Cobblestone & White
-- or --
Adventures with Salmon - Chapter 17
Leader: Larry Salmon
Asst: How Bailey
The hardy band that gathered at El Rancho 76 Station early Saturday afternoon was well prepared for the rigors of attaining two peaks in the Los Padres National Forest. Water was a problem, as it is so often on our trips, but not in the usual sense; sizeable quantities of it were encountered in the driving and hiking (quite a bit in the crystalline form known as snow). Three vehicles chanced the watery crossing of Piru Creek in order to reach Hardluck Campground, the starting point for the hike. (Although many of the group who had waded through the knee-high water walked part or all of the 2-1/2 miles to Buck Creek G.S.)
How Bailey, assistant leader, brought up the rear as 37 backpackers hiked the 4-1/2 miles of beautiful trail to the old Buck Creek Campground. Only a few got involved with water at the many cream strossings. The lower Buck Creek Campground was occupied by a few Riverside Chapter members and three members of the Valley College Hiking and Climbing Club. Bruce Collier missed a golden opportunity to witness a variety of trail cookery (ugh!) at dinnertime.
Early the next morning, 32 of the group continued up the California Riking and Hiding trail to get a beautiful view of snow-covered Cobblestone from the White Mountain ridge. The leader wisely turned over the lead of the Cobblestone ascent to Howe; the steep 1400' ascent of Cobblestone was made by arduously kicking steps in the sometimes four foot snow. By 10:45 a.m., all had arrived for the spectacular view of near and distant peaks.
The glissading descent brought the snow bunnies to a saddle, from which White would be a 900', mile and a half ascent. We were joined on the long, easy ridge by Hugh and Ruby Meserve, ardent 100 Peakers from the Riverside Chapter (six others had climbed White the day before). By 1:30, all were hungrily eating lunch on the summit. The learless feeder then led a direct descent down a ridgeless trail to the stream that runs through the campsite. The packup, hikeout, and wading-driving across Piru Creek were all accomplished without mishap and with relative dispatch by 6:00 p.m. The dozen participants who came along to qualify for BMTC got their slips signed and vowed to join us on future HPS jaunts.