Route Climbed: Only Route - Northwest Ridge - 5k vertical, 14 miles Date Climbed: August 25, 2002
I drove to San Luis Saturday night and stayed in the only hotel in town. We all had to meet the leader at 5:30am at the Catholic Church. It wasn’t the easiest church to find and I was running a little behind. I got there right a 5:30 and everyone was ready to leave. If I had been about 5 minutes late I would have missed the group. We all drove our cars to Taylor Ranch and got a welcome talk from the ranch staff.
The first three miles of the hike were on a road to the upper parking lot that is now restricted to drive on. From the upper parking lot we then headed up to the ridge. That was the hardest part of the day. There wasn’t much of a trail and we couldn’t see the summit yet. At about 13,400 feet we reached a point on the ridge and could see the summit from there. At this point there was also the biggest cairn I have ever seen. It was at least ten feet tall and about 5 foot in diameter.
The last 800 feet to the summit was pretty easy, and I was one of the first to it. With a group as large as the one that day people were really spread out. For seven of the people that day this was there last fourteener so it was pretty eventful day for them. The views were great and the hike was really pretty easy except for the number of miles involved. It would have been a long day if I would have done this peak by myself. But with all the people it turned out to be even a longer day. Back at the trailhead I didn’t say much and just wanted to get out of their, and get home.