Tehachapi Mountain, Double Mountain, Black Mountain #3, Black Mountain #6, Red Mountain
23 February 1991
By: David Eisenberg
Leaders: David Eisenberg, Luella Fickle
12 hikers met early on Saturday morning for this strenuous weekend of peakbagging. Our plan was to condense a normal 3 day outing into 2 days while still hiking at a moderate pace. We were to meet at campsite 49 in the Tehachapi Campground (the normal trailhead), but the site was closed for the winter! A sign was posted at the entrance and we met instead at site 15, the highest we could drive to. It was quite cold and windy, but this only served to spur us on to greater efforts and increased our speed. It was a pleasant change to hike through the evergreen forest instead of the chaparral and desert found during most winter climbs. As we were signing in on Tehachapi, Luella set her staff down to snack. The staff promptly took off down the side of the mountain, never to be seen again.
I decided to try a variation of the normal route to Double. We went down the Southwest ridge of Tehachapi, making a beeline for the saddle instead of descending directly to the road. This was a much gentler route. We were correctly concerned about the snow atop Double. Prior to the last switchback, the road was filled with icy snow which made it impossible to cross. Instead, we worked our way up the firebreak, reaching the peak in time for an early lunch and cookie break.
On the return, we decided to ascend the ridge from the saddle and go back over Tehachapi rather than take the standard route which involves some loss and the high probability of finding ice on the traverse back to the road. The trail up the ridge was quite easy, and we returned safely back to the cars by 2pm.
As we headed for Black, Luella decided that she had had enough for the day. Graham Breakwell happily volunteered to take over. Because of the new construction in the cul-de-sac, we went up the gully to the right, crossed the fence, and then climbed up along the fence to the normal trail. As we slogged our way up the ridge, we observed a horseback rider with dog descending the ridge from the right. Atop Black, we found a mining claim in the register can. It was a BLM form, so apparently Black is indeed public land.
On the way to our campsite, we stopped at Graziano's in Mojave, an excellent place to regain those calories lost by hiking. Alice Cahill, Greg Gerlach, Jim Hinkley, and Graham Breakwell had to return to Los Angeles. The rest of us camped along the road to the Chuckwalla trailhead.
Sunday, we were met by Dan Rollins and Laura Webb, who had driven out to get Black and Red. We consolidated cars for the dirt road driving and thus managed to get almost to the rainwater collector before we had enough jolting for the day. Walking through the old crater was quite a treat. Descending, we walked around the crater so we could get a bird's eye view.
Our last peak of the weekend was Red. This aptly named peak seemed to also be part of an old volcano, but we were not able to figure out which side we were on. Luella took over as leader. She wanted to try a different route so we went up the leftmost ridge of the three visible from the trailhead. This turned out to be quite gentle, so we returned the same way. We enjoyed excellent views in the distance while discussing the origin of the yellow tanks on top Black. We decided that it was the fuel supply for an early aircraft beacon.
Participants not named above were: Erich Fickle, George Schroedter, Dorothy Pallas, Evan Samuels, Fred Johnson, and Georgina Burns. Thanks to Luella and Graham for Co-Leading.
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