Ascent of Hernandez Peak on 2015-02-23

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, February 23, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Hernandez Peak
    Elevation:2344 ft / 714 m

Ascent Trip Report

Came back to bag this since I took the wrong trails last time I was in the area and had to show it as unsuccessful. Important update note. In 2014 there were no signs and if you headed straight out of the parking area, you missed the Pinhoti trail. Today there were brand new wood signs clearly making the hard right turn and uphill to the blue blaze trail and calling it out as the Pinhoti Trail. The sign at the kiosk indicates this ridge trail is orange but there is no orange out there. Make sure you take that first right and up to the ridge and then when the trail splits in about 80 yars, head west (left) and it is a little over a mile away - an easy summit.

Looks like there could be nice views along the way but I was blessed with gloomy winter weather so instead, I decided to go all the way to McDill Point from the correct direction and rebag that one. Near the summit of Hernandez, there is a large outcropping of limestone slabs. At the top, however where the views are is not the summit. The actual summit has no view and just off the Pinhoti Trail.All the trees at the summit were covered with ice.

In an attempt to get as much exercise as I could find, I tagged the tops of 4 peaks in the area (Hernandez twice); McDill, and the Comm tower; and covered 4.7 miles in 1 hour and 35 minutes. Left at 1:25 pm and was back in the car at 3:00 pm. I climbed up the electrical line to the top for views and then also on the way back took the jeep trail to the comm tower peak for some extra gain and steps. For the day (including airport - I got 24,000 steps). You can bag Hernandez alone, with about 3 miles and 500 to 600 feet of gain from the parking lot if you forego all the side detours.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:444 ft / 135 m
    Total Elevation Loss:294 ft / 89 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Overcast
winter gloom 39F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:444 ft / 135 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 414 ft / 126 m; Extra: 30 ft / 9m
    Loss on way in:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Pinhoti Trail
    Start Trailhead:Cheaha TH parking lot off of SR 281  1930 ft / 588 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:264 ft / 80 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:Pinhoti Trail
    End Trailhead:saddle between Hernandez and McDill  2080 ft / 633 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Hernandez-McDill

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Hernandez Peak2015-02-23 a444 ft / 135 m
2McDill Point2015-02-23 b173 ft / 53 m
3Hernandez Peak2015-02-23 c444 ft / 135 m
Total Trip Gain: 1061 ft / 323 m    Total Trip Loss: 1061 ft / 324 m

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