Peak 1,390ft

Fri, Sep 10, 2010

With: Steve Sywyk

Story Photos / Slideshow Map

This was actually my first attempt to reach Chalk Mtn, a CC-listed peak in the Santa Cruz Mtns, on the southwest border of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. With a Friday off work, Steve was game to join me for a visit to the peak, though we did not meet with success. We got a somewhat late start and didn't reach Waddell Beach until after 8:30a. I was on a deadline to get back by 2:30p, so we had to watch our time.

We planned to take the longer, but more scenic West Ridge Trail starting from Waddell Beach. Based on the SummitPost page for Chalk Mtn, I had expected the roundtrip distance to be 8mi, but I believe it was about 2mi longer than that. We had a fog-free, sunny morning along the coast. From the TH, it was about 2 miles to the Clark Connection trail junction. The Clark Connection connects the Skyline to the Sea Trail with the West Ridge Trail. The sign indicated that Chalk Mtn was 9mi distance from the junction, but we concluded that was wildly inaccurate. Once we climbed the steep Clark Trail up to the West Ridge Trail, we spent about an hour hiking northwest towards Chalk Mtn. We were still more than a mile away when we turned around due to lack of time. We could see the summit tower and a small brown building atop it, but had run out of time. The only consolation was that trail goes directly over unnamed Peak 1,390ft with almost 500ft of prominence, a fact I didn't realize until five years later. Sometimes I get a freebie...


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