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Ascent of Santa Cruz Peak on 1987-04-12

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:John Backus (leader). Dick&Shirley Akawie
Carleton Shay
Bob Michael + six others
Date:Sunday, April 12, 1987
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Santa Cruz Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:5570 ft / 1697 m

Ascent Trip Report

HPS trip to Big Three--Santa Barbara County: McKinley Mountain, San Rafael Mountain, Santa Cruz Peak. 34 miles, 8,600' gain


Soon after 7:00A with fair weather we were underway for Santa Cruz Peak minus five of yesterday's group who opted out. From the McKinley Saddle we followed an obvious trail, first dropping about 400', then going around the SW side of San Rafael Mountain and climbing up the main ridge of San Rafael heading south. We next followed an old jeep road for about 2 miles to where it leaves the main ridge below Peak 5484'. We made our way to this point with some serious bushwhacking. Then down another overgrown firebreak to the saddle ENE of Santa Cruz Peak. Another heavily overgrown fire road took us around the north side to the west side to within 100 yards of the summit (11;30A). Without John Backus's skilfull, steady navigation, Santa Cruz would have been a major route-finding, bushwhacking challenge. After the return to McKinley Spring, we had a snack, filled up on water, and at 3:20P headed down to the TH at Cachuma Saddle at our own pace. A bit foot-sore, I arrived at my car at 7:20P, too late to catch my 8:00P flight home from Santa Barbara. So I enjoyed the comforts of a Santa Ynez motel and caught the 7:10A flight home on Monday.

Cachuma Saddle-McKinley Spring--7.5 miles
McKinley Spring-McKinley Saddle--0.5 mile
McKinley Saddle-McKinley Mountain--0.5 mile
McKinley Saddle-San Rafael Mountain–2.5 miles
McKinley Saddle-Santa Cruz Peak–-5.5 miles 1,800' gain + 2,000' on return

Big Three round trip: 34 miles. 8,600'
gain
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:30 ft / 9 m
    Elevation Loss:2470 ft / 753 m
    Distance:19.5 mi / 31.4 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Clear
Good, sunny, light breeze, not too warm
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:Fire road, firebreak, bushwhack
    Trailhead:McKinley Spring  5600 ft / 1706 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2470 ft / 753 m
    Distance:13.5 mi / 21.7 km
    Route:Fire road, firebreak
    Trailhead:Cachuma Saddle  3100 ft / 944 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Big Three-Santa Barbara County (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1McKinley Mountain1987-04-11 a
2San Rafael Mountain1987-04-11 b
3Santa Cruz Peak1987-04-12 c



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