Leader: Warren von Pertz
Saturday, December 7, dawned bright and clear which was particularly appreciated by the leader after his experience on the previous Hines Peak trip, and which undoubtedly accounted for the large turnout (21), especially encouraging when compared to last year's total of 3 persons.
After a short briefing, the group started up the road/trail headed for Murietta saddle via Murietta Camp. Contrary to anticipated conditions, the streams were flowing and the countryside was green and beautiful, which was indeed rewarding. By middle afternoon, the entire group had arrived in base camp, which was situated high on the ridge above the saddle, where they immediately started selecting camp sites, while enjoying the magnificent view.
An exceptionally balmy windless night was enjoyed by all, and with the cooperation of a full moon which remained on the scene long enough to light the pre-dawn preparation activities, the group was able to be on the trail headed for Monte Arido by 6:15 a.m.
Shortly before attaining the summit of Monte Arido, Ken Ferrell surged ahead of the group in a final burst of energy and ascended his 200th peak, followed by the congratulations from his companions. The exceptional weather conditions permitted unlimited visibility in all directions, including all the northern Channel Islands, a truly beautiful sight which was appreciated by all participants.
After a short chow down session, all 21 persons started a rapid descent to the saddle followed by a lunch break on the summit of Old Man Mountain. Unfortunately, as the day progressed the visibility deteriorated, so that our view from Old Man afforded only a partial view of that enjoyed from Monte Arido; however, this peak presented a more challenging ascent which made up for the difference. The return trip to base camp was in part via the old trail and an interesting high route, which served as a short cut and enabled the group to be back at their cars before dark.
The trip was enjoyed by all participants, who expressed their appreciation for the insight to the beauty of the Santa Barbara mountains, witnessed under exceptionally fine weather conditions.