Ascent of Mount Pinos on 1943-05-15

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Bob Becker
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, May 15, 1943
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Pinos
    Elevation:8831 ft / 2691 m

Ascent Trip Report

Bob Becker and I got a ride with one of our teachers from school in Ojai to Sespe Gorge, where he was going to check on a school group camping there. After a two-hour wait, we hitched a ride that took us over the Pine Mountain ridge and down into the Cuyama to Quatel Canyon, where we left the main road about 7:15P and started the long walk to Mt. Pinos. We hiked the dirt road to the Monolith Gypsum mine which eventually connects with the Mt. Abel (Cerro Noroeste) paved highway. One of the mine workers and his family picked us up and drove us about 10 miles up the canyon until it became impassable for him. He had really been helpful, and we thanked him very much. At 9:15P we started up the rough road and several miles further came out on the Mt. Abel (Cerro Noroeste) area. At 10:45P we came to the Camp Condor maintenance station, where we were able to rouse a watchman who was kind enough to give us the key to an empty bungalow to spend the night, where we made good use of the cots and fireplace. It was cold and frosty as we resumed our hike at 6:30A Saturday to Mt. Abel (Cerro Noroeste), still about seven miles away. By 8:30A we had finished the easy walk to the summit, where we took a break before continuing toward Mt. Pinos. After dropping down and regaining altitude through the pine trees, we thought we were approaching Mt. Pinos about 10:30A. Instead, we had come only as far as Sawmill Mountain. After checking out a couple of possible small summits (West Peak), we found the official top, marked by a Sierra Club register and book with several familiar Sierra Club names. Then, in about an hour, we arrived at our destination, Mt. Pinos, the highest peak in the area. We relaxed here for nearly two hours, snapping pictures and enjoying the views that extended clearly today to the southern Sierra. It was cold and there were some remaining snowbanks. The couple who staffed the airplane spotting station on the summit were very friendly, asked us in, and even warmed up some soup for us. Mission accomplished, we headed for Hwy 99 to complete our grand loop from Ojai. About 5:15P we came out on a paved road still 12 miles from Frazier Park. Our return to Ojai was an adventure in itself–suffice it to say that after several hitched rides and a bus ride, we returned very tired to school in Ojai at 12:45A Sunday.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Hut Camp
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Very good
Ascent Part of Trip: Cerro Noroeste-Sawmill Mtn West Peak-Sawmill Mtn-Mt. Pinos (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Cerro Noroeste1943-05-15 a
2Sawmill Mountain-West Peak1943-05-15 b
3Sawmill Mountain1943-05-15 c
4Mount Pinos1943-05-15 d

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