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Ascent of East Peak on 2017-02-17

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, February 17, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Boat
Peak:East Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:1684 ft / 513 m

Ascent Trip Report

To save us some time, since we could not longer see, I left Karen at the junction with the upper clay ridge road and the intersection of the spur trail that goes to the actual summit of East Peak. It was drizzling steady now and the winds were gusting up to 40 mph. I ran the ridge spine to the summit where there is some monitoring equipment and radio antennae's. I am sure the views here would be amazing of the Pacific at 1600 feet from this summit but I guess I won't know on this trip. I could only see about 30 yards ahead of me. Worried about the heavy storms on the way I ran back to the intersection and regrouped with Karen. We elected to keep heading west and then north to complete a big loop that would take us through the botanical gardens. The rain picked up and just as we were about to be demoralized two great things happened. First, the wind blew the cloud cover off and we saw for the first time in an hour the great views of the ocean to the south into the heart of the Pacific through several canyons and valleys below. Second, one of the indigenous foxes ( related to the gray fox) but far smaller 0 they are only 5 pounds! came running across the road in front of us! We were able to see his cute face and ears from about 15 feet. The smallest species of fox in North America. The Catalina Fox is a must see!

There is again a lot of meandering terrain and the road climbs and drops several times. I elected to jump off the road and climbed several of the fire breaks up to several subpeaks that gave me much more additional gain just to give the legs a workout. Most of these subpeaks have only 60 to 120 feet of prominence and are thus, not logged in the database. There is a very nice area off southern loop about half mile before the junction with the trails that head back down through the botanical gardens that take you out to some great views of the Pacific from the back side of the island. The botanical gardens were a splendid surprise to hike up and stumble into! By the time we got back to the city it was not longer sprinkling it was raining. It poured heavy as we got done just in time and it rained all night thereafter.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1084 ft / 330 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2484 ft / 757 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.4 mi / 8.7 km
    Grade/Class:1, 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Windy, Overcast
50F off and on drizzle and heavy winds on south side of island
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:404 ft / 123 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 184 ft / 56 m; Extra: 220 ft / 67m
    Loss on way in:220 ft / 67 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:main trail then road then fire breaks and roads
    Start Trailhead:Saddle between peaks  1500 ft / 457 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2264 ft / 690 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1584 ft / 483 m; Extra: 680 ft / 207m
    Gain on way out:680 ft / 207 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route:dirt road to loop through botanical gardens
    End Trailhead:Aurora Hotel  100 ft / 30 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Catalina

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Ord 2 Benchmark2017-02-17 a952 ft / 290 m
2Cactus 2 Benchmark2017-02-17 b490 ft / 149 m
3East Mountain2017-02-17 c783 ft / 239 m
4East Peak2017-02-17 d1084 ft / 330 m
5(Attempt) Black Jack Mountain2017-02-18 e0 ft / 0 m
6Catalina Point2017-02-18 f265 ft / 81 m
6North Spur 2 Benchmark2017-02-18 g870 ft / 265 m
Total Trip Gain: 4444 ft / 1354 m    Total Trip Loss: 4144 ft / 1263 m



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