Ascent of Mount Konocti-South Peak on 2014-02-15

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, February 15, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Konocti-South Peak
    Elevation:4040 ft / 1231 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiked the relatively new Mt. Konocti State Park trail to the high point (Wright's Peak), taking side trails to the other summits (Howard Peak, Buckingham Peak) along the way. South Peak is the only named point on the mountain without a trail leading to it.

Bob Burd had described the ascent of South Peak on his "Dayhiking California" website as an awful bushwhack with obscured views at the top. I'll agree about the obscured view, but the bushwhack was only mildly to moderately brushy from where I started.

I started the brushy ascent of South Peak from a bathroom building on the trail roughly 3/4 of a mile from the summit of Wright's Peak. Because of the thick tree cover, I could not see the peak from here. I took a bearing for the direction of the summit with my compass and topo map, and then followed the compass bearing up the peak weaving in and out of the dense cover of spindly oak trees and brush. After 15 minutes or so I reached a ridgeline with what appeared to be the summit boulders. The vegetation was pretty thick, but I got an obscured view of nearby Howard Peak from the top of a set of boulders. Other boulders close by appeared to be about the same height due to the rather flat summit ridge area.

Total distance from the bathroom was about 900 ft with 250 ft gain. Even so, the thick tree and brush cover was disorienting, so I closely followed the compass bearing back to the trail at the bathroom. Worked perfectly and was back at the bathroom in 10-15 min. Bob Burd said there was poison oak in the area but I did not see any. Perhaps it has no leaves this time of year. I'll know in a few more days if I got into poison oak...brushing up against the branches is bad too even if no leaves are present.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1540 ft / 469 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:5.4 mi / 8.7 km
    Route:Mt. Konocti trail
    Trailhead:Mt. Konocti trailhead  2600 ft / 792 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack

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