Backpacked with four friends from Coast Road up the Little Sur River. When we hit the intersection we took the private road and my local friends told me this was okay. We encountered no trouble in or out but after the fact I read though some trips reports and this may or may not be cool with the landowner. Proceed at your own risk. We headed first down to Pico Blanco camp, set up and then visited the nearby falls in the Little Sur. I am not sure the name of these falls, but if you come to this camp it will be your water source and it is a pretty amazing spot. I led the group jumping in and convinced everyone to follow, it wasn't that cold. After lunch we headed directly up to Pico Blanco, a cross-country route we humorously named 'Pico Directo'. Pico Directo is a climb of 2,400' over 1.4 miles and with good route finding you will find solid footing and nothing to whack through. We enjoyed the summit for probably an hour and the highlight was watching a misty layer snaking its way up every drainage we could see. Pico Blanco is a sacred mountain to the Esselen Tribe and I could absolutely feel that this mountain is special. We cruised back down to camp and had a great time laughing over dinner before heading into our tents. Hiked out the next morning, a truly memorable trip.
From Bottchers Gap, found the trail to be in pretty good shape until the use trail heads off from point 2194. From here it is a bit iffy until emerging from the dense vegetation. Fun class 2 rock on the summit ridge, looks more difficult than it actually is. Register on top has nothing to write with. 3 hours to the top, 3.5 hours down, as a few wrong turns on the cross country descent led to having to regain an extra 400 feet to avoid thick brush choked with poison oak. Started at 1:15 PM so finished in the dark at 8 PM. Overall a very fun day, worth repeating again someday. TR is HERE.
For a Ventana peak tame bushwhack and some fun cl2 scrambling along the ridge.
Some bushwhacking. Gosh I hated the yucca! Dense vegetation on the ridge top.
Was getting dark on the way down and we somehow missed the turn-off to get back on Launtz. Ended up getting lost in the dark and eventually decided to bivy for the night. Space blanket worked wonder! The following morning we managed to get back in-time before they would send out search and rescue team - sheriff left a voice mail on my cell! What a little adventure before Christmas Eve.
straight up from near pico blanco camp
Took the route in from Old Coast Road. Trail was passable to Pico Blanco Camp. From Pico Blanco Camp made way up the SSW ridge, eventually hooking up with the overgrown 4wd road. Followed this road to just below the summit. Great views to the ocean and down the spine of the Santa Lucia Range.
Tough day hike, great weather, there's a sign down in the Boy Scout Camp, so it took 10 minutes or so to locate the trail. Just continue up past the new structure across the river. From the meadow, we found the "off-trail" trail, but missed its continuation across the 4WD road. Scrambled up the valley between the peak and the south-west ridge (do not do this, it is far from optimal). Saw a snake (it didn't rattle, but tried not to get close enough to find out). Views were incredible, worth every bit of effort. All in all, ~15 miles, 7.5 hours of hiking, and some great memories!
Nice easy (and fun!) bushwhack from Launtz Ridge. Took a nap on the summit on this beautiful day with superb views.
I was staying with a friend at Pico Blanco Boy Scout Camp and we decided to climb Pico one night. We watched the sun set fro mthe top of Cardiac. Dubenck's Hole (the cabins) is kind of spooky at night. Summited at 10:30 PM and returned to camp at 3:00AM. We went up the south face.
05/07/2006: From Bottchers Gap via Pico Blanco Camp and east slopes.
01/15/2006: From Andrew Molera State Park via Old Coast Road, Little Sur Trail, and south slopes.
05/07/2005: Foolish attempt to reach Pico Blanco via a cross-country route from the East Molera Trail. Succeeded only in getting poison oak and destroying my pants.
Sunny day and great views of the northern Ventana.
Pics are here.
What Matthew said. Trip Report
Bob and I set out aiming for the somewhat obscure Kandlbinder Peak via the Little Sur River and Jackson Creek, but we missed the turnoff up Ventana Creek. After a delightful hike up the Little Sur River (some interesting scrambling, and a dozen or more stream crossings), we eventually realised our mistake, and settled on this as a consolation prize on the way back. The hike up there from the Little Sur is steep!
Started in the dark, and got back in the dark too. All in all, one of the most enjoyable days I've spent in the Ventanas.
See my write-up on the getting there section and Route Info. A steep climb but well worth it. 3 of us made it to the top, me and 2 camp staff members. 5 others in the group either turned back or waited for us below.