Ascent of Berryessa Peak on 2020-02-15

Climber: Kimberly St.Clair

Date:Saturday, February 15, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Berryessa Peak
    Elevation:3057 ft / 931 m

Ascent Trip Report

So, I awoke at some ungodly hour of 5:30am for no good reason, but a hike would be good.  I thought that it would be the perfect day for Berryesa.  I couldn't think of a better weekend for this.  Summer heat there is unbearable, spring's tall grasses make it impassable, fall is still too hot and the ticks are more of a problem.  Winter is ok if it hasn't rained.  I quickly did the math in my head.  Hour to wake up, eat, pack gear. 2 hour drive.  That leaves 8:30-5:45 for the hike.  9 hours for 15 miles, and 3500 feet of climbing.  I got right out of bed. 

 The hike was charming for the first 2.5 miles along a canyon lined with oak with old man's beard hanging from its branches.  A creek bed lay next to the road with frogs and bird with their morning song.  Then the charm was gone, the trail turned up a steep grassy slope straight up to the ridgeline.  I was hoping to get up to the top of the ridge, but no, a quick look at the mapped showed that is off limits, so for two miles you walk along the side of the ridgeline, with bluffs overhead, a very narrow path, and very steep grassy slope headed 800-1000 feet below.   Two miles of walking and only looking 4 feet ahead of me, refusing to look up, or down.  I guess I was not fond of this section, but I made it.  Then 2 miles up chaparral, which I loved, and a ridgeline walk.  The last half mile or so was along the gravel road.  The views were better than I thought.   Lake Berryesa, mount St. Helena, Long Ridge, Cobb, Cashe Creek Casino.  It was a little too hazy to see any further.  Then back down, dreading the grassy slope.  The last 2.5 miles was wonderful in the evening hour before sunset.  There were Newts everywhere, the sounds of the bird were amazing with owls, acorn woodpeckers, doves, and many more.   The frogs soon drowned out all the other sounds then suddenly stopped when the heard my approach.   I got back to my car at sunset, and it was dark after I spent 15 minutes eating a snack and drink.  My timing was perfect.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2488 ft / 758 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2488 ft / 758 m
    Distance:14.6 mi / 23.5 km
    Start Trailhead:569 ft / 173 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Kimberly St.Clair
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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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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