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Having spent the night further south near US101, it had dropped below freezing during the night and was 28F when I awoke around 6a. It was a little warmer, about 34F when I started out shortly before 7a but I would have little chance to get cold. The all cross-country route starts off very steep, climbing 1,200ft in about 2/3mi, and I warmed up nicely despite seeing so little sun that I never bothered with a hat the whole outing. The forest understory is not clear, but it is not a real hindrance, either. By favoring the north sides of the ridges the route follows, heavier brush can be avoided. Above 2,800ft the gradient relents some and a few open areas appear on the ridge with some classic views of the fog-filled valleys among folded ridgelines so typical of CA's northern coastal ranges. Old logging roads appear as one passes through the private property section, logging at one time taking place extensively, though it seems to have fallen into disuse now. One can make some use of the old roads and bulldozer paths, but they aren't a significant advantage. The route turns steep once again for the final 300-foot climb to the summit. One breaks out of the forest after going over a false summit with the highpoint found another 400ft to the southeast atop an open, sunny knob. With more than 1,800ft of prominence, it has a commanding view in all directions. It had taken an hour and three-quarters to reach the top, only a tad faster than I had expected. Now after 8:30a, the pervasive fog was beginning to burn off and would be gone completely within an hour. It was chilly at the summit with a light but cold breeze blowing. The remains of a survey tower were scattered about but I was unable to locate the benchmark (I didn't look very hard for it). Not finding a register, I left one with an extra entry for Sean before starting back down. I don't think I was there more than two or three minutes, not wanting to cool down and get cold.
On the way down from the summit I followed a clipped trail through the manzanita, ascertaining that it was heading the wrong way down the south side of the ridge before leaving it to return to the original route. Someone had spent some time building and maintaining the trail so I suspect the summit gets semi-regular visits. They might be surprised to find the register on their next visit. Will they take it as a affront and throw it in the trash? Perhaps. Not surprising, the return went a good deal faster, taking about an hour. That last 1,000-foot descent down the steep slopes was particularly enjoyable, with gravity-assisted slipping and sliding down leaf-laden, loose dirt slopes. Overall, I found the route and summit very agreeable, one I could easily recommend. The private property issues seem to be no real problem - I saw no evidence that there was any regular visits there and the chances of encountering anyone has to be close to zero (hunting season might be another story).
This page last updated: Mon Feb 24 11:55:25 2020
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