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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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An Alpine Ascent in Orange County

Are there any frustrated Orange County mountaineers out there, looking for an icy peak to summit?  If so, a rare opportunity may be right around the corner.  A winter storm with origins in the Gulf of Alaska is heading south, and threatens to bring cold temperatures and precipitation to Orange County over the next couple of days.  It is believed that the snow level may drop as low as 2000-3000 feet, and if so, that means a healthy dusting of snow for our local Santa Ana mountain range, especially Saddleback Mountain (also known as Santiago Peak) with an elevation of 5,689 feet.  The Patch reports that even Ortega Highway may receive snowfall as it reaches an altitude of 2600 feet just west of Lake Elsinore.

So, grab your ice axe, strap on your crampons and take advantage of this unusual opportunity to make a winter alpine ascent of an Orange County mountain.  We’ve provided instructions for summiting Saddleback here.

There’s a beautiful photo of a snow-covered Saddleback rising above Lake Mission Viejo at city-data.com here.  We didn’t embed the photo because it is unclear whether it is licensed for redistribution.

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