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Ascent of Pico Blanco on 2019-06-07

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, June 7, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pico Blanco
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:3709 ft / 1130 m

Ascent Trip Report

today was apparently road maintenance day: caltrans was busy on highway 1, with a flagger right at the north end of coast road. then i'd discover the county was busy grading coast road... and later on, i'd bump into a fellow in a pickup truck dragging a grade up/down the road to the summit! given the lack of rain for a few days it probably was one of the earliest chances they had.

the little sur trail was generally good, it's definitely an enjoyable redwood hike. the deadfall gets in the way now and then; and at least on the outbound trip i went much further than necessary on the opposite bank while avoiding the landslide that took out the trail. like lisa mentions, you only really need to go about 100 yards on the far side. the river was easy enough to cross, but i did need to dunk up to my ankles a couple times.

i had picked up two ticks early in the hike (probably at the roadside when getting ready), and i had to improvise with my leatherman. gently grabbing them an rotating them out (like i would with the tick removal tool i had cleverly left in my truck).

once the trail leaves the river for the climb up to the road i started encountering a dash of poison oak... but worse: dozens and dozens of ticks. thankfully i had tucked my shirt in after the earlier ticks... but i'd have to stop every few minutes to pluck ticks off my pants. that made this 0.5mi section really the worst of the day.

when i reached the road i noticed it was freshly graded. in fact i wondered if it was today... and soon after i'd see a pickup come around the corner, dragging a grader behind it. i chatted with the fellow for a half hour, on a range of topics. he told me the road goes to the top and suggested i go on up. thanks to his efforts the road was in great condition until somewhere above 3200'.

the road would otherwise be fairly monotonous except today all the flowers were in bloom.

unfortunately the weather forecast seems to have been wrong, the forecast was high 50s, but it felt more like mid-70s, and that slowed me down a lot. i ran out of water sometime after i returned to the little sur trail, and took my chances with the unfiltered river... have you ever tried walking beside a cold clear river while thirsty? i couldn't resist.

the attached track is coast road, north to south, with the trailhead annotated. gmaps will try to take you through some private road, you need to use either the north or south entrance. i think it might be faster to use the south entrance always, it's less driving on the slow road, but it's a fun road regardless. any SUV could make it. btw coast road is festooned with "no trespassing", "no camping" signs along its entire length.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4231 ft / 1288 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4231 ft / 1288 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15.6 mi / 25.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3821 ft / 1164 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3411 ft / 1040 m; Extra: 410 ft / 124m
    Loss on way in:410 ft / 124 m
    Distance:7.8 mi / 12.6 km
    Route:little sur trail
    Start Trailhead:coast rd  298 ft / 90 m
    Time:4 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3821 ft / 1164 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3411 ft / 1040 m; Extra: 410 ft / 124m
    Gain on way out:410 ft / 124 m
    Distance:7.8 mi / 12.6 km
    End Trailhead:298 ft / 90 m
    Time:3 Hours 6 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dean Gaudet
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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