Here’s an observation many of us regular hikers have shared over the years: Our trails seem to be a greater lure to people from other countries than to Angelenos. Maybe living in L.A. is so urban an experience that natives simply don’t relate to the plethora of great trails just minutes from the Westside.
In any event, our Monday-Wednesday night hiking group has evolved into an international cultural experience.
The indefatigable Kiwis often take the lead, but the Russian, French and other contingents are usually not far behind. You never know what language or accent you’ll hear, which I think adds a special dimension to the experience.
One of my all-time favorite hikes, The Windcaves, is coming up soon and this particular trek usually draws a diverse crowd. Its also one of those hikes with some odd bits of climbing, narrow passages and little bumps that draw the group together, as opposed to a long and windy open fire road where hikers spread out at various paces.
First timers often perceive the Windcaves as a dangerous route, and, truth be told, it could be for the careless. Using your hands is novel to novices as are dead-drop rocky cliffsides in the dark. But we take our time, call-out the obstacles and rarely have a problem.
The more complex the hike the slower you go – and the more you learn about and depend upon your fellow hikers. Experienced hikers are usually a generous lot, they somehow can’t help themselves from showing the newbies the proverbial ropes – it’s almost as much fun to teach and share the experience as it is to discover it for the first time.
Other routes that draw folks together are the nearby “Crack,” also a variation of the Santa Ynez Trail in the Palisades Highlands, and “Wirebreak,” most remarkable for its relentlessly rugged uphill gain.
You can’t do these trails without engaging with your fellow hikers, and by hike’s end there are invariably stories to tell – regardless of one’s accent.
So come join us any Monday or Wednesday night, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and we’ll show you some intriguing adventures to write home about.Fearless readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes, should call Scott Regberg at (310) 475-5735.