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Ascent of Lopez Mountain on 2019-05-11

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Date:Saturday, May 11, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Lopez Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:2868 ft / 874 m

Ascent Trip Report

The route via Upper Lopez Canyon, a deep narrow canyon where the sun seldom shines, is currently only safe to hike in a hazmat suit. The poison oak is that bad. It grows over major sections of the trail, from about mile 2 to about mile 6. Once Sean and I started climbing directly up to the ridge near the peak at about mile 7, we finally found a section without poison oak. The last half-mile ridge run to the summit was brushy, but without poison oak until we got to Sean's "Wall of Death". We hit near-impenetrable brush laced with an inordinate amount of poison oak about 1/10th of a mile from the summit. Sean did an incredible job chopping his way through this section with his loppers. I followed with hand clippers pretending I was of some use. About 200-300 feet from the summit the brush eased up and we were able to move pretty fast to the flat, brushy summit area with no view, unless you like to look at brush up close. However, there are nice views of the ocean and mountains in two places further back along the ridge.

Even though I wore long pants and long gaiters, I still came down with a case of itchy poison oak rash on my legs over the next week. My arms also picked up the P.O. rash. If this account still doesn't deter you, perhaps the 50+ creek crossings over the first 6 miles will. There was no way we could keep our feet dry with that many crossings. And one more thing, the trail is so overgrown we lost it numerous times leaving us thrashing around in the brush, P.O. and creek looking for it. One good thing is that the 1.5 mile section of trail (from about mile 5.5 to mile 7) that climbs out of the canyon that we mostly cleared last year was still in pretty good shape.

Greg Slayden needs to add a little icon for poison oak in the "Route Aspects" section.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble



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