Plowshare Peak
Miranda Pine Mountain
Treplett Mountain P1K
Timber Peak
Spoor BM
Peak 5,213ft P500
Peak 5,660ft

Mon, Nov 20, 2017
Etymology
Timber Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPXs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Profiles: 1 2

Continued...

I had camped the night along dirt Sierra Madre Rd in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Santa Barbara County. In the morning I was up before sunrise to begin my day, tagging a collection of peaks along the crest of the range and a P1K found a few miles off it. Most of the hikes were very short, usually less than a quarter mile, and they were somewhat repetitive following a use trail along an old firebreak that used to run along the crest. I'd brought my mountain bike which saw much use, first to Treplett and then for the last three summits when I got tired of driving the road. With low-clearance, it was necessary to drive slowly for much of the road as it winds its way up the crest for almost 30mi. All of these would be trivial with a decent high-clearance (and even a moderate-clearance) vehicle.

Plowshare Peak

There are two summits, the highest to the north. The lower south summit is crowned with multiple telecom towers (including 4G cell). A spur road forks off Sierra Madre Rd south of the south summit, going to the towers. A use trail can then be followed along the crest to the higher summit.

Miranda Pine Mtn

There is a USFS campground on the southern flanks of this one. The shortest and easiest route is up from the west where grass slopes can be found (avoids the heavy chaparral further north). A convenient turnout and use trail then lead to the summit under the shade of the pines and oaks that grow here.

Treplett Peak

This is one of the P1Ks in the area that had attracted my attention to for this trip. A high-clearance vehicle can drive the 6mi+ from Sierra Madre Rd nearly to the summit. The road starts at the same location as the Miranda Pine CG turnoff. It continued past Treplett for many miles, eventually connecting through Colson Canyon to paved Tepusquet Road to the west. There is a 1,100-foot drop to Pine Flat at the saddle, then a climb of 1,000ft up to Treplett. I rode my bike from Sierra Madre Rd, taking about 2hrs for the roundtrip. I parked the bike just north of the summit and hiked up through easy cross-country to the top. Left a register here since it looked to deserve one. Nice views all around.

Timber Peak

A short hike up a use trail starting NE of the summit. Open views, but nothing too impressive. As with most of the summits along the crest, there are fine views of Cuyama Valley to the north and east.

Center BM

Another short hike from the road starting south of the summit. This one doesn't have much prominence and thus didn't make the cut on ListsOfJohn.com. It's found on peakbagger.com, however. There is an old game guzzler at the summit, no longer serviceable. Very brushy on top, too.

Spoor BM

It was around this time that I got tired of driving the road, so I parked the van at a small saddle north of Spoor BM and first climbed this one. After returning I got out the bike and continued up the road, about 10mi to the last two, both unnamed.

Peak 5,213ft

This was the only summit to have a register. Daryn Dodge and Kathy Rich left it earlier in the year, naming it after Greg Gerlach and claiming that Andrew Kirmse had "discovered" this P300 summit. I have my doubts. LoJ has the slightly lower north summit in its database, a common error when double summits haven't been surveyed. I was wondering why this puny summit without much going for it was selected to be named "Gerlach Peak". It then occurred to me that, since it's over 5,000ft in height, it's eligible for the HPS list. Having now been to the top, I'm one step ahead of those pesky HPSers with their shape-shifting peak list. Easy climb from the saddle SE of the summit.

Peak 5,660ft

The highest and last of the day's peaks is a short climb from the south. I found a cairn on what looks like the highest rocks under some tree foliage. Gave it a register as just reward for anyone whacking through a little brush to reach it. Peak Mtn, an HPS summit is just under 2mi to the east. McPherson, another HPS summit is partially blocked from view behind Peak Mtn. Having been to those summits already, I turned around here and rode back to the van. I spent about 2 1/4hrs on these last three peaks, covering more than 20mi. I doubt the van would have been much faster if I'd used it instead. It would take well over an hour to drive my back down to SR166 after I had showered and made good use of the cell service near Plowshare Peak. I had finished the peaks along Sierra Madre Rd faster than I had expected, but I had plenty of other plans to keep me busy the next day...

Continued...


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