Ascent of Escapula Peak on 2020-08-02
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, August 2, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
| Elevation:||7080 ft / 2157 m|
Ascent Trip ReportIt was going to be over 100° in Los Angeles and even hotter in the west San Fernando Valley where I live, so I knew that I needed an early start. I was able to get to the trailhead by 7:00 a.m., and while my Honda Pilot's temperature gauge said that it was 50°, it felt quite a bit warmer. Nonetheless, quite comfortable to start. Note that while the vast majority of the road all the way to the Antimony trailhead is in fantastic shape, there are a couple of very difficult spots pretty close to the bottom of the road just after you leave the Cuddy Valley road. I'm not sure that a regular passenger vehicle without high clearance and 4 wheel drive could get past these spots.
As other reports have made clear, this is a pretty pleasant stroll through mixed Jeffrey forest to the peak. There are a couple of steep sections, but all very straightforward. Clearly, this is being used by motorbikes occasionally but that just made the path that much easier to follow. Also, as others have noted, the beginning of the trail is not particularly obvious, but I just walked toward where I knew it would be and within a minute or two was on my way.
As most have discovered, the actual high point and the register location are a bit past where Peakbagger has the dot on the map. I marked the spot as a waypoint on my track.
After signing the register, I pulled out Peakbagger (thanks as always to Greg and Andrew) to see if there was anything interesting in the neighborhood. LOJ 6659 certainly was intriguing, because it was only 1.4 air miles more along the ridge and also because there were no reports on LOJ of it ever having been ascended.
Off I went. The trail that shows on the map continued for some time but the ridge does start to drop steadily right off Escapula Peak. Interestingly, while some have commented that the peak does not have very good views, within 100 yards or so the views become quite outstanding, in three different directions with many HPS and Southern Sierra peaks in view.
I soon came to where the track on the map ended, and as I suspected the reason was that there is a very steep drop off from there. However, it is fairly soft and doable and while I knew that it was not going to be fun coming back up, it was straightforward. This area is also a little brushier than most of the landscape, with a mix of conifers and shrubby oaky hardwoods.
Eventually, trying to keep to the top of the ridge as much as possible, I made my way down to the saddle where the ridge starts going back up to 6659. All through this cross country hike there were a fair number of animal tracks. The fact that they were not people tracks was clear by the way that they went through brush that no human would choose to do. This was also the case on 6659 itself, and many of the tracks wanted to go around the mountain as opposed to the top. I had to resist the urge to follow these tracks because they were a lot easier then just going straight up the slope. But that is what I had to do and eventually I found myself on the relatively flat summit area.
While I could fantasize about being the first human ever to reach the top of this P300 peaklet, there was a very small group of rocks that appeared to mark the very highest point of the summit area.
Not surprisingly, it was starting to warm up and my sips at my camelbak became more frequent. In any case, my return trip to Escapula was uneventful if steep at times and after eating my sandwich back at the peak, made my way back down to the Pilot. The temperature was 80 degrees, a rise of 30 degrees in 4 hours!
I then decided to go do the West Tecuya ridge highpoint. The road to the Antimony trailhead was in great shape, and I passed the only people I saw all day driving in the opposite direction. The peak itself is a little silly, it was about a tenth of a mile from where I parked and involved a bit of wandering around until I was satisfied that I had both covered the dot and the highest ground.
My drive back to Cuddy Valley Road and home were both quite uneventful and I was home by 1:30 p.m.. A pleasant morning and it was nice to check off another P1K and another virgin peak.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||716 ft / 218 m|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
| Gain on way in:||716 ft / 218 m|
| Distance:||7.5 mi / 12.1 km|
| Start Trailhead:||6364 ft / 1939 m|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Coby King
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.
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