Varian Peak
Goat Rock

Fri, Sep 23, 2016

With: Steve Sywyk
Tom McClaughry

Etymology
Goat Rock
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Our Friday picnic hike took us to Castle Rock once again. I wanted to visit an obscure summit that appears on the state park map called Varian Peak. It's located only a few hundred yards off the Ridge Trail, but has no redeeming qualities other than it has only a modest amount of poison oak. The summit is buried in a thrashing of brush and a few oak trees. Unlike tons of other places along the ridge trail with great views, there is almost nothing to be seen from this weak summit. We backtracked to Goat Rock where we set up a rope down its South Face to give Steve and Tom a taste of rappelling. Neither had ever done this before, so it was a fun time giving them the opportunity. The coaching must have been excellent because Tom went down the first try in good form, without mishap. Steve wasn't coached quite so well because he flipped over backwards almost immediately and found himself hanging upside down against the sandstone wall. They each took a couple of turns at it before we called it a day. After packing up we enjoyed our wine and picnic lunch at the Interpretive Center a short distance to the north. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon...

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