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Ascent of San Mateo Peak on 2018-02-07

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:San Mateo Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:3591 ft / 1094 m

Ascent Trip Report

As with others, I parked at the turnout for Morgon Trailhead and started down. This area appears to require the "Adenture Pass" $5/day or $30/year so I stopped in at REI and purchased an annual pass as this national forest has many great prominece hikes that you need a pass to park at.
I hiked down and found the sign in sheet and then goofed and hiked along the Morgan trail for a ways and realized I missed the trail to climb the peak. Thus, my additional gain and mileage on the way up! I estimate it is only 2 miles up with about 300 feet of additional gain from the TH to the peak if you do not head down the Morgan Trail. Right before the signin kiosk for the wilderness area there is a faint trail heading back towards your car. I saw it and thought nothing of heading that way until I realized I was not doing the right direction. Sure enough this small trail takes you immediately by one of the fmaous plastic dinosaurs mounted to a sign and you know you are on your way. And as other TR say, you will cross the creek several times but it was dry for me today in each crossing. The actual summit trail begins with an obvious sign with a basketball and dinosaur as others have described so easy to follow from here. Once I got going, I climbed the steep scenic trail quickly reaching the summit in 53 minutes including my errant time on the Morgan Trail. I figure from the kiosk I climbed the 1.8 miles in around 37 minutes or around 2.9 mph.

There are some nice granitic boulders along the way and figure for a lot of meandering terrain with additional gain crossing ravines and contouring. I measured a solid 300 feet of additional gain along the way. A large ortion of that is the initial drop from the parking aread down to the creek and then again where the trail swing down into a canyon before ascending up the peak. I measure every extra 5 feet of gain so I account for more than those peakbaggers that only account for add gain that rises continously more than a contour interval of 20 to 40 feet. Your legs feel every bot of those rolling hills so I measure everything above 5 feet in rise personally. The views from this peak are very nice. I could see the Pacific Ocean from the top. I had great solitude and did not see a soul. I was compelled to rate it a 7 out of 10 for a "winter hike"
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1411 ft / 429 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1411 ft / 429 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.9 mi / 7.9 km
    Grade/Class:1,1+ steep in places
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Weather:Hot, Breezy
85F hot and breezy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1111 ft / 338 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 741 ft / 226 m; Extra: 370 ft / 112m
    Loss on way in:370 ft / 112 m
    Distance:2.9 mi / 4.7 km
    Route:San Mateo Peak Trail
    Start Trailhead:Parking lot at Morgan TH  2850 ft / 868 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1041 ft / 317 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 741 ft / 226 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Gain on way out:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    End Trailhead:2850 ft / 868 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Irvine-3

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1San Juan Hill2018-02-07 a1436 ft / 438 m
2Peak 14762018-02-07 b36 ft / 11 m
3Gilman Peak2018-02-07 c955 ft / 291 m
4San Mateo Peak2018-02-07 d1411 ft / 430 m
5Peak 30642018-02-07 e34 ft / 10 m
Total Trip Gain: 3872 ft / 1180 m    Total Trip Loss: 3802 ft / 1159 m



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