Throop Peak, Mount Hawkins, Copter Ridge
By: Joe Young
Leaders: Joe Young, Peter Doggett
Eight hikers met at 6:30 am at the Azusa carpool point and drove to Crystal Lake. We started hiking under clear skies at 7:55, and arrived at Windy Gap at about 9:20. Windy Gap was not windy. and the bugs (gnats and other flying insects) abounded. So we rested there just briefly and the left for Throop.
Shortly thereafter Joe realized that his pace was unacceptably slow, and he asked deputized assistant leader Peter Doggett to take over. Peter led the way to Hawkins, and the group rested at the turn off to Hawkins. Then we headed toward Throop. Joe, sweeping, failed to see the duck marking the path to Throop and kept going around to the east ridge. This turned out to be lucky, because one of the participants also had missed the turn off and had kept going, Joe encountered this participant at the east ridge of Throop and the two of them hiked to the summit of Throop by the east ridge, arriving at the summit at 11:25. The bugs on Throop were obnoxious.
This hike was originally scheduled to include Lewis, but there was no sentiment to do Lewis. But on the return towards Hawkins, most everybody became enthusiastic about doing Copter Ridge. Joe rested on the summit of Hawkins while Peter D. and the others did Copter Ridge, leaving the summit of Hawkins at 12:15 and returning at 2:45 -3:00. Occasional clouds offered only minimal relief. The summit of Hawkins was very buggy, with scant breeze. Temperatures began to rise, making life a bit more miserable.
We then headed back to Windy Gap and arrived there at about 4:00. After a brief rest at a now intermittently breezy Windy Gap, we headed for the cars, arriving at 5:00.
No one on this hike could recall these peaks ever being this buggy. We were glad for the early start, because the afternoon did become warm. Joe and "Just Sylvia" Ellis applied snow to one another, this made life momentarily pleasant There were very few snow patches along the trails to provide such relief, and those were melting fast.
Thanks to Peter for leading most of the day.
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