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Ascent of El Sombroso on 2021-02-25

Climber: Susan Alcorn

Date:Thursday, February 25, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:El Sombroso
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:3000 ft / 914 m

Ascent Trip Report

I think this is the shortest route to El Sombroso peak--and in my 79-year old opinion, not nearly as steep and difficult as some reports I had read earlier implied. Great day for this hike--in the mid-60s--clear and sunny. The area can be over 100 degrees in the summer, so be forewarned. We actually placed cars at two trailhead parking lots (both with portapotties). One spot was the parking area at Mt Umunhum Road and Hicks Road (Jacques Ridge). We chose to put a car here because we had heard that it would be easier (less steep) to make the final ascent back to our car on WOODS. The second spot, farther up Umunhum Road, was the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve Mt Umunhum. This would put us near the Barlow Rd. trailhead, which we knew would be two miles shorter (rt.), but I was was concerned that the ascent back up to the highway would be too difficult. As it turned out, the climb up to the road on the Barlow Trail was no big deal. It was a climb, but well- graded with many level areas. Route was: Cross the road. Take the .03-mile connector trail to the split. Proceed down on on the the Barlow (Rd.) Trail. At the split between the Barlow and Woods Rd, turn left onto the Woods. Then take the Woods Trail until the turn off for the short, final ascent up a wide dirt road to El Sombroso Peak. There are a couple of transmission towers at the top. Total is about 10.8 miles (rt) with 2,195' of elevation gain. There's a fair amount of shade from the fir, pine, buckeye, and madrone on the Barlow Rd. route.
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