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Ascent of Smith Mountain on 2017-06-14

Climber: Amy Huang

Others in Party:Andrea Amato
Rich Gillock
Greg Griffiths
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Smith Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:5111 ft / 1557 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my second hike after a 3 month rest/absence due to an injury. I was tired as I only had 4 hours of sleep and hiked about 11 miles the day before. We started at around 9:30AM and practiced navigation with using time and taking bearings. The trail hit 3 big gullies, and then veered to the left. From the parking lot, you could see the peak about 3.5 miles away.

What made the hike difficult was 80 degree weather, and many bees and insects that bit. The last 0.6 miles up the summit was about 800 ft of elevation gain and was brutal and steepness, rocks, etc. If was equally difficult to come up as it was equally difficult to come down the mountain. Once the saddle was reached and we got back to the parking lot, the hike was very easy.

The hike was very exposed and very little shade. The summit was kind of bare and no real places to sit except 2 rocks. People need to bring a sitting mat if groups of people were to come to this peak.

We heard loud rattling, and then I suggested that it was a rattlesnake. Andrea turned around and yelled that a rattle snake was slithering down the side of the small hill and was going to fall towards my direction. I saw this snake look like it was going to lunge at me with its mouth open. I screamed and jumped forward, and it quickly went along the path and scurried away. It was truly frightening. Rick said it was probably just warning us and would not have bitten since it was not coiled. I wasn't too sure about that since I'm sure that since we had made it angry and I stood to the side of it, it would have done something if I had stayed there.

It was hard for me to believe that this hike is rated as "O." Despite that it was on-trail, it was a big scramble. People who aren't fit or beginners at hiking would find this hike extremely difficult.

Andrea had said that if this hike were longer with the steep parts, it would have been very difficult.

On a hot summer day I drank 4 liters of water and could have had a half liter more.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear



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