Winston Ridge, Winston Peak, Mount Akawie
8 July 1990
By: Joe Young
Leaders: Joe Young, Stag Brown
Eight hikers met for breakfast at Lloyd's of La Cañada at 6:30 for some pre-hike revelry before joining thirteen others at the La Cañada carpool point. The twenty-one of us carpooled to mileage post 57.21 along the Crest Highway, 32.58 miles from La Cañada. This is the traditional roadhead for Winston Peak and Winston Ridge. We were met there by Bobcat Thompson. Cloudy skies in the city gave way to brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures in the mountains.
We started hiking at 8:40 and arrived on the summit of Winston Ridge at 9:30, observing possible routes up both Winston and Mt Akawie. Stag led the group back to the saddle near bump 6903', and from there we hiked up the steep north ridge (thankfully shaded) of Winston, arriving on its summit at 10:35. The group maintained a fair pace and required few stops for consolidation.
After a short stay on the summit of Winston, Stag led us down the east face of Winston and rejoined the trail to Cooper Canyon. We crossed the dry creek and proceeded northeasterly along abandoned logging roads to one of the north ridges of Mt Akawie. We then hiked up a steep but shaded ridge southerly up Mt Akawie, stopping once for regathering of the hikers. The forest floor here was laden with pine needles, making the footing slippery. We arrived at the summit of Mt Akawie at approximately 12:34 and 56 seconds, on July 8, 1990; or, to put it another way, 12:34:56 on 7-8-90! This was not done by design. It was Bobcat Thompson who pointed out this feat!
While lunching on the summit, we were joined by Sam Fink and his companion Inara. This was Sam's 69th ascent of Mt Akawie (formerly Buckhorn Pk), and his 3716th overall ascent. Sam's arrival, as usual, caused a commotion as everyone scrambled to be photographed with Sam, chat with him, or receive one of his cards. (I managed all three).
It should be noted that there were two hikers this day originally from the Soviet Union: Sam's companion Inara from Latvia, and Emma Burd, originally from the Georgian SSR.
After a delightful stay on Mt Akawie, Stag led us down southwesterly toward the Crest Highway. Along the way Bobcat and I were pelted with pine cones lobbed by Nami Brown and Laura Webb. There had been pine cone wars intermittently during the day.
We arrived at the cars at about 2:30. A guesstimate of the hike specifics would be 10-11 miles and 2500' of gain.
Several of us reconvened at Pepe's of La Cañada for post hike revelry. This had been a fine day of hiking and fun, and we had bagged two peaks via non-standard routes.
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