We laid in a ditch in the shade till late afternoon when my very annoyed older brother (contacted by phone) showed up packing the sweetest water I've ever drank. Still read the UT and sneer at the idiots getting airlifted off El Cajon but realize I was almost one of them.

That's a really good time up and back, Bob. Need to get out there and hike it again!
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dsefcik
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6/15/2016
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right, august is a good time to hike it...wink
i guess my smart ass didn't translate well in writing...thought the signs there were obvious.

tommy750 wrote:
[El Cajon is closed in August because of the extreme heat.


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surfponto
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6/15/2016
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Yeah I figured summer was not the best time to do it wink

dsefcik wrote:
right, august is a good time to hike it...wink
i guess my smart ass didn't translate well in writing...thought the signs there were obvious.

tommy750 wrote:
[El Cajon is closed in August because of the extreme heat.


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surfponto
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6/15/2016
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Good story Tom smile

tommy750 wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
surfponto wrote:
We should plan to do this again.
I probably need a few weeks so Mary will forget about how hard it was than we will drag her back up there wink
I remember August as always being a good time to hike it...


El Cajon is closed in August because of the extreme heat. Showed up years ago in August with my now fiancée packing two liters each and made it to the four mile saddle before realizing we'd made a huge mistake. Was 93 that day and well over 100 in some spots. We laid in a ditch in the shade till late afternoon when my very annoyed older brother (contacted by phone) showed up packing the sweetest water I've ever drank. Still read the UT and sneer at the idiots getting airlifted off El Cajon but realize I was almost one of them.

That's a really good time up and back, Bob. Need to get out there and hike it again!


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ziphius
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6/15/2016
ziphius
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tommy750 wrote:
El Cajon is closed in August because of the extreme heat. Showed up years ago in August with my now fiancée packing two liters each and made it to the four mile saddle before realizing we'd made a huge mistake. Was 93 that day and well over 100 in some spots. We laid in a ditch in the shade till late afternoon when my very annoyed older brother (contacted by phone) showed up packing the sweetest water I've ever drank. Still read the UT and sneer at the idiots getting airlifted off El Cajon but realize I was almost one of them.


Wow, she stayed with you all those years after that near-disaster? smile Anybody, no matter how fit, can get into trouble on that hill. The August closure never made sense to me, on average it is hotter in September, but probably fewer folks attempting it. I've done it a couple / few times in 95 degree weather, I always use an old Go-Lite hiking umbrella for those trips. Carrying it doesn't make you look tough, but it shaves 15 degrees of heat off of your experience.
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tommy750
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6/15/2016
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Think I missed that PE class in grade school where the teacher said drink more water when playing dodge ball in the heat but El Cajon helped me sort that out!

Daren, figured you were kidding, but since everyone was talking about the rule breakers, thought I'd throw in my worst breakin the law hiking anecdote


Jim, my fiancee has permanently crossed El Cajon off her hiking list and not infrequently reminds me of it upset
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tekewin
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7/27/2016
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Nice report!

On my first trip to El Cajon, it was August and it was closed. A ranger turned me away. I went back and did the main trail in November that year.

This May, I made my second ascent up the south arete from El Monte road. Definitely more adventurous with a lot of strong class 3. There is a good use trail that fades away about half way up. You won't have any crowds to deal with though if you go that way. South arete full report.
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ziphius
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12/28/2016
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Bagged the peak for the 80th time today. My daughter made a sign for me:




edited by ziphius on 12/29/2016
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Britain
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12/29/2016
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Thats a tough hike. Lots of up and downs. 80th time? Wow.

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rockhopper
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12/30/2016
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Ziphius must hold the record for that climb. 80! Congrats! I did it once years ago. It's a long round trip hike. One guy out of three of us dropped out on the way up.
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surfponto
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12/30/2016
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80 times. Geesh I said I would never do it a second time :-)
Congrats that is awesome.

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ziphius
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12/30/2016
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surfponto wrote:
Geesh I said I would never do it a second time :-)


I said the same thing after my first trip in 2002. Didn't do the 2nd trip until 2007. Then in late 2010, I started doing it on a regular basis.
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dsefcik
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12/31/2016
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Thumbs Up
Toast
worship

I have 4 or 5 trips under my belt...nice work, going for 100??

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ziphius
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12/31/2016
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dsefcik wrote:
Thumbs Up
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I have 4 or 5 trips under my belt...nice work, going for 100??


Yep, going for 100. I never carried the weight you did up that peak though.
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ziphius
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3/7/2017
ziphius
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Back in February, I met up with the parks department and a videographer who did a story / video on my quest to hike this 100 times (and then some). They did a nice job on it.
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tommy750
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3/8/2017
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Impressive video, Ziphius. Let the forum know when you do #100. If you ever consider something like per mile sponsors for your favorite charity, I'm in.
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surfponto
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3/9/2017
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Very cool !!Toast

ziphius wrote:
Back in February, I met up with the parks department and a videographer who did a story / video on my quest to hike this 100 times (and then some). They did a nice job on it.


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Rocko1
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5/7/2017
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Any guess as to when the best time to do this with the least amount of crowds?
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rockhopper
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5/7/2017
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Midweek. Go early to beat the heat during the climb.
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