Ascent of Cobb Mountain on 2020-12-18

Climber: Neil Smith

Date:Friday, December 18, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cobb Mountain
    Elevation:4720 ft / 1438 m

Ascent Trip Report

Opted to climb Cobb to get another CA CoHP, and planned to trail run it as much as possible. Having done it, I don't need to go back. It's a non-maintained trail on private land, and has been subject to the devastation from the Valley Fire in 2015. The trail / road starts out pretty easy, slightly steep. As it goes on, it gets much steeper, with increasing amounts of deadfall. At various points there are many trees that have fallen across the trail that need to be negotiated. The closer to the top you get, the more manzanita grow-back, and in a couple of years it will be quite a problem. Eventually there are significant sections where the trail disappears or becomes very hard to follow. Download GPX tracks from others if you plan on doing this one. Once you reach the first comms unit, there is still further to go, but the last section is easy dirt road. Go through the open gate into the mains comms unit and find the rocky outcrop a few yards to the east of the broken down shipping container. There's a register in a glass jar.

Now for the fun bit, getting to the Sonoma County high point. I had two completely different GPX tracks to follow. One seemed to be a bushwhack from the Cobb summit, the other followed a very steep road down into the valley separating the two peaks. I opted for the road, knowing a bushwhack would be much more time consuming, even if it might require more elevation gain/loss. Even with this approach, the road ran out and I had to class 2 scramble / bushwhack through deadfall, spiky dead manzanitas and newer manzanitas. It was very hard going. I finally made it, looked for what was the actual CoHP (it isn't obvious) then planned for my return. Initially I opted to follow the other track, hoping it would be easier (and appeared to be a road on the map), but gave up and returned to my previous route. It was tough going to get back down to the trail, and very strenuous to climb back up the road to the main summit. From there, I trail ran back down when it was possible.

Overall, this feels like kind of a sad hike. There's very few birds and the landscape really hasn't recovered much from the fire. There is very little shade, so this would be tough in the summer. Keep legs covered - the amount of fallen trees and bushwhacking does not suit wearing shorts like I was, and I came away with a ton of cuts and scratches.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3336 ft / 1016 m
    Extra Gain:713 ft / 217 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.4 mi / 8.7 km
    Trailhead:Brookside  2810 ft / 856 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 0 Hours 59 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:42 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Neil Smith
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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