Friday, January 1, 2016

Pinnacles NP, South Wilderness Loop

Friday: (01/01) A very cold morning. I fixed my usual breakfast sandwich. This hake began an hour earlier so Lou and Dawn didn’t join me for breakfast. I had five fellow hikers for the rugged hike.
Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101160943a_HDR Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101160955d_HDR
We started up the Bear Gulch Trail from the Peaks View TH. We took the Moses Spring trail rather than go through the caves again. It was worth the change. Nice views not seen elsewhere.
Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101161008_HDR South Wlderness Loop 91451674740152
From the reservoir, we continued up to North Chalone Peak. We enjoyed lunch there.
Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101161108_HDR Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101161244_HDR
Really expansive views of the entire Southern San Benito and Monterrey Counties. We then continued South to the South Chalone Peak, or almost We actually don’t go to the peak because it would take too long to get through the Chaparral with no trail going there.
Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101161136b_HDR Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101161244a_HDR
We had to scale the pig fence twice before reaching the North Peak and then again a couple of times at the bottom of the mountain. Those first two had styles to climb over on. The last two were just the wire, no steps.
Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101161324_HDR Pinnacles NP South Wilderness Loop 0101161352_HDR
We then went down a treacherous decent of two miles of non trail beside a barbed wire pig fence on a slippery slope. At the bottom of the mountain we connected with the Southern end of the South Wilderness Trail and returned on the mostly level train to our start.
Having started our hike at 0845 we ended just before dark at 1715. Great hike through the wilderness made even better by finishing the hike in the daylight. Great views and company. Thanks to my fellow hikers for starting the new year with a great hike. My GPS track showed 13.3 miles with 4217 feet of overall elevation gain.  Link to my GPS track.  It was cold all morning and on the peak. In the afternoon it became much warmer probably getting into the high 40′s. This group of hikers made much better time than last year. Lou had the water hot for my shower and had prepared a wonderful dinner of chicken mushroom onion gnocchi.

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