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  1. #1
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    Default Fuller Ridge - AM I GONNA DIE???

    First, is Fuller actually on the PCT proper, or do you only hike it when getting back to the PCT after climbing S.J. peak?
    What is it like? Is it scary solely because of snow and ice or is it scary anyway?
    Do.most folks bypass it?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Fuller Ridge is a classic part of the PCT and there's no bypass.

    I found it a beautiful place. I set up a dry camp at sunset just off the trail at the summit, got going early the next morning in to try to beat the late April heat at the pass at the bottom.

    No snow to speak of when I hiked it during a normal snow year. Parts of it at the summit would be treacherous in icy conditions, from what i recall. Same holds true for other parts of the PCT along the summit.

  3. #3
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Curiouser and curiouser. I think the confusion is lumping Fuller Ridge in with the San Jacinto Peak Summit Trail.
    According to Postholer, Cal-Topo and the San Bernardino National Forest maps, the OFFICIAL PCT skirts around the southwest quadrant of San Jacinto Peak, elevation 10,800 feet. There is a trail that leaves the PCT and gets close to the summit before rejoining the PCT. The short summit trail is an up and back dead end trail.
    Look at your Halfmile map. The PCT doesn't go above 9,000' as it circles around San Jacinto Peak.
    O.C.D. may have a different map.
    No. You won't die as long as the conditions don't exceed your abilities.
    Just do it!
    Wayne
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    It is overhyped because it is the first sketchy snow that most experience on the PCT. If this section was after the Sierra it would never even get a mention. Most recent reports suggest it is complete clear already this year.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

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    It was not scary at all with very minimal snow in April 2015. I can see how it would be a little sketchy if there is snow.

    Two related points: One does not HAVE to climb San Jacinto Peak (I didn't due to timing and what looked like an impending storm (that didn't materialize). Also, there IS a bypass, it is documented in the Half Mile maps. If Fuller Ridge is too sketchy for your comfort level, take the alternate.

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    You are definitely going to die. Check it out. When you reach Fuller Ridge, just peek over the side. You'll see bodies piled up like cord wood! You'll see old Kelty external frame packs still strapped onto skeletons from the '70s! When they talk about the two thirds of thruhikers that drop out of the PCT, they actually mean the people that drop OFF the PCT at Fuller Ridge.

    YMMV

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    Default Fuller Ridge - AM I GONNA DIE???

    Thanks guys. Somebody out here - and you know who you are - has been trying to scare me out of it. ?

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    Seriously it won't be a problem. One thing to watch out for, though, is ice under a thin layer of snow. We get these thaw-during-the-day, freeze-at-night cycles here, so sometimes it can be icy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwschenk View Post
    You are definitely going to die. Check it out. When you reach Fuller Ridge, just peek over the side. You'll see bodies piled up like cord wood! You'll see old Kelty external frame packs still strapped onto skeletons from the '70s! When they talk about the two thirds of thruhikers that drop out of the PCT, they actually mean the people that drop OFF the PCT at Fuller Ridge.

    YMMV
    This is so not true. The truth is that the fallen hikers become hiking zombies and head north toward Canada. Hear the footsteps in the night??????
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  10. #10

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    Of course the OP is going to die. We all are. Probably not out hiking though.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  11. #11

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    Dude, fuller ridge isnt even really a ridge. It's below treeline, there's no worries at all
    - Young Blood | AT2015 | PCT2016 | CDT2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungBloodOnTrail View Post
    Dude, fuller ridge isnt even really a ridge. It's below treeline, there's no worries at all
    Really? Seems like I read a post out here, maybe last year, somebody took a long, bad fall from fuller. Anybody else remember that?

  13. #13
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    If there is snow it will be so beat-in that all you do is follow the path.
    Lonehiker

  14. #14
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefals View Post
    Really? Seems like I read a post out here, maybe last year, somebody took a long, bad fall from fuller. Anybody else remember that?
    On record breaking snow pack. You donít do snow. Remember?
    You misquoted me. I said that you should bypass the summit of San Jacinto Peak. As it turns out, the PCT does exactly that.
    You can fly over the trail with Google Earth. And about umpteen dozen videos.

  15. #15

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    Actually people have died hiking Fueller Ridge when it was snow covered as if you slip, it's a long steep slide down into trees and rocks. Fortunately, it hasn't happened very often. I can only remember a few times over the last 25 years. In fact, the last time I remember reading something about it, they found a skeleton of someone several years later.

    That said, this year shouldn't cause you very much trouble. I wouldn't skip it for the hwy/black mtn road alternative unless a big storm was coming in.

  16. #16

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    Malto is right in that Fuller Ridge has an inflated reputation because of it's location. That said, in 2010 during thru-hike season the PCTA was recommending the Hwy/Black Mountain Road. I did Fuller Ridge and it was doable but one of the more challenging sections of the whole trail: some post-holing, punching into rock wells, almost no visible trail, fairly steep in places. How big of a deal it is, I think, depends mostly on a person's experience and how bad the snow is at the time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jefals View Post
    Really? Seems like I read a post out here, maybe last year, somebody took a long, bad fall from fuller. Anybody else remember that?
    On record breaking snow pack. You don’t do snow. Remember?
    You misquoted me. I said that you should bypass the summit of San Jacinto Peak. As it turns out, the PCT does exactly that.
    You can fly over the trail with Google Earth. And about umpteen dozen videos.
    Oh yeah. You said that Colorado Rob says it's a hard climb so I shouldn't do it. And after all, Rob's climbed the two highest peaks in the Northern Hemisphere!
    Hey, I got a question: When Rob told you he was going to climb the two highest peaks in the northern hemisphere, and you told him not to try it because somebody said it was hard, what did Rob say?

  18. #18
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    Default Fuller Ridge - AM I GONNA DIE???

    thanks, Miner and Colter. I'm not thru-hiking, so generally hiking off season. I may be there in late fall. Shouldn't be any snow. Unless it's new snow.

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  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefals View Post
    Oh yeah. You said that Colorado Rob says it's a hard climb so I shouldn't do it. And after all, Rob's climbed the two highest peaks in the Northern Hemisphere!
    Hey, I got a question: When Rob told you he was going to climb the two highest peaks in the northern hemisphere, and you told him not to try it because somebody said it was hard, what did Rob say?
    Jeff,
    Youíre still confusing the non-PCT trail over the summit of San Jacinto Peak with the designated PCT.
    Please disregard my earlier email exchange. I had not thoroughly investigated the trail routes over and around San Jacinto Peak at the time.
    If/when you leave Idyllwild headed for Palm Springs youíll be fine. Just stay on the PCT.
    Cheers!
    Wayne

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