Guess what? I summited my first class 3 ascent this weekend, and class 3 bouldering is WHERE IT’S AT! Oh, and I finally began my much talked about sex positive mountain project, #SexySummits! More on that later.
First of all, mountains. Did you know that a mere 12 miles drive up the Angeles Crest Highway, deep in the San Gabriel Mountains, there’s a really great, really challenging 11.5 mile loop of Strawberry Peak? It’s seriously one of the most fun hikes I’ve ever done out of LA. After a relatively moderate 3 mile ascent, you split off from the main trail. From here, you’ll get taken up the steep side of a mountain and come face to face with a rock wall. It looks like you should turn and go back, but no! This is the route. If you’ve ever done any sort of climbing, it really isn’t too difficult. “An easy scramble with high stakes,” as my friend Katie would say. Watch out for slippery gravel and the potential for loose boulders to fall! Traverse the ridge line for another mile or so (try not to get lost like me, burrowing through the chaparral) and you’ll come face to face with another, bigger rock wall. Climb. Rinse. Repeat.
There’s a rusted out metal box at the summit with a notebook so you can write something inspired or ridiculous before making your descent, which is WAY longer than the ascent. It will wind you through an alpine meadow, past a junction for Mt. Lawlor (in case you want to tack on another peak, overachiever). For a more detailed description and trail directions, Modern Hiker has a great write up on the loop. However, if you want to push your time, don’t listen to their estimate! I finished in 5 hours, compared to their 7, so this can easily be done as a day hike without a start in the wee hours of early morning.
Oh! One more thing! I’m starting a new project called Sexy Summits (#sexysummits for all my fellow social media whores). I’m going to endeavor to take a topless photo on every new peak I summit from now on, and you can totally join the adventure! I want to bring awareness to sex positivity, body positivity, self-love, and women’s empowerment by instigating this one, silly act of rebellion. I think that, especially in this political climate (and especially after last Tuesday), it’s more important than ever for strong, iconoclastic women to make their voices heard. Pussy fights back, and I’m just getting started.