Barrett BM P300
The Knife

Jan 29, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile

I spent about 2.5hrs today tagging a few stragglers in Alameda County that I had so far neglected. Both are located in the East Bay hills between the Bay and Interstate 680, north of Interstate 580. Barrett BM is an easy hike, less than a mile one-way, starting from a neighborhood high in the Palomare Hills development east of Castro Valley. There are a couple of water tanks located up a gated (but not fenced) roadway that is not signed for No Trespassing. Foot traffic is evident going around the fenced tanks to a gap in the barbed-wire fence uphill to the east. From there, a use trail goes up to the summit, crossing another property boundary just before the top. The summit features a rocky outcrop that makes for a short scramble. Undeveloped ranchlands surround the summit on three sides with the Palomare Hills to the west. I left a register here among the summit rocks.

The second summit, The Knife, is located a mile and quarter to the northeast. David Naylor had reached this summit from the south, starting at the Donlan Point staging area, about 3.5mi one-way. That route goes over Wiedemann Hill, a P1K I had climbed five years earlier, and also crosses onto private property. I figured I could more easily reach it from Barrett BM since I was already there, via a connecting ridgeline that drops more than 300ft before climbing almost 1,000t up to the main crest where The Knife is located near Wiedemann Hill. There were a number of small herds of cattle grazing on the lands between the two summits and it was with some caution that I traversed from one to the other. I weaved around the various herds to minimize disrupting them, all the while keeping an eye out for any ranchers that might be out tending to the herds. I was happy to see no one during the entire outing. The entire route can be made up and down grassy slopes, sometimes using cow paths or old ranch roads that see little traffic. At one point when I ducked through the adjacent oak forest to avoid some cattle, I came across some old irrigation tubes that suggested a marijuana grow site at some time in the past. A low fence had been erected on the uphill side adjacent to the grazing slopes, presumeably to keep the cattle from trampling the crops. The fence and tubes were in disarray, and I guessed the site was at least a decade old.

In a TR found on LoJ, David Naylor describes the location of The Knife as misplaced and I have to agree with him. The 7.5' topo map shows the feature further to the north and LoJ has assigned it to a grassy knoll nearby, looking nothing like its namesake. More likely, the name was intended for a narrow, rocky ridge closer to Wiedemann Hill. It was here that he left a register that I found adjacent to some barbed wire art, placed by another party, years earlier. I left my signature before heading back. I was going to pay a second visit to Wiedemann Hill, but I was worried I might get caught up in rush-hour traffic on my return if I did, ultimately skipping it.

Iris Ma comments on 01/29/18:
I see you have transcended time and space to have a trip report up for a day in the future.
Matt Yaussi comments on 01/29/18:
It's a new tactic for private property summits! Tag them a day ahead before they can even know you are there!
Bob Burd comments on 01/29/18:
Fake News.
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This page last updated: Mon Jan 29 18:14:11 2018
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