Ascent of Mount Orizaba on 2016-07-09

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Keith Christensen
Date:Saturday, July 9, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Orizaba
    Elevation:2125 ft / 647 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Catalina single-day / double-peak adventure has been on our minds for quite some time. Nobody else has done it, so we figured that we would try to be the first. This could easily be done with a vehicle assisting you. Our feat would be all human-powered (or gravity powered on the downhills).
The logistics of the ferries make for a challenging trip. The earliest ferry into Two Harbors is 8am from San Pedro (9am arrival) and the latest to depart is 2pm. So, a north-to-south trip would require a much faster bike ride as the earliest you can get into Avalon is 6am from the mainland (7am arrival). We opted to sail into Two Harbors. Departing Avalon, we booked ourselves 10pm tickets.

The ferry ride was uneventful and we were in Two Harbors by 9:20 and on the road out of town by 9:40. The initial ride out to the boy scout camp was quite pleasant and we hoped indicative of how the whole day would go. We overshot our turn by a small distance and backtracked to the correct road. We headed up for a short distance before deciding to ditch the bikes. It was a good call. The road only steepened as we ascended. Silver sees a surprising amount of traffic. The summit register was a messy pile of crap, so we skipped signing in, opting instead for the pictures from the summit that Keith really loves! The descent to our bikes went well and we were on our way back to Two Harbors for a late lunch. We opted for the only place in Two Harbors, where Keith had a veggie burger and I had a grilled cheese and fruit.

As we were leaving town, we took what some local said was the wrong road. It turned out to be the right road. Maybe we got caught up in some “locals only” thing. Keith explained that we think we are the coolest people around (and I agreed), but to people on Catalina, we just look like dumb tourists. Hmmmm… Some bison were spotted along this stretch, worthy of a picture or two. We made our way to Shark Cove to complete our Catalina triathalon with a swim. We had biked plenty, hiked a bit, now for a swim! We ditched the bikes at the edge of the sand, stripped down (to the horror of people camped there), and hopped right in! The water was perfect and Keith insisted that I take pictures of the swim for the peakbagger trip report.

After a refreshing Pacific Ocean swim, we hopped back on to the bikes for the biggest grind of the day from Shark Cove up to the airport. It was tedious and we were already quite a few miles into the day by this point. The airport was a welcome sight as it meant we were just about done with uphill for the day. We stopped in for a refreshing drink and a cookie. At the airport, the road becomes mostly paved back to Avalon.

The turnoff for the main objective was not far past the airport and almost entirely downhill. We biked to the gate that leads up to the final summit push, just west of the campground. As the paved road steepened, we ditched the bikes for the final walk up to the top. Keith was able to bike further up than I was. The summit of Orizaba was underwhelming as others have noted. It is flat and has a bunch of radar crap on it. We were quickly back at our bikes for the ride down. At this point, we debated the merits of bagging Blackjack Pk. I was opposed and Keith wanted it – a reverse of the usual thought. Keith won me over and we made quick work of the paved road up Blackjack, riding the bikes all the way to the top and crawling under the fence like Burd did. I was a bit anxious about the ferry back out of Avalon by now as we watched sunset from the summit of Blackjack… The ride down would not be all downhill as hoped. There are some minor uphill segments that slowed us down, but we were in Avalon by 9:20pm and at the ferry just before 9:30pm. After picking up a sandwich at the snack place by the ferry, we got in line for our 10pm ferry back to San Pedro. I was sweating bullets the entire way from Blackjack to the ferry because of the time. Whew, we made it!


51.5 miles
11h 16 min
30.7 mph max
5.6 mph moving avg
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3125 ft / 952 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1000 ft / 304 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3125 ft / 952 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2125 ft / 647 m; Extra: 1000 ft / 304m
    Loss on way in:1000 ft / 304 m
    Route:From Shark Harbor
    Start Trailhead:0 ft / 0 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Catalina '16

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Silver Peak2016-07-09 a2204 ft / 672 m
2Mount Orizaba2016-07-09 b3125 ft / 953 m
3Black Jack Mountain2016-07-09 c685 ft / 209 m
Total Trip Gain: 6014 ft / 1834 m    Total Trip Loss: 1700 ft / 518 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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