Ascent of Kreiger Peak on 2018-01-02
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Tuesday, January 2, 2018|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||1880 ft / 573 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI returned to Black Diamond Mine Regional Preserve, having earlier visited to climb the easy CC Rose Hill. Today I was back to get Kreiger Peak, one of my few remaining P300s in Contra Costa County. It lies outside of the park in grazing land that has been purchased by various public East Bay agencies, though as far as I can tell it isn’t officially open to the public.
Somehow I didn’t realize that the Manhattan Canyon Trail would provide the shortest route, so instead I went up to Nortonville Pass and turned left on a slightly longer route. At a predetermined point I left the Black Diamond Trail to go cross-country, requiring the crossing of an unsigned barbed wire fence in poor repair. I soon came across an old cattle shed and a narrow paved road. The sound of automatic gunfire in the distance made me think that perhaps I should stay just on the closer side of the ridge up to the summit. As it turned out, the gunfire was nowhere near me. The summit is rocky and would have good views if not for the typical winter haze in the air.
I proceeded along the summit ridge past two knobs with towers on them, then continued down the tower road back to the park at a signed gate. At the bottom of my descent I crossed a fence made of metal cables and went up a use trail to the top of Peak 1348. This isn’t a P300, but it still has nice views. I went down the steep east side of the hill. Below I saw a gathering of animals in a pen, which I thought resembled goats. As I approached, two dogs started barking wildly at me. A man emerged from a trailer parked nearby, quieted the dogs, and went back inside. I passed the grisly remains of a deer’s leg and reached the bottom, where I saw that the animals were sheep. I guessed that it must be the dog’s job to keep coyotes away. I had seen one at the start of the hike, in fact. The man stayed inside his trailer, leaving me to wonder why the sheep were here. On the way back to the car I saw a solitary sheep observing me from higher up on the hillside. Was it an escapee?
Signs in the park describe the area’s history as a coal mining region in the late 19th century, and a pass through the Rose Hill Cemetery hints at the inhabitants’ short life spans.
My loop was 7 miles with 2000 feet of gain.
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