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Occidental Peak, Mount Wilson, Mount Harvard

12 March 1994

By: Charlie Knapke

Leaders: Charlie Knapke, David Eisenberg

This was actually a continuation of an aborted hike from 1992. In that hike a serious injury caused us to immediately abort the trip after climbing five of eight scheduled peaks. These three peaks did not make much of a trip so we decided to do our share of highway clean-up on our adopted section of Angeles Crest Highway. Eight participants met the leaders at the La Cañada meeting place. From here we headed up to Red Box where we regrouped.

We then drove to a spot just southeast of Occidental. We parked near the entrance to the radio site. All of the turnouts along the highway have been blocked. I recommend that large groups climb Occidental from Eaton Saddle to the northwest where parking is not a problem.

After climbing Occidental we drove over to the gate at the Mount Wilson Road. We hiked down this road and up to Harvard. The "No Trespassing" sign has been replaced by a sign indicating that hikers travel the road at their own risk. This sign is located at the saddle just north of Harvard. We returned to Wilson via the trail up to the parking lot inside the Mount Wilson Park.

Next we drove to Newcomb Ranch parking lot where we handed out helmets, trash pickers, and trash bags. While we were here we had a visit from the Forest Service. They couldn't believe that someone other than they were going to pick up trash. They were delighted. We were also visited by the new manager of Newcomb Ranch. He told us to come back for free cokes after we cleaned the highway. This was a real surprise. We decided to keep them in mind.

We broke into two groups. We leap-frogged up the road from turnout to turnout. The group that finished their turnout would drive on past the other to the next turnout. One turnout was so bad that both groups worked for 30 minutes to pickup the trash. The amount of trash was staggering. The snow bunnies out to enjoy the snow litter more than any group I have yet seen in this country. The snow was melting and the trash was being exposed for the first time. We found fast food wrappers, house keys, diapers (gross!), & whole trash bags of garbage. We even found a barbecue grill complete with briquettes! We filled twenty-four bags with trash. After dropping off the bags at the designated place, some of us headed back to Newcomb Ranch to check out the offer of free Cokes. I was more curious than thirsty. The manager at Newcomb Ranch was good to his word. In fact he was quite a congenial person. He expressed a lot of interest in developing a good relationship with any organized groups that used the area.

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