I waslucky to decide to do this when the price went from 25 to 40 bucks, thinking then that it'd be possible that one day it'd be closed entirely. Which it is....
Climbed with two daughters (7 and 12) and nephew. See photo. I'm glad we got to climb this mountain before it was closed.
For better or worse, my wife and I were part of the annual CMC sponsored hike. We too met at the Catholic Church at 5:30am and began the parade to the Taylor Ranch. After being lectured we began the hike from 9200 ft. A short distance in, our CMC leader took a wrong turn. She led us left instead of right. She corrected the error and we continued. We reached the end of the road at 11,700 ft. Error number 2 occurred here. We should have continued up the shallow drainage toward the ridge. Instead, our CMC leader led us further south along the faint road. We made up for the navigational error by contouring up to the ridge at 13,200 ft. The weather was hideous today. It was a non-typical monsoon day. The clouds never broke and it snowed on us on the upper ridge. Calls were made to turn around, but no one was answering the call today. The whole group summitted over a period of 2 hours. The group was fragmented and segmented and everybody just kind of did their own thing. It was an amusing day!
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.