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Kiss The Rain

(5/18/05) Its the title of one my favorite songs on my workout mix. It conjures images of the popular movie scene of hands reaching eagerly to the sky as tears of happiness mix with falling rain drops.

In an area of the country where drought has at times forced us to let our lawns die, discontinue use of our decorative fountains, change our plumbing fixtures, let our cars drive dirty, and even take military showers...

Kiss the rain.

This year is Southern California's second-wettest year on record. Its once in a lifetime that you are able to witness kayakers in Death Valley and see the blossom of seeds that only germinate once every few decades. How often does Los Angeles receive more rain than Seattle? And in mid-May, the rain continues even to this day.

Snow levels are 53 percent above average in the Southern Sierra's. The highest Southern California mountains are reporting snow bases of 12 feet deep. The snow melt will continue to fill our reservoirs of much needed water.

While snow sports and river rafting are loving the change, hikers and backpackers are having to adjust as well. I just heard many PCT thru-hikers are detouring the PCT at San Jacinto due to winter-related conditions. Winter-related fatalities have been reported on various Southern California mountains. Heavy snow on north-facing slopes in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area has unleashed avalanches large and fast enough to uproot and snap 40-foot trees.

Due to this year's extraordinary snow pack, the Perfect Pace event schedule for Spring and Summer has been adjusted. The revised schedule is safer and more snow-free. There is a possibility that we may not have to strap on the crampons at all with this revised schedule.

Also, many of the hikes are now easier. All "Very Strenuous" hikes (except for Whitney) have been reduced a notch or two. For instance, the Grand Canyon trip is now a relaxing multi-day backpack at class "Moderate-to-Strenuous". The Gorgonio backpack is now a more scenic trip with a class drop to "Strenuous". Those training for September peak climbs should carry packs with at least 25 lbs for all hikes (including day hikes) in July and August. A couple more moderate hikes have been added. Agua Tibia is also back on the schedule. :)

Changes have been made to the following events:

Agua Tibia (Dates changed)
Cedar Springs (New)
Mt. Baden-Powell (New)
Mt. Baldy (Date changed)
Mt. Gould (Dates changed)
Whitney (Begin date changed)
Grand Canyon (Dates changed)

Please check schedule for details.

On a closing note, after going through a recent bout of pneumonia and low back trouble, Kiss the Rain for me symbolizes hope, redemption, and healing. In an age of fast-paced lifestyles, its also a reminder that sometimes you need to slow down to move forward. How do you know if you're going too fast or too slow or when its time to rest and when its time to push your body? I've learned from running seven marathons that the science is out there. The tricky part is really learning how to listen to our own bodies. Its a valuable art to master in the quest to find the perfect pace.