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Ascent of Boardman North on 2016-02-27

Climber: Mihai Giurgiulescu

Others in Party:Patrick Bergeron -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, February 27, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Boardman North
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:3626 ft / 1105 m

Ascent Trip Report

Access notes:
From Livermore, head south, then southeast on Livermore Ave. This eventually becomes Tesla Rd. At the intersection with Mines Rd, turn right (south) on Mines and follow this paved road to South Pocket. The distance from the intersection of Tesla and Mines Roads to the gate at South Pocket is approximately 22.3 miles, and will take the better part of an hour to drive because the road becomes very narrow and windy, occasionally down to a single lane for long stretches. At South Pocket, the gate will be visible on the driver's left as the road starts a hard turn to the west. There is no good place to park near the gate, and one would not want to do that anyway. Instead, park at small grass pullout a couple of hundred feet north of the gate, on the east side of the road. A stream flows right next to this pullout.

Climbing notes:
The road sees a fair share of traffic even early on weekend mornings. An early start is imperative. Because the area from the parking pullout to the gate, and also a good distance past the gate, is clearly visible to cars on the road, getting in must be timed properly. Prepare everything needed for the day inside the car and have backpack ready. Do not leave anything in the car that would attract attention. Ensure no vehicles are coming (engines can be heard from quite far off), then proceed as fast as possible past the gate and follow the dirt road behind it. Keep moving up the road as it starts climbing, staying left at the first junction.

The wide, well-graded road heads easterly first, then NE as it climbs up the ridge. After about 1/3 of a mile, one is out of view from the paved road and can breathe a sigh of relief as the dirt road stays on the east side of the ridge, away from any signs of habitation. The road stays pretty steep for a few miles to Mocho Saddle, where it drops down easterly towards Fenton Canyon, makes a wide turn northward and proceeds to traverse the eastern flanks of the Mocho ridge. At a point where it meets an older abandoned road and a jeep trail coming up from Turner Gulch, the main roads begins climbing again and stays rollercoaster-like all the way to the south summit of Boardman (officially marked on the USGS map) and then to the county high point on the north summit. There are two other gates along the way, both with barbed wire. The first one can be hopped, the second is higher so crawling under is necessary.

Generally the views are pretty good from all along the ridge, with the snow-covered Sierras shimmering in the distance to the east, and the Livermore Valley to the north. Mount Diablo is visible for almost the entire time. The views on Boardman North are obscured by dense vegetation and undergrowth, except for a few spots. There is no register, but the survey marker identifying the county boundary is still sticking out on top of a metal pipe thrust into a pile of rocks.

We went back the same way, tagging the south summit of Boardman along the way, as well as the two summits of Mount Mocho by starting from Mocho Saddle (the lower south summit is the official one, the northern one is higher). We heard some strange noises while on the Boardman North summit, almost like construction sounds; later on I noticed a truck parked on the west side of the ridge, indicating owner activity of sorts. We also heard gun shots as we approached Mocho Saddle on the way back, but it appeared to be just target practice somewhere down in the canyons to the west. We didn't encounter anyone all day, however we kept a brisk pace and didn't linger.

Back at South Pocket, the exit must be timed the same way as the entry. Keep an eye out for any cars, proceed past the gate and back to the vehicle. Do not extend your stay any longer than necessary. There is plenty of traffic in the middle of the day, and a sheriff's SUV drove by about 5 minutes after we had returned.

Approximate stats with all four summits are 14.4 miles and 2200 feet gain. A GPS track is available but will not be posted here. Contact me for additional information.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1400 ft / 426 m
    Total Elevation Loss:544 ft / 165 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1400 ft / 426 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 856 ft / 261 m; Extra: 544 ft / 165m
    Loss on way in:544 ft / 165 m
    Distance:6.7 mi / 10.8 km
    Route:Mocho-Boardman Ridge Roads
    Start Trailhead:South Pocket  2770 ft / 844 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: SF Bay Area CoHP 02-16

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1San Bruno Mountain2016-02-26900 ft / 274 m
2San Bruno State and County Park High Point2016-02-26 
3Boardman North2016-02-271400 ft / 427 m
4Mount Boardman2016-02-27138 ft / 42 m
5Mocho Peak North2016-02-27530 ft / 162 m
6Mount Mocho2016-02-27146 ft / 45 m
7Mount Bielawski2016-02-27100 ft / 30 m
8Sunnyvale Mountain2016-02-2756 ft / 17 m
9The Peak2016-02-27150 ft / 46 m
10Mount Stakes2016-02-282150 ft / 655 m
11Mount Hamilton2016-02-28 
12Long Ridge2016-02-28 
Total Trip Gain: 5570 ft / 1698 m    Total Trip Loss: 5624 ft / 1714 m



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