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The dirt road led gradually up to Nordoff Ridge which is the first major ridge in the chain of mountains north of Ojai. The views from it stretch out into the blue Pacific from the Santa Monica Mtns to the Santa Barbara area. To the north is the Pine Mtn ridgeline and the Sespe Wilderness to the northeast. I followed the fire road west to Chief Peak following the HPS directions as much as I could. The road had been recently regraded and worked over during the Day Fire which burned through the area during the summer. Nordoff Ridge, along with Pine Mtn and the Mt. Pinos areas are the only parts of the Los Padres NF west of SR33 that were not still closed. I was told the area would open sometime after the rainy season started and any residual hotspots had a chance to burn out. I saw no evidence of the blaze from any of these places I had recently visited.
By 8:45a I had made my way to the summit, following along the NW Ridge as much as possible. I surmounted the class 4 rock I found just below the summit, partly because it looked fun, and partly because I was too lazy to look for a way around it. The summit is rocky, clear of brush, with unobstructed views in all directions. The views of the Channel Islands was particularly nice. The register was located in a box bolted to the north side of the summit rocks - easy to miss if you're not looking for it. All the recent entries were from the fire crew working the Day Fire.
I made my way back via the same route, returning to the TH just after 10a. A nice, short outing, though it would probably have been better combined with the Pine Mtn peaks (Reyes and Haddock). Somehow this one had escaped my radar those few weeks back.
This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:05:08 2007
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