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Black Mountain #6

14 December 2002

By: Joe Young & Bobcat Thompson


Leaders: Joe Young & Bobcat Thompson

Joe celebrated his 57th birthday on this hike today. He remembers back in 1972 when he often drove up and down Highways 395 and 14, looking at this peak for miles and miles. When asked to first lead for the HPS his first thought was to lead this peak, then referred to as the El Paso Mountains. The official exploratory was led in 1973; the peak was voted onto the List in 1974, and received the name Black No. 6. Today's route one approximates the way Joe first climbed the peak, but there was no use trail nor ducks to the summit back in the early 70s.

Six hikers joined the leaders at 7:00 AM at the Sylmar rideshare point for consolidation into three vehicles. The hike began at 9:45 AM under cloudy skies. Rain was anticipated but none developed during the hike. Joe led the group a bit off route but luckily encountered the memorial for Burro Schmidt near the top of peak 5080'. We arrived on the summit at about 12:15 PM. There we celebrated Bill Byrne's 100th peak with some Korbel champagne. Joe and Bobcat felt compelled to serenade Bill by gargling "Amazing (dis)grace" with the Korbel. Bill rewarded Joe for leading him successfully to the summit by presenting Joe with a card and a quarter, dime, and nickel minted in 1945, the year of Joe's birth. The group marveled at the excellent register with signatures dating back to 1966. We stayed on the windy summit just about a half hour.

After return to the vehicles, some stayed in the area to investigate the Burro Schmidt tunnel, while others drove back and later joined Joe for a birthday dinner at Viva's Mexican restaurant located adjacent to the equestrian center near Griffith Park.

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