Ascent of Madulce Peak on 1988-04-29

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Dick&Shirley Akawie
Frank Goodykoontz
Wynne Benti
Randall Danta
John Sarna
Carleton Shay
Evan Samuels
Betty&Austin Stirrat
Dave Welbourne
Mickey Thayer + others
Date:Friday, April 29, 1988
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Madulce Peak
    Elevation:6536 ft / 1992 m

Ascent Trip Report

HPS Trip to Santa Barbara County's "Big Four," led by veterans Dick Akawie and Frank Goodykoontz. The group of 26 eager peakbaggers rendezvoused at 6:30AM at the intersection of Santa Barbara and Alamo Canyons at Willow Campground (3340'). We were underway by 7:10A hiking up the Big Pine Rd 9.5 miles via Santa Barbara Potrero(4 miles)to Chokecherry Spring (11:55A). We rested here for lunch, filling up on the only water source (meager) of the trip. Another 1.75 miles up the road took us to the Madulce Saddle (6,200'), our first night's campsite. After pitching our tents here, we followed the trail for Madulce Peak (4:20P), 3 miles distant from the saddle. We were back at the Madulce Saddle by 6:15P, ready for dinner and an early bedtime after the day's effort.

Last night was cold and windy, and when we arose this morning (April 30), we were in a foggy cloud that covered many of the trees with rime. We left camp at 7:35A for our two peaks of the day. By the time we had dropped down to the divide between Alamar Canyon and the Sisquoc River, the cloud above us had disappeared and we continued in sparkling, sunny weather, although it was still brisk and breezy. We were on top of forested Big Pine Mountain (no view from Santa Barbara County's HP) by 9:45A, and from here hiked via a Frank Goodykoontz shortcut over to the real culmination of our trip, West Big Pine Mountain (11:00A). The view was superior on this particularly clear day, taking in the Channel Islands, the Big Three, the Sisquoc country, McPherson Peak, Cuyama Peak, and the Mt. Pinos area. Back at the Madulce Saddle by 2:30P, we moved on down to spend our second night, again windy with freezing temperature, at Chokecherry Spring (5,500').

By 7:15A on May 1 we were ready for the three-mile ascent of Samon Peak, scrambling up the steep draw above Chokecherry Spring that leads to a meadow and ridge that connects with the N-S brush-covered ridge at whose northern end Samon Peak is located. Many of us were armed with clippers or lopers to clear out the considerable overgrowth as we progressed along the route. On top by 10:30A. More great views. Noted with interest the original register placed in 1950 led by Sam Fink and which included my good friend Freda Walbrecht. Back at Chokecherry Spring by 1:30P after descending very carefully in small groups down the final steep slope to avoid potentially serious rockfall. We hiked back to the TH at our own pace in gorgeous weather, and by 5:30P this very successful trip to the Big Four was over. Stats: 46 miles, 9,800' elevation.

Willow CG TH-Santa Barbara Potrero-4.0 miles
Willow CG TH-Chokecherry Spring-9.5 miles
Willow CG TH-Madulce Saddle-11.25 miles
Willow CG TH-Alamar Saddle-13.0 miles
Willow CG TH-Mission Pine Tr-15.5 miles
Mission Pine Tr-West Big Pine Mtn--3.0 miles RT
Willow CG TH-Big Pine Mountain-15.5 miles
Madulce Saddle-Madulce Peak-3.0 miles RT
Chokecherry Spring-Salmon Peak-6.0 miles RT
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3036 ft / 925 m
    Total Elevation Loss:336 ft / 102 m
    Round-Trip Distance:17.2 mi / 27.7 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Weather:Clear, sunny days; cold, windy, foggy nights
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3036 ft / 925 m
    Distance:14.2 mi / 22.9 km
    Route:Big Pine Rd, Madulce Peak Tr
    Start Trailhead:Willow Campground  3500 ft / 1066 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:336 ft / 102 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:Madulce Peak Tr
    End Trailhead:Madulce Saddle  6200 ft / 1889 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Big Four-Santa Barbara County (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Madulce Peak1988-04-29 a3036 ft / 925 m
3Big Pine Mountain1988-04-30 b1800 ft / 549 m
3Big Pine Mountain-West Peak1988-04-30 c1490 ft / 454 m
4Samon Peak1988-05-01 d1227 ft / 374 m
Total Trip Gain: 7553 ft / 2302 m    Total Trip Loss: 8413 ft / 2564 m

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