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Ontario Peak, San Bernardino National Forest

Brigid, Chris, David, and Esa participated on this hike.

During the initial accent to Ontario Peak, I found myself thinking less than encouraging thoughts. "That's it. I'm done hiking." Muscles sore, nose runny, and 7 layers of t-shirts constricting, I was feeling worn out less than 2 miles into a 13 mile hike. "I am an idiot. What was I thinking? Why would anyone do this?" Then I took a look up from the trail to see the untouched surroundings. The awesome wilderness consumed me. "Wow."

Departing from Westwood at 5:45AM in Chris' impeccably spotless Civic, our party of four - Brigid, Chris, David, and Esa - navigated the mean streets and highways of Los Angeles to make it to our destination, located in northern Los Angeles County, by 7:30AM. Expecting chilly conditions, we came with hats, jackets, and many layers, but less than a mile into our 13 mile hike, the forecast proved to be a very nice 13 degrees (Celsius). The rocky terrain of the first two miles of our path eventually smoothed out as we made our accent, leading us to wilderness that inspired thoughts of campfires, marshmallows, and peanut-free snacks.

We were not alone in the mountains, of course. Among the other hikers we encountered along the trail, all of whom were all very courteous and cheerful, were boy scouts, a man who was curiously armed with a bow and arrow, and an especially robust man singing opera. We also came across several deer (some stationary, some in full stride), a few baby chipmunks, and one very adventurous canine (fully equipped with trail boots).

The invigorating mountain air filling our lungs, we traversed fallen tree trunks, fought the elements, and quite possibly evaded several scattered and ornery rattlesnakes to make it to Ontario Peak in a relatively quick 3 hours. The view from the top, at nearly 9000 feet, was both invigorating and breathtaking. The city spread before us, sore muscles be damned, we had captured the mountain.

Summary composed by Esa.