KEEP IT ALPINE Challenges are a fun way to challenge (punish) yourself in the outdoors and earn yourself some cool KEEP IT ALPINE gear, such as a shirt, patch, and vinyl sticker. These challenges present physical, mental and logistical obstacles that will benefit anyone training for a longer alpine style adventure. All of these challenges are difficult and should only be attempted by experienced hikers and backpackers who are in excellent physical condition. Additionally, you should be familiar with the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness before attempting any of these challenges. The vast majority of these peaks have altitudes higher than 10,000ft and the altitude should not be taken lightly. Before attempting these challenges, please review our terms and conditions. Attempt these challenges at your own risk. Please register with us via the contact page to ensure you are eligible and record your summits to win awards for completing each challenge!
This challenge is all about how you reach these summits. There are easier routes, but for this, we take the long way. For San Jacinto, we take the Deer Springs trailhead through Little Round Valley. For San Gorgonio, we take the Vivian Creek route. Although this is the easiest of the challenges, do not take this lightly. Both peaks reach altitudes above 10,000ft. Due to the location of these mountains, it is likely you are waking up at sea level, preventing any form of acclimatization. Depending on the season, water on the trail can be hard to come by. Come prepared. Both of these peaks are hot desert hikes. Award: 2" Keep It Alpine Patch
Being that challenges are a new addition to KEEP IT ALPINE, we have not yet attempted this challenge. Challenge #2 is basically Challenge #1 on steroids. We still summit San Jacinto via Deer Springs and San Gorgonio via Vivan Creek but with the added beast that is Mt. Whitney. Altitude is the biggest physical obstacle of this challenge. We do benefit from the two days prior to Whitney being above 10,000ft, but with a four-hour drive after returning to the car from San Gorgonio, the Whitney day will be extremely tough as you will be running on little rest with nubs as feet. Logistically, getting the required Whitney permit will be your biggest challenge. The positive is that at the end of this challenge, you will have summited the three best summits in Southern California, one of which just happens to be the tallest in the Contiguous United States. Award: 3" KEEP IT ALPINE Vinyl Sticker
Cucamonga, Iron Mountain, Baden Powell, San Antonio (Baldy), San Jacinto, San Gorgonio. Need we say more? Its a collection of long and steep climbs. The key to this challenge is doing them in that order. Sticking to this schedule provides a mental and logistical challenge. When on a thru-hike or an expedition, you can't choose to change the route halfway through because it's hard, you have to keep going. Covering this much elevation gain this quickly is a serious leg burner. While we don't reach the altitude of Challenge #2, we gain a whopping 28,915ft of elevation in just 7 days. To put that into perspective, the 211 mile John Muir Trail has a total of 47,000ft of elevation gain, generally done in about 21 days. Your feet will need an ice bath after this one.
Award: KEEP IT ALPINE T-Shirt