Triunfo BM P300
Peak 1,838ft P500
Peak 2,080ft P300
Peak 2,450ft P500
Peak 1,137ft P300
Brents Mountain

Mon, Apr 2, 2018
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 3 4 5 Profiles: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Continued...

Triunfo BM

Day 2 in the Santa Monica Mtns had me awake from my campsite off Yerba Buena Rd around 6:30a. After dressing, I moved the car a short distance down the road to where the Backbone Trail crosses the road. Parking doesn't really exist here, but one can make do with a few tight spots to get off the road legally. The summit is only about a mile from Yerba Buena Rd, most of it on the Backbone Trail. Mostly surrounded by early morning fog, I followed the trail up through several switchbacks, along a dirt road at a junction and then to the west side of the summit. I noticed an old firebreak running up that side which worked quite nicely to get me up to the west summit. There are three points on the topo with equal contours, the middle one appears to be the highest, less than a minute from the west summit. The northeast summit doesn't come close to the other two in elevation and I suspect it has an extra contour shown on the map - I didn't bother to visit it. I didn't notice the benchmark at the middle summit as shown on the topo, but then I didn't really look very much. I followed another use trail coming up from the southeast side to see if it was better than the ascent one. It wasn't. It took me down almost a quarter mile in that direction before reconnecting with the Backbone Trail/road and lost a couple hundred extra feet of elevation that I would have to regain as I followed the trail west back past the summit as it skirts around its south side. I picked up the first of a number of ticks I would find on the day. Most I would easily just brush off my pants, but a few of the luckier ones would find skin before being discovered. Pesky critters, these.

Peak 1,838ft

This is an easy summit starting off Decker School Rd, utilizing the Malibu Springs Trail. The summit is less than a mile away with modest elevation gain, the only trick is taking a left fork at an unmarked junction. This unsigned trail goes virtually over the summit with a short use trail going to the summit rocks. The fog had not yet begun to dissipate, so views were rather muted.

Peak 2,080ft

Found off Westlake Blvd, north of Mulholland Hwy, the peak is located on private property. One can access it from an undeveloped lot, unsigned for No Trespassing, on the east side. I followed a road up to an open lot (probably worth a few $$), then higher past a fence and then steeply up to the summit on a weak use trail. More fog and a whole lot of ticks - more than a dozen picked up from the brushy parts above the empty lot. Not much to recommend this one.

Peak 2,450ft

With more than 600ft of prominence, this was the most prominent summit I visited on the day. Like the previous one, it lies on private property, but various roads through mostly undeveloped parcels can get you to the summit with little trouble. A white pickup was parked off Mulholland at the start of the rough dirt road heading up, which gave me pause. The route was unsigned for No Trespassing so I figured I could simply apologize and leave if I ran into someone. There was no one up the road, thankfully. Another car (abandoned, last time it was registered was 2014) is parked at a 180 degree bend in the road. Above that is a messy lot with an abandoned RV. Above this, a view lot that looks like shit now with another RV and all kinds of crap left about. I couldn't tell if the property is still visited or not. I made my way higher to another road and then to the summit, about 20min all told. There is a nice little summit rock outcrop from which one can view Lake Sherwood to the northwest and much of the Santa Monica Mtns - if the fog hadn't still persisted.

Saddle Rocks

On my way east along Mulholland Hwy, I paused to check out Saddle Rocks which I'd hopes of climbing. There is a winery on its northwest flanks that might offer a reasonable way up, but I didn't go onto the property to seek permission. I examined the other sides of Saddle Rocks as I drove the road around three sides of it, but it looked like hellacious brush everywhere I looked. With so many active ticks in the area, the last thing I needed was a full-on bushwhack.

Peak 1,137ft

This was one of two interesting summits of the day, located in Malibu Creek State Park across the creek from Goat Buttes West. It is an impressively rugged peak viewed from all directions, especially from the north where I approached. I parked on Mulholland Hwy on the north side of the park and used the Grasslands Trail to hike into the park, past the Visitor Center and to the Malibu Creek Rock Pools, one of the more popular sites within the park, even more than the M*A*S*H location site near Goat Buttes. All manner of folks come here to swim, picnic and apparently leave loads of trash. Sigh. It was pretty busy today with a number of local schools off for Easter Break. Julie Gregg has a TR on PB that describes a rather involved class 5 climb starting from the pool, all of it unnecessary. I went to the southwest end of the rock pool where there is a No Diving sign, then took a good use trail to the west away from the creek that climbs to the summit. It is a fun bit of scrambling, no more than easy class 3 but steep, sometimes sustained, and entertaining. The empty beer bottles and other trash found along the way are detractions, as is the graffiti that seems to follow you all the way to the summit. The summit is an open, rounded rock outcrop with lots of room. I picked up all the trash at the summit, including some pink clothing that had been tied around a stick and abandoned - apparently used to wave to some friends waiting down below. Who does stuff like this? The sun had come out, a bit hazy still, but the views were quite nice in all directions. Goat Buttes West rises sharply to the west while the higher Goat Butttes East is prominent to the southeast. I went back down the same way, exploring an alternate return route along the creek on the way back. Very fun summit, this one. Unfortunately I deleted the GPX track before saving it. Rats.

Brents Mtn

This one is located on private property owned by the Salvation Army on the south side of Malibu Creek SP, off Las Virgene Rd, the other fun peak of the day. The Salvation Army folks are kind enough to provide access M-F by coming to the office and signing a waiver. I can't stress enough for others to do likewise rather than trying to stealth it. They have kid camps on the weekends and sometimes take kids up the trail - it is pretty strenuous and class 3 to boot, so the instructors don't need solo hikers knocking rocks down on the kids (which is why it's not open to the general public Sat/Sun). It's not obvious how to get to the camp - one needs to go through the Tapia County Park entrance and tell them where you're going so you don't have to pay a fee. I didn't know this so I ended up parking off Las Virgenes Road and walking in, bypassing the entrance kiosk of the county park. The Salvation Army camp has a gate that can be buzzed - I simply expressed my desire to hike the peak and they buzzed me in, instructing me to come to the main office. The office is NOT the first building inside the gate - that is a private residence, I found. The camp is located down the road, across the creek on a steel/concrete bridge and then right, through the camp and across the road from the swimming pool. The office personnel were super sweet - even offered to provide a helmet if I would have liked one, then gave me instructions to find the trail - north through camp, past a 4-story building, then around the back side of the adjacent private residence. The trail is signed to start (Big Cross Trail) then just goes up roughly through brush, trees, and rock. At the longest stretch of class 3 there is a steel cable fixed to the rock for a handline, about 50yds in length. It is mostly useless however, because it isn't secured at the bottom (which means you can't put tension on it from the side) and the steel cable is slippery. Luckily, it's not really needed since the class 3 isn't on the hard side, though still pretty good. The climb is less than half a mile but more than a 1,000ft up - fairly steep. There is a large wooden cross erected on one of the lower summits back in the 1990s. Looks like it could use some paint. The summit is not far from Goat Buttes and higher than both of them, making for a pretty good view spot. Going back the same way, it was after 4p by the time I finished up. Though I still had three hours of daylight I decided to take it easy the rest of the day. Time to go look for some food...

Continued...


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