Leaders: Jon Sheldon, Frank Goodykoontz
This trip was originally scheduled for April 23-24, but had to be postponed as the USFS said that the gate on the dirt road leading to the peaks would not be unlocked until the end of May.
16 eager peakbaggers met at 8:00AM on Saturday morning at the intersection of the Lockwood Valley Rd and the Mutau Flats Rd. We caravanned to the Lockwood trailhead and quickly climbed the peak. The day was a bit warm at times, but an occasional breeze made the trip pleasant. There was no problem with brush on the way up, but yours truly got a little off track on the way down and some swearing was heard from the rear.
We then caravanned to Thorn Meadows CG where we met Doug Hatfield and had some lunch. Terri and Ed Sutor drove up just as we were leaving for the peak and they met us on top. It turned out to quite warm hiking up Thorn but everyone made the peak in about two hours. We had a leisurely break on top. Bill T. made an exploratory climb up the lookout tower and most of us followed for some nice (but hazy) views. We were all back at the campground by 6:00PM.
We had a great happy hour and community salad. Watermelon was provided by Laura Webb and Dick and Shirley Akawie - one was seedless, but I forget who brought it. Dick and Shirley were celebrating their birthdays so they brought a delicious carrot cake which was quickly gobbled up. Being so close to the Summer Solstice, the sun didn't set until very late, but we had a campfire anyway, just because.
Sunday morning we caravanned to the San Rafael trailhead. I was a bit concerned about the cross-country part of the trip due to the brush, but with seven other list finishers along (including Evan Samuels and Martin Feather), I figured someone would yell if we got off route. The trip turned out to be quite pleasant. We managed to avoid almost all the brush by contouring to the west side of the 3rd and 4th bumps and were treated to carpets of small yellow flowers on the summit ridge. It was turning out to be quite hot with no shade on the summit. The group decided to head back after a short break (not quite a mutiny but almost - one minute everyone was eating lunch, the next minute they were gone). We took quite a few breaks on the way down and made it to the cars about 2:45PM. Due to the heat there was not much interest in brushy San Guillermo (especially since the road into Pine Springs CG was locked, thus necessitating an additional two miles of hiking), so we munched on leftover watermelon (it tasted even better than the night before) and headed back to LA.
Thanks to everyone for a great trip. Other participants were Cristy Bird, Pat Russell, Al Holden, Terri Astle, Bill Lien, Julie Rush and Ruth Adler.
A couple of PS's: (1) We drove up Frazier Mtn on the way out. The ranger in the lookout was very talkative and mentioned that due to a quirk in the geography he can see the buildings in downtown LA on a clear night! (2) Ruth and I went back out in August to climb San Guillermo.