(10/29/05) October 22, 4:00 am, fifteen brave people started up the Skyline trail for the Cactus to Clouds event. It was a diverse group of people, but with a common purpose -- to complete the most difficult hike in Southern California and the fifth most difficult hike in the United States. That day twelve people ascended 10,700 feet (a vertical half mile more than Whitney) over a distance of 22 miles, with heavy packs due to the waterless exposed trail and temperatures ranging over a span of fifty degrees. Not only that, but the group made it up the mountain very quickly, with many personal records attained.
I am truly speechless. All I can say is that it's the most inspiring group hike I've ever been on. On that note, I'll close with words from some of the others:
...it was the most enjoyable hike that I have ever
done, although at the time I was thinking otherwise. - Patrick McNeil
This was beyond my wildest dreams... - Jeff Cuevas
This is the hike I have wanted to do since I was
nine. The 22 year wait was well worth it... more of a spectacular experience than just any ordinary hike. I have been telling everybody how great it was. - Kenny Jr.