Failed Attempt at El Sombroso Ridge

Failed Attempt at El Sombroso Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 37.16060°N / 121.8975°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Nov 11, 2005
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Fall
David and I had been planning a trip to El Sombroso for a while when David said, "Hey, I found this trail that leads to Mt Thayer from El Sombroso. It's only a little overgrown, let's do it." I was OK with that since I had wanted to go to Mt Thayer for a while, so we packed some gloves for protection in our water packs and got a ride from David's mom to the trailhead. The hike up to El Sombroso was just a typical hike. Things started to get interesting once we got to the ridge that led to Mt Thayer.

David as we are just about to enter the thick brush.

David had previously been up the first section of trail so there were no suprises. Some light brush didn't really hinder us as we hiked on. The farther we hiked the thicker the brush got. It was not long before we donned our gloves and started army crawling under the brush. We would start to debate going back and then suddenly end up in a small clearing which would renew our optimism. The crawling was unpleasant at the beginning but it soon became pretty miserable. Our knees were constantly being bashed by rocks and roots coming out of the ground. My shirt was filled with dried leaves and dirt and was sticking to the sweat on my neck. I decided that I didn't want to go any farther when I saw a patch of light that looked like it could be a clearing. David agreed continuing would be stupid so we started crawling toward the light. Thankfully it was a clearing, so we sat down and got our bearings. David had a map and I had a compass which made figuring out where we were going to go a lot easier. We found that we were near Rincon Creek which led into Woods Trail without having to fight our way through thick brush. Rincon Creek was steep and the ground was very loose but it was still better than the alternative. We slipped and stumbled for what seemed like miles when we started questioning whether or not we were actually following Rincon Creek. David thought we should stop and try and figure out where we were again. I said that we should go a little farther. I walked about 5 ft and climbed over some logs and saw that we had finally reached Woods Trail. I sat down in the middle of the trail and just lied there for a few minutes. Then I remembered we had to be several miles from our current location and we had about 45 minutes to get there. As we got closer to the end we kept saying "It's just around this next corner." We said that about ten times before we finally saw the parking lot where David's dad was parked. Despite the grueling bushwacking and hiking, it was actually a pretty fun hike.

Suprisingly, I got no ticks and only a little poison oak so I decided that I shouldn't attempt the ridge again since I probably wouldn't be as lucky again. Now that I've seen that Bob Burd made it to Mt Thayer by going along the same ridge I may have to rethink my decision to not try again and make a second attempt at it.


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-2 of 2

McCannster - Dec 12, 2005 10:07 am - Voted 10/10

Trip Report Comment

Good description of that hike.


Dean - Dec 13, 2005 12:12 am - Hasn't voted

Trip Report Comment

Ah, all that brush behind David reminds me of Little Blue Peak of Yolo county fame. I don't think realize how tough getting through some of the California brush can be. Enjoyed your TR.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2