Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mt. Olympus (9026')

A steep hike to a mountain I've been looking at all my life and yet have never climbed. 8400' feet gained and lost over 7 miles. This is a steep one.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A long and full Saturday on the Central Coast.

Terrace Creek Loop - 12 miles, 6630' of elevation gain/loss.

The trail starts at the Ventana Inn, switchbacks up to the Coast Ridge on a gated dirt road with incredible views towards the ocean. From the ridge the trail drops into shady and cool Terrace Creek eventually reaching the crowded Pine Ridge Trail--otherwise known as "the trail to Sykes Hot Springs". (We saw a total of one hiker prior to reaching the Pine Ridge Trail. Once there however, we counted more than thirty, every one of them headed to the hot springs. Just another reminder that you can have Big Sur pretty much all to yourself, you just have to stay away from Sykes.)

We tried but failed to identify these wildflowers.

Banana slugs everywhere. Like me they have a fondness for mushrooms, unlike me they are hermaphrodites.

Somebody's driveway.

On top of Coast Ridge Road looking over Mule and Graves canyons to the Pacific.

People live up here. Bastards.

Action shot.

Into the dark forest.

Big Sur Goodness.

Outlaw Camp on Terrace Creek.


Ground cover.

Big trees on Terrace Creek.

Moss wall.

A view across the Big Sur River to last week's trail up Mt. Manuel - "The leopard face".

Our prize - Nepenthe.

Then back to the woods. Morning at camp on the Little Sur River.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Manuel Peak Trail - A Big Sur Day

The Manuel Peak Trail out of Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur. My route (including detours) was 13 miles round trip with 8600 ft of total elevation gain/loss.

The trail begins by skirting the endless Pfeiffer Burns SP campground through some amazing redwood forests. This is how Big Sur forests should be visited--during a misty, raining morning.

It took me way too long to find the trailhead in the pouring rain. I almost gave up and went to Nepenthe to sit out the storm. But after wandering through the quiet campground for an hour or so (most the campers were hiding from the rain--most were in their tents, but many people were sitting in their parked cars with the engines running, presumably in order to use their heaters) I finally found the trailhead. This old "Homestead Cabin" was built by John Pfeiffer in the 1890s. That guy had some good taste in cabin locations.

There are some amazing oak groves behind the cabin.

It was still raining pretty good but the sun was beginning to peak out. The trail going up.

Lots of wildflowers along the trail.

Cool clouds all day.

The last push onto Manuel Peak. Directly into the clouds. Fun.

On the way back down the trail the sun was out and there were great views up the Big Sur River towards Sykes Hot Spring.

And down over the Coast Ridge to the sunny Pacific.

Wet dog.

Looking back up the trail.

The end.