My third day in the Southern Sierra was another day spent on the Kern
Plateau, this time doing a bunch of short hikes which were often steep.
Most of them had class 3 granite summit blocks, very typical of the
entire area. One could spend days scrambing around on hundreds of rock
outcrops found in Domelands and the surrounding areas. A few were class 4
which provided great challenges. The terrain is a mix of forest, brush and
more open grass areas. The brush was ever-present, but never so heavy to
be a real problem - a little weaving around avoided any real need to
thrash around in the stuff. Most of these summits on the edge of the Kern
Plateau had their best views to the southwest where Lake Isabella could
be seen 5,000ft below. There are lots of this view in this photo
I had driven a rough spur road off the decent Bartolas Rd to get within a
mile of this summit on its east side. I camped here the night and started
out on foot in the morning around 7:15a. This was one of the few summits
I visited with no challenging summit rocks. Still, the
mildly brushy summit provides open views looking south and
west. I left a register here before heading back down. I ran
across the old road I had tried to drive and used this to return
to the jeep by 8:30a.
This one can be seen to the north of Peak 7,851ft while ascending that
peak. I had hoped to use a network of roads on the northwest side of the
mountain to drive near to the summit, but I found a gate off the main road
and it is no longer open to vehicles. So I ended parking on the Bartolas
Rd northeast of the summit with about 2/3mi each way. Not sure why I
didn't drive a bit higher to a saddle east of the summit which would have
made the effort a little easier. I took about 50min for the roundtrip.
The summit had some easy class 3 rocks that gave open views
all around. I left a register on this one, too, because they both have more than
700ft of prominence.
A nice little summit between Long Meadow and Cannell Meadow. There is a
spur road from the north that gets within 1/5mi but it is gated at the
main road and no longer open to vehicles. Despite some downfall along the road,
it made a good route for the 1.5mi distance to the summit. The granite
blocks at the summit made for some mildly challenging, but short
scrambling. Good views in all directions.
Peak Corral BM
The peak is found northwest of Cannell Meadow. A rough (and brushy)
spur road can get one within a mile of the summit on
the southeast side. I got
out to clip some of the worst offenders, but it was a pinstriping-fest.
Probably better to just start from the main road at the Cannell Station.
I went up an easy class 3 route on the southeast and south side, going
down an easier class 2 route on the east side. Not much in the way of
summit rocks on this one. I left another register here.
Peak Peak 8,002ft/Peak 7,900ft
The Cannell Rd goes south around the west side of Cannell Meadow for
several miles before ending near the saddle between these two summits.
Peak 8,002ft is the closest at just over 1/3mi, has some fun but easy
class 3 scrambling and a register dating to 1996 with only a
small handful of entries. Unfortunately the PVC tube it was housed in does a
poor job of keeping the moisture out and the paper is in very poor shape.
Peak 7,900ft was about 2/3mi from the saddle and had the best views of
the day. It has several rock outcrops vying for the highest point. The
two that seemed of equal height were about 50yds apart and both
class 4. I leave it to someone else to determine which is highest.
This was the highest summit of the day and probably the easiest. A rough
road goes up and over a saddle north of the summit and makes for a short
hike through forest to an open, class 2 summit. Terry Flood
had left a register here in 2009. Housed in a glass jar, it was in
The second-highest summit and last of the day proved to be the most
challenging though a very short approach. I went up a dicey
class 4 crack on the northeast side before moving around to the west
side where a second class 4 crack had to be surmounted to reach
the highest rocks. I was a
bit nervous about downclimbing these, so spent some time looking around
for easier ways off, to some avail. I had to reverse the upper class 4
crack but then found a stiff class 3 way down the west side from there.
The sun had set while I was poking around the summit rocks and it was
nearly 6p by the time I finished up back at the jeep. I moved the jeep
across the road to a flat spot where I decided to spend the night. The
wind had picked up strongly while I was on the last few summits (making
those class 4 moves a bit trickier). This would make for a pretty cold
shower, but at least I could warm myself with the jeep's heater