Sunday, September 11, 2016

Winston Peak, Winston Ridge, and Point 6850

Winston Ridge from the Backside of Winston Peak
When I look at topographic maps, I'm always intrigued by the ridges that project like fingers deep into blank spaces on the map. I like the openness of ridgelines and the idea of wandering alone along their sometimes narrow spines, peering into the deep canyons that invariably flank them. Places like the Ross Ridge, Copter Ridge, Pleasant View Ridge, Pine Mountain Ridge, Kratka Ridge - they all appeal to me and hold my imagination. There are a ton of these ridgelines in the San Gabriel Mountains to explore, some of which I know I'll never get to.

Winston Ridge is one of those ridges. It and it's namesake peak are named for Pasadena businessman L.C. Winston who, in 1893, got lost in a blizzard here and froze to death. His remains were apparently found in 1900 along what is now known as Winston Ridge.   

Saturday I explored some of this ridge which skirts the transition zone from forest to high desert. My route took me from Cloudburst Summit up the well worn use trail to Winston Peak, down the northeast side, around the west side of Pt. 6903, up onto the ridgeline, and out to Pt. 6850. Although I saw no one during my time out, this route obviously sees regular traffic. The use path to the summit of Winston Peak and back down to the saddle south of Pt. 6903 is very well trod - almost an established trail. The same holds true for the use trail from the saddle to Winston Ridge and out to Pt. 7003. Beyond Pt. 7003 and out to Pt. 6850, the use trail is less traveled, but still obvious and easy to follow. Continuing northwest from Pt. 6850, the path peters out considerably, the terrain steepens, and things get a bit more wild.

I found no benchmark or register atop Winston Peak. I also found no benchmarks along Winston Ridge, but I did locate the register at Pt. 7003 and dutifully logged in. Based upon the register entries, Pt. 7003 sees sporadic, but continuous visitors.

This is a short trip so I lingered a bit at Pt. 6850 enjoying the scenery and the solitude. On the return, I contoured around the north side of Pt. 6903 and then followed the Pacific Crest Trail back to Cloudburst. This gave me some variety on my way out and allowed me to avoid the steep and loose use path back to the summit of Winston Peak. 

View Toward Mt. Pacifico from Winston Peak

Looking North from Winston Peak Toward the Pleasant View Ridge

Phos-Chek on the Pleasant View Ridge
The Winston Ridge as seen from Winston Peak

View Into Little Rock Creek Canyon from Winston Peak

Squaw Canyon from the Back Side of Pt. 6903
Pleasant View Ridge - Another View

Winston Peak from the Winston Ridge

Looking Into the Little Rock Creek Drainage from the Winston Ridge
The High Desert from Winston Ridge - Pt. 6306 in the Foreground

Typical Conditions Along the Winston Ridge

Pt. 6850 from Near Pt. 7003
Looking South Toward the Front Country from Winston Ridge

Witness Post on the East Side of Pt. 6850

Witness Post AAW-26
Looking Back at Pt. 7003 from Pt. 6850

Looking Northwest from Pt. 6850 - Pt. 6235 in the Foreground

View West toward Mt. Pacifico from Pt. 6850

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