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Ascent of Hildreth Peak on 2021-02-28

Climber: Kathy Wing

Date:Sunday, February 28, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Hildreth Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:5065 ft / 1543 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started on Hwy 33 at Reyes Summit (HPS Route 2) at the locked gate for Potrero Seco Road. I backpacked the Portrero Seco Road to Three Sisters passing the old campground at about 3.4 miles. Three Sisters was a little over 8 miles from the start of the hike. I cached a liter of water at Three Sisters for the return trip the next day. I continued west (right) from the junction at Three Sisters along the roller coaster ridge toward Hildreth Peak. I decided to carry my backpack all the way because I just didn't know when I would run out of time or energy and the weight wasn't bothering me. The road is a bit overgrown in places but it is easy to follow and there is no bushwacking until you have to leave the road to do the short jaunt to the peak. Either I didn't do a good job getting from the road to the summit or there isn't anyway to get up there without bushwacking, but the distance from the road to the peak is really short. I thought about doing a bivy on the summit but I would not be able to set up a tent in the one small clearing near the summit block and I had enough time to backtrack to one of the many potential sites along the road. My GPS clocked the summit at 15.50 miles. I backtracked 1.25 miles to a nice spot adjacent to the road that was out of the wind and had plenty of room for my small tent. I slept great and backpacked out on Day 2 picking up my liter of cached water along the way.

I started with 5.5 liters of water and ended up with about 1/2 liter of water. With cool weather this amount worked good. If you go when it is warmer, you will need more water. While I was hiking the temperature was mostly in the 50's and 60's with a light breeze - perfect hiking weather.

Day 1: 16.75 miles with about 3,900' gain.
Day 2: 13.75 miles with about 3,400' gain.
Total: 30.50 miles with about 7,300' gain.

The stats are from my GPS and I think they are pretty accurate. I talked to someone near the campground and he said that illegal growers have been using e-bikes to haul in supplies the last few years in the spring. They go down the Don Victor Trail, which is about about 5 miles in from Hwy 33. They use some really toxic chemicals; so, please report any activity you see.
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