Man, those pictures are great! I had to remove the “w” from the “httpsw:” at the beginning of the link to see the album, but that’s good stuff. 1973…i’d have been 1. Ha!
That makes sense about Yucaipa Ridge. You probably made the right decision, calling it a day. From Galena to Little San Gorgonio is a pretty serious undertaking, and from east to west is particularly tricky, as there are two sections of 3rd/4th class that you have to descend without being sure you’re going the right way, unless you’ve been there before. Ha! Easier from the west, but still messy, and either way you go, the loose rock is separated by sections of step, deep, loose sand and dust and brush. Like you, I looked at the ridge for years before actually having a go at it. when i did, i didn’t hit it from Galena east, but via Camp Creek, hitting the ridge below Wilshire then to Galena, which was a big day.
If you enjoyed the jumpoff and are looking for an adventure on the south face of Gorgonio that’s a little tamer than descending from Big Tree, you can go up the jumpoff, drop down east until you see the first major open, rocky drainage to the north, then take that until it becomes impassible and cut to the west to the ridge. Then up the ridge to meet the vivian creek trail at around 10,000 ft, about two miles from the summit of gorgonio. A fun day, and you have an easy walk out on the trail after your cross-country work. It would be cool to make an overnight of it, camping above the jumpoff, before you start up the drainage.
The drainage i mention is clearly visible in satellite imagery of gorgonio as a long, even-width white line that cuts north in a sea of chinquapin and manzanita. by the time you get to where you have to leave the drainage for the ridge, the brush is knee height for the most part and very little bushwhacking is required. Some photos from a trip on that route are here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskoYFk2g
I’d still like to hear about your trip down from big tree if you take it! heck, i might be coerced into coming along. ha!
Regarding Allison falls, i’ve looked up at multiple approaches to that area from down around dobbs cabin (looked sketchy) and thought about dropping down on it from Dobbs Peak (ran out of time) so if you make it there, i’d like to hear about how that went, too!