Leader: Anne-Marie Murray
Asst: Lew Hill
On March 18, 13 members and 1 guest turned out for the first successfully scheduled ascent of Hildreth Peak. The twelve who made the summit agreed that this is one of our most remote and "worthy" peaks. These twelve form something of an elite, for since the register was placed on the summit two years ago, Hildreth now has been climbed only 24 times by 21 different "nuts"!
The hike was made difficult by the approximately 30 (round trip figure) stream crossings, since rain the previous week had raised the water above most of the navigable rocks. But Agua Caliente Canyon was beautiful, with wildflowers and lush spring grass masking the terrible damage from the 1964 Santa Barbara fire. The group was treated to an off-trail rest break at a very full waterfall, which one adventurer used for rock-climb practice (he didn't fall in!), and several other falls were visible in side canyons.
While hiking on the trail deep into the canyon, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery. But once leaving the trail at about 3600', we put our scree-scrambling ability to use, following ridges with an approximate gross gain of 1900 feet in the last mile.
All agreed it was a full day, leaving Juncal Camp at 7 a.m. and returning to the cars at the Hot Spring at 5 p.m. This was a good group, and the leader (who still feels her appendectomy) appreciates the mutual cooperation of everyone involved. Especially the assistant, Lew Hill, should be commended for his sharing responsibility for the trip, both in the scouting and getting the group up and out in daylight.