Came to camp for a night and see the recovery from the fire. Finally came at the right time to avoid ticks.
Made it all the way up the tower.
Excellent weather. Sun and temps in the 60's. Lots of brush trying to remove your skin. Yuccas jabbing your shins. Saw cougar tracks on the trail near the summit. There were 20 some geology students scattered across the rocks near Memorial. Saw a large bright green meteor plummet towards the ocean. It disappeared below the ridge to west and was clearly visible in the daylight. All in all, a great hike. CA Cohp 5/58, CA P4k 1/16.
Opening day trip after the fire closure lifted.
Pics are here.
Went to Death Valley next day on a 2 week window between the storms.
Lovely hike on a perfect day. Spring flowers in abundance and the ticks even left me alone. Who could ask for more. About 7.5h round trip with lots of breaks for photos etc and an hour on top.
My wife and I tackled this one as the last hike of of our vacation. She had outdone herself on Mt. Wrightson and Hualapai Peak in AZ, and this one proved to be quite a challenge for her as well. But she has an iron will when she starts something, and she was able to summit this one as well. I'm so proud of her! It was a gorgeous day, just a touch too warm but not oppressively so. Great views of an area I've seen very little of. It was my third peak on our trip that is on my highest priority list -- the 100 most topographically prominent peaks in the contiguous US, of which I now have 74. Hoping to work on some of the tougher ones on that list this year, including Stimson and Spickard.
Hiked this back in January (currently April) with the Sierra Club Peak Climbing Section. It was a nice hike with good company. As someone mentioned previously the trail was a little icy at the top in shaded areas and this made for slow progress. However with careful footwork and branches to hold on to we were able to get past these sections. Because of the 3 hour drive from the South Bay I will probably not do this hike again.
There were several snow storms over a few weeks followed by a week of warm weather preceding my hike. All of creeks and springs were running strong. The snow was great for my dogs to cool off in, but was much more of an obstacle than it had been on my trips the previous two years. First it was ankle high and slushy. Next I entered the shady part of the mountain where the snow was knee deep with enough ice on top to support me. This section was fun at first, but slippery enough to slow me down a bit and make the route very hard to find near the top. There were no footprints or crushed down tracks to follow as it appeared I was the first to summit after the snowstorms had ended. In fact I lost the trail for a bit, and had to meander my way gradually toward the top avoiding steep icy slopes as much as possible. Finally as the trail nears the summit and the forest provides less shade, there was deep snow that sometimes supported me and sometimes did not (perfect conditions to posthole 2 to 3 feet down, often without warning and sometimes into branches). Repeatedly finding myself crotch deep in snow took extra energy and determination. I made excellent time in the other sections, but due to the poor snow conditions, I actually spent more time hiking than I had on my other 2 trips here (6 hours car to car with 45 min. relaxation time on the top).
Another issue was the encroaching vegetation, downed branches, and downed trees in all parts of the hike except for the brief meadow section near the trailhead. I suspect the unusual amount of low elevation snow storms the previous few weeks caused an unusual amount of downed branches. I think on my previous trips, I was lucky to come right after trail maintenance had been done (at least on the first 5 miles or so), but this time there were constantly obstacles to move, go over, under, around, or through.
Unfortunately encroaching vegetation and a February trip increases odds of coming into contact with ticks. I found over 50 ticks between myself and my two dogs during and mostly after the hike. None actually succeeded in biting into me, but over a dozen were plucked with tweezers from my dogs over the next two days. Luckily, most were found crawling around on my yellow lab during the drive home, so they could easily be thrown out the car window.
Still a worthy adventure!
I did this hike with the Peak Climbing Section of the Sierra Club. Just under 7 hours including a leisurely lunch at the top. There were some surprising long icy sections and I took one big spill (thank goodness for good cushioning). :-) Overall a fun hike.
The 12.5 mile hike felt long, and it was pretty toasty on the way up. You have to climb up the treacherous lookout tower for the best view...a little disappointed there were no really clear views east due to the pine trees. The views south, west, and north were absolutely fantastic though and I'll be posting some of my photos when I get home!
A nice 12 mile hike, I didn't research this very well. It had almost 4,000 feet of gain. I enjoyed the views from the abandoned lookout tower and the solitude of the summit.
Started from TH near Santa Lucia Memorial Park. It was raining, but wildflowers beautiful.
Living just two hours away, I couldn't resist the nice, cool conditions between two late season storms and decided to climb the peak again exactly one year after my first hike up. This time both of my dogs got to enjoy the adventure, including 2 to 6 inches of fresh snow for over a mile of the hike up. There was much less water to cross this year with many seasonal creeks dry. Arrived in the parking lot a bit before noon and left by five. A great day again!
Perfect day with clear, stunning views... and more wildflowers than a feminine hygiene ad. Quite a bit overgrown - would advise long pants and long sleeves if you don't want to look like you went a few rounds in a boxing ring with a porcupine.
Normal route from Indians TH. Good views from the summit, but needed to tramp around the summit area to make sure the COHP was attained (lots of boulders within a few feet of each other).
Nice hike in cooler conditions.
I started at 11 AM with my yellow lab on a mostly sunny Friday with temps in the low 60s at the trailhead. The rain and snow has been exceptionally late and heavy this year making it marshy in the lowlands during the early miles. Several seasonal stream crossings were flowing strong and were very refreshing. It was impossible to keep my feet completely dry in the marshy areas and at a couple of the wider stream crossings. Poison oak was plentiful and virtually unavoidable (luckily I don't react to it). I did not get any ticks on me, but I found 5 on my dog after the hike. Once the trail climbed into the chaparral, it beacame quite warm and narrow in many places. In shorts and short sleeves, it was hard to avoid scratches from the brush. At the higher elevations on the backside of the mountain, snow was still plentiful in the pine forest (1-2 ft. in many places and mostly hard), making the hike more exciting, but also making the trail harder to follow in a couple of places. The shade and snow were replenishing after the steep, hot climb (especially for my dog who rolled and lay in the snow to cool off). Views on the way up and at the top were outstanding. Clouds in the distance over the Pacific made me feel on top of the world without blocking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. I reached the top after less than 2.5 hours of fast hiking with a few 10 min. breaks to cool off my dog with water and snow. I explored the entire summit area to take in views from all directions and to let my dog play in the snow patches. After almost 1.5 hours near the summit area, the trip down took another 1.5 hours with a few stops to cool off in the streams. I will be very lucky if I can return someday to such an ideal combination of warm sun with cool shade, breezes, streams, and snow.
Part of an attempted double with San Benito, but a late start foiled the latter.