Samon Peak, Big Pine Mountain, West Big Pine, Madulce Peak
30 May-1 June 1969
By: Fred A. Bode, Sr.
Leader: Ken Ferrell
This classical unscheduled hike in the Los Padres National Forest Primitive Area over the Memorial Day weekend was accomplished by ten hikers, Ken Ferrell; Ray, Heddy, and Peter Redheffer; Joe and Debbie Kazlowski; Don, Don Jr., and Dick McLellan; and Fred Bode Sr.
We met Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. at Highway 166 and Kirschenman Road and drove to the Reyes ranch via Foothill Road and Santa Barbara Canyon Road, as the road from Highway 33 was impassable. Mrs. Reyes and her son greeted us (by prearrangement) and, to our surprise and delight, offered to haul us up the winding and rising road, a total gain of about 2,600 feet. This was the break we needed to make all four peaks. It was an easy four to five mile hike to Chokecherry Springs, even with a heavy pack.
Samon Peak lived up to its infamous reputation. We had to fight brush most of the way. All made it except Fred who had made the climb in 1966. Everyone got back around 8:00 p.m.
We rose Saturday at 5:00 a.m. to tackle Big Pine and West Big Pine, an easy hike up and down the road past Alamar Guard Station. We had lunch on West Big Pine. On the return hike we picked up our packs, which we had left at the Summit Ridge at 6,175 feet, and proceeded down the Madulce Trail. We left the packs this time at the intersection of the trail to the Madulce Guard Station. It took us about three hours to make the peak. The view from the top was magnificent.
We arrived back at the Madulce Guard Station campground at about 7:00. It had been a satisfying two days so far, since we had made all four peaks.
Sunday morning our irrepressible leader, Ken Ferrell, again blew reveille at 5:00 a.m., so that we could have an early start down the Santa Barbara Canyon Jeep Trail to Willow campground. The stream had done considerable damage and the trail was wiped out time and time again. At Willow campground we had lunch around noon and shortly broke up for the trip out.
The weather was excellent during the three day hike, warm but not hot, and nights just right. This was a very gratifying hike and much credit for the success of the trip was due to our foresighted and considerate leader.
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