Los Padres National Forest
I had a good time stomping around in the early snows last year climbing up some peaks on the Hundred Peaks Section list, so with the coming of the new snows I thought about doing some more in the area. The peak guide for Eagle Rest refers to a final class 3 climb to reach the summit, which sounds like something best avoided in winter, so I let that fancy go again. A couple weeks later, I noticed the Doggetts were actually leading a hike to those peaks. Ignacia has completed the list six times and Peter has managed it thirteen times. If they think it can be done, it probably can. The only person who has done it more is a character called Mars Bonfire. (I am assured this is a real person, really called that, and otherwise famous. He has a Wikipedia page that does not even mention his twenty-five list finishes. He has moved on to other adventures now.) I sent off an email to express interest and found myself signed up. They even scouted it the day before to make sure the gate was open and the road passable. All this leads to a group of six gathering at a snowy trailhead just after 8 AM.
|We start off on snow compacted to a couple inches which largely finishes off as we come upon a couple old prospects.|
The trail we are following initially is an old mining road that is one continuation of the road we drove in on. It is covered in a couple inches of snow that fell over the weekend. We wind our way down it, breaking up the clean snow as we go. It levels off, crossing a wide saddle, and the snow largely vanishes. Beside it in the saddle are two holes surrounded by tailings supporting the notion that this is an old mining road. We drop through one avoiding a fallen tree on the road. Further on, we continue on a gentle downhill around the next peak. It looks like this area gets the afternoon sun and there is very little snow now. The downhill finishes with a few slides and a short, steep section past an old gate. Peter points out that when he was first hiking these peaks, they could drive to here.
|Still deep morning shadows under the pinons on this abandoned road.|
|One last drop past an old gate to a thin saddle below Antimony Peak.|