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Black Mountain #5, Split Mountain, Sunday Peak, Portuguese Peak, Bohna Peak

13-14 June 1970

By: Paul Lipsohn

Leaders: Paul Lipsohn, Bob Herlihy

Leaden skies and intermittent drizzles greeted us upon arrival at Greenhorn Mtn. Park on Saturday. The thunderclap announcing our arrival proved to be the parting salvo however, and we enjoyed the clearing weather and blue skies for the remainder of the weekend. Fourteen hikers, including one nameless wretch, who, having left his boots at home, was forced to wear a borrowed pair, began the steep but short climb to Black Mtn. A nice trail winds through fir and cedars to a saddle, at which point we took off cross-country, circling behind the peak to reach the summit. Following a short refueling, we returned to the trail down a direct ridge and followed an old lumber trail across the main ridge to Split Mtn. The last two miles of this ridge are rather brushy and may cause some discomfort to those not weaned on Samon Pk. Most of the difficulty may be passed, however, by staying just below the ridge top on the south side. Lunch on top with spectacular views of the gorge between the peaks and Lake Isabella gleaming below, then retraced our route, reaching the cars about 5 p.m. A short drive placed us in Tiger Flat Campground for supper and a pleasant fire.

Sunday morning 13 survivors drove to the trailhead for Sunday Pk. and climbed along one of the most pleasing trails I have ever hiked. Fir, cedar, pines, and oak combine to make this a truly enjoyable trail. The view from the summit included the Mineral King area as well as the rolling eastern San Joaquin foothills. On our return we left the trail and climbed Portuguese Peak (which, by virtue of lying entirely in Tulare County may help refute the peak-bagging and list-climbing argument). Lunch at the cars, then a hurried trip to Cedar Creek, where our nine survivors pitched in to police several hundred yards of debris-ridden creek, before charging up Bohna Pk. The leaders were pleased to note that the cairn built on their first ascent in a white-out was indeed on the summit.

One final snack on top, thence to the cars, with most meeting for supper in Glenville before the long drive home. Mileages were approximately 11/3500' for the first and 10/3000' for the second.

All four peaks were well received by those on the trip, and are good candidates for inclusion on the list.

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