Leaders: Patty Kline, Joe Young
A dozen hikers met at Graziano's parking lot in Mojave on Saturday morning. We arranged ourselves into four 4WD vehicles and headed for the peak at about 8 am. Patty had discussed hiking in this area with hikers who had been in the area as recently as the previous weekend, and she had been advised that the main road from Jawbone Canyon was impassable due to snow, so we elected to drive in via Sagebrush and Claraville and approach the roadhead from the north. This proved time consuming but the roads were easily passable.
We began our hiking at 10:40 am. Following the peak guide, we dropped down to the Pacific Crest Trail and followed it to a gully southwest of the peak. You encounter the gully less than ten minutes after the PCT leaves the road. We rested at the gully and began our ascent to the peak at 12:05 pm. In 30 minutes we arrived at the top of a wide, heavily wooded but not brushy ridge. One cannot see the summit from the ridge unless you got lucky and topped out very close to the summit. We topped out perhaps 1/4 mile south of the summit. After wandering a bit, we spotted the true summit by climbing an outcropping south of the summit. The true summit is located on a short spur ridge running easterly from the wide, wooded ridge which runs basically noth-south.
It should be noted that there are a few rock outcrops along the main wooded ridge. The true summit is a rock outcrop which stands out because it is taller than the surrounding trees (unlike the other outcrops) and because it lies at the end of a short spur ridge. My guess is that many hikers will find themselves south of the summit once they have topped out on the main ridge.
We lingered 50 minutes at the summit, and some of us gazed at the Short and Sweet Just Like Vi route named by Bob Sumner and Erik Siering in remembrance of Vi Grasso [see their write-up in the Jan-Feb 1995 Lookout]. Mike Fredette assisted a few hikers on descent from the rocky ledge where the register is kept.
After returning to the PCT some of us grazed on the abundant Miner's Lettuce. And one hiker spotted a bear!
We returned to the cars at 4:00 pm. Since we had seen no evidence of snow, we decided to drive back directly to the Jawbone Canyon Road. The recently melted snows had left deep gullies in the road, and at times the going was slow.
Several of us reconvened at Graziano's in Mojave for dinner. This had been a beautiful day for hiking and the wildflowers were wonderful.
Sunday morning five hikers met at the Tehachapi Mountain Park at 7:30 am. The hike was uneventful. We descended from Tehachapi towards Double via the older route description but returned from Double towards Tehachapi via the current peak guide directions. Following the directions in the current peak guide, one can take the open ridge towards the summit of Tehachapi on return from Double and bypass the summit by following a faint but distinct use trail northwest of the summit of Tehachapi. The hike took 7 hours and 45 minutes to complete, and we returned to the cars at 3:35 pm.
Patty, Theresia and Mike Fredette then completed the outing with a late afternoon hike of Black #3. Patty got her 200th Lead on this peak. Patty reports that there were millions of lavender wildflowers and daisies en route on the road and ridge all the way up to the peak that they couldn't help stepping on them. She also encountered a rattlesnake under a log she stepped on. The snake's rattling resulted in a quick jump away from the log. No register was found on the summit of Black #3.
Thanks to Patty for leading both days.