I was in the Tahoe National Forest north of Interstate 80 to tag a group of
10 summits on the Pacific Crest, part of a long term effort to tag all 500+ of
these in California. Yesterday I had done five of them along with another
seven bonus summits in the area, an all-day affair that I found quite
enjoyable. Today's effort was to tag the remaining five summit in the half a
day I had left before heading home. It had none of the scenic hiking along the
PCT as I'd had yesterday, just a collection of short, cross-country ascents
to mostly forested summits with limited views.
I had spent the night camped at Bonta Saddle on the northwest side of the peak.
A spur forest road (1565) shown climbing higher up the mountain was no
open to traffic, but with a distance of only 2/3mi, it was easy enough to do it
on foot. I followed the road for only a short distance before heading more
directly uphill where the road veered to the southwest. Cross-country travel
on this one was easy enough. Most of my route
traveled through a private logging parcel that has been worked and reworked
over the years by bulldozers and other heavy equipment. The summit is somewhat
flat and hard to find a highpoint, views lacking due to trees.
This summit is found about 2mi southeast of the first. I drove back down
nearly to the pavement on Henness Rd before noting a sign for
"Lake of the Woods - 3mi". I had planned to take a different route from the
south to reach the lake, found on the northwest side of Peak 7,860ft,
but this decently-graded one did nicely. I never actually saw the small lake
nestled in the forest as I turned off on a spur road going up the N.
Ridge of the mountain. This spur got progressively rougher, getting me to
when large rocks in the roadway dissuaded me from continuing about
1/3mi from the summit. It took less than 10min to hike the remaining distance
to the top with open views to the north and east. The large expanse of
Sierra Valley could be seen to great effect to the north.
Webber Peak is located south of Henness Pass Rd and west of Webber Lake.
I had found out the previous day that the forest roads on the north side of
the mountain shown on the topo map were gated at Henness Pass, making for an
approach of several miles on foot from that direction. I decided to drive
south on Meadow Lake Rd this morning to climb the peak from the east where the
going would be steep, but shorter. I was happy to find a newer spur road on that
side that climbed 300ft up that side, getting me within 2/3mi of the summit and
making it easier than I'd expected. The hike goes through forest
initially, another private parcel with the work of bulldozers evident
everywhere. It then breaks out of the forest to climb a
modestly brushy slope to a lower eastern summit that marks the boundary
with National Forest lands. I turned west and walked through more
forested lands (not the molested version of earlier)
before climbing a last steep slope to the open summit above the treetops. The
views were the best of the day, taking in Mt. Lola to the southeast
and Sierra Buttes far to the northwest. Webber Lake to the northeast
is blocked by trees, but can be seen during the descent. I left
a register at the rock outcrop before returning the same way.
Peak 7,481ft - Peak 7,140ft
These last two summits were somewhat brutish affairs due to brush.
Both are located north of Henness Pass Rd and east of Peak 7,860ft. For each
one, I parked off the pavement on the southwest side of the summit,
ascending the SW Ridge for about 2/3mi. Each started off with
forest slopes, steep but little understory. The upper, drier parts of
the summits had less forest and more manzanita and other
hardy brush varieties, making them more of a struggle and wearing me
out at a faster rate. On the descent I would look for alternate routes, even
choosing a loose boulder field over a return through the brush. One
saving grace was that both summits had views to the south, overlooking
Perazzo Meadow and the Little Truckee River drainage. I left registers
at both summits, mostly as
compensation to future visitors who put in similar efforts to reach these. By
the time I was done with the second one, I was ready to go home and made no
effort to look for additional bonus peaks in the area. That was enough brush
for one day...