Hanland Peak P1K

Sun, Jun 23, 2019
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I had driven south from Weed towards Redding the previous evening, with plans to climb in the area west of Redding the next morning. I'd neglected to check the weather while I was in Weed, and when I checked it during the drive, I came to find they were expecting 100 degree temps the next day - far too warm for the long hike I had planned. I went to bed somewhere around Castle Crags thinking I'd screwed myself by driving too far south already. I was lying in the dark while still thinking about this when I thought of Hanland Peak. I had tried to do this P1K a year earlier, but got stopped by brush and an abundance of poison oak. I wondered if the mountain had been caught up in the fires the previous summer. Luckily I wasn't far from Interstate 5 and had cell and data coverage. I got out my phone and pulled up caltopo.com and looked at the fire maps. The 2018 Hirz Fire had swept over the entire mountain, right down to its base at the shores of Lake Shasta. I didn't know if the forest road leading up that way would be open, but it seemed worth taking a chance. The drive in from Interstate 5 is a long one, something like 17mi on the good dirt/gravel road going around the lake, then another 8mi up a lesser road that climbs to a saddle northeast of the summit. I was happy to find this lesser road open and cleared, as was a spur road from the saddle that follows the ridge to get one within a mile of the summit. Indeed, the whole area had been devastated in the fire, but this would make the hike almost trivial. I followed an old logging road to start, something that had been buried in brush a year earlier and undetectable. Along the road and then the cross-country that followed on the ridgeline, I dodged burned snags and downed logs, but found almost none of the poison oak that had plagued me on the first attempt. Someone (or crew, perhaps) had cut some of the manzanita and smaller trees shortly before (or after?) the fire, perhaps as part of an unsuccessful firebreak effort. This helped make the route easier still and it would take but 45min to find my way to the open summit. There was some odd flagging on the ground at the top and little else besides some brush cuts. One can see snows on the Trinity Alps to the northwest and just see part of the lake to the southeast. I left a register here before starting back down the same way. I was back by 8:20a without any more peaks on my agenda, so I started for home. I would leave the heat of the coming day for others to deal with while I cruised home with the AC on the whole way...

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