Ski Mountaineering

Chumash Wilderness

June 24-25, 2011

May Adachi

I was nervous! Would the other car poolers show for my 1st I provisional backpack, Mt. Pinos/southern Chumash wilderness, Sat., June 25th, 2pm? I knew my coleader, Reiner Stenzel, the most elegant mountaineer with a heart of gold, would be there! And there he was, already at the agreed upon meeting spot, just outside the Ventura County boy scout camp, 15 mis. west of Frazier Park, when my husband Ryousuke, & son Yoshi, arrived. Yes! They, Karl Eggers, Mei Kwan, & Mark Petersen appeared soon after my family arrived! I was still nervous though. This was the first time Yoshi had ever backpacked, & Ryousuke hadn't since he had been a high schooler.

We started up the 2 mile long dirt road through the boy scout camp that ends at a shockingly beautiful water fall. There, we took a cool breather before hopping on the 1 mile long, switch backing trail that leads from the falls to Lilly camp. By this time, Ryousuke & Yoshi were of no worry at all; they were holding up splendidly with backpacks they unaccustomed!

At Lilly, we took a nice break under the pines before resuming the trail travel for another half mile. Now my worry was whether I could get us off the trail at the right point so that our ascent to the destination peak would be as sweet going as possible. This was managed. And everyone was in such fantastic shape!

Once on top, oh la, la! It was simply heavenly! Fragrant, abounding lupines, pines, & great vistas every which way! Any spot would have made a fine camp; all we had to do was choose! There was ample firewood, too. A campsite & fire were made in no time. A communal, vegetarian dinner with conversation around the soothing fire followed. By eleven, we were in our beds, & our own, private star gazing began.

After breakfast on Sunday, we walked the gentle up & down mile to the highest peaklette, 7721, from which we could discern Sawmill & Mt. Pinos. Reiner even thoughtfully had brought a jam jar & memo pad for us to make a register for our peaklette. We all signed under the name, the "Mei-May" peak!

Our descent to the trail, this time, was via the closest spring/stream. And thanks to Mei, the whole trip was especially rewarding because of her flora & fauna knowledge. Next provisional: 7/23-24 Grinnell Mtn. Want to come? I need a couple more participants.

Back to Trip Reports
Back to SMS Home Page