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Tehachapi Mountain, Double Mountain, Black Mountain #3

12 May 1990

By: Martin Feather

Leaders: Martin Feather, Alan Coles

Starting at Tehachapi Mountain State Park, we followed the directions in the peak guide, heading uphill (the steepest part at the beginning) until gaining the top of Tehachapi. This was followed by a descent down to the road and cabin, and a stroll up to Double. Perfect weather - sunny and clear, but cool air temperature plus a far-from-tardy bunch of hikers meant we made excellent time. Following lunch on the second peak, we made the return journey. Not mentioned in my peak guide was a junction in the road after passing a cabin but before reaching the wire gate; keep LEFT here. The (incorrect) slightly more prominent right hand branch continued to descend and descend - Alan called to us from above, fortunately before we had reached the center of the earth. After a break at the highpoint on the return journey (below the actual summit of Tehachapi) we strolled back down the forested slopes to return to camp before 3pm. Several hikers couldn't face the prospect of lazing around camp, and took off to do Black that same afternoon rather than, wait for the next day. The rest of us practiced our sitting in the sun skills. Evening brought chilly temperatures, and after dinner several of us warmed ourselves up by attempting to split wood with an axe. This was quite effective until the wood did, eventually, split, after which we had to resort to burning it for warmth instead.

Sunday morning our now smaller group drove over to the trailhead for Black Mountain #3, squeezing into a couple of vans for the last few miles from the golf course to the cul-de-sac mentioned in the peak guide. Unfortunately, where the peak guide says to "proceed up the hill to the right" there is now a house! I walked along Quail Springs Road a little ways to seek passage through the houses. As it curves around and starts downhill, the houses end, but a well constructed multi-strand barbed wire fence (and a second one further in, I believe) was most deterring. Instead, we followed a small gully that passes between two houses along Quail Springs, and thus kept mostly out of their sight, eventually making our way up the hillside to the ridge as described in the peak guide, and from their continuing with ease to the summit. While this sufficed, it is far from satisfactory, close as it is to people's homes. We reversed our route to quietly emerge without incident, and were back to our vehicles before lunchtime, mission accomplished (and without the need to clip any brush). My thanks to Alan for assisting. Participants were: Gary Murta, Barbara Cohen, Cindy Okine, Mike Runyan, David Hammond, Hoda Shalaby, Bob Baird, Rosina Meuller, Cristy Bird, John Southworth, Agnes Kalmar, John Radalj, David Jensen, Janet Phun, and Bob 'Cold Weather Camper' Ferguson.

Attention would-be pathfinders! Black Mountain is in need of a new route that avoids the new house(s) that have been (and are being) developed, and avoids the clearly fenced off areas. This is a nice peak if only we can get to it!

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