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McKinley Mountain, San Rafael Mountain, Santa Cruz Peak

15 May 1993

By: Charlie Knapke

Leaders: Charlie Knapke, Carleton Shay

When I drove out to the trailhead for these peaks I ran into problems right away. The winter storms had damaged the Happy Canyon Road. It was closed about eight miles from highway 154. Each participant was forced to detour via Figueroa Mountain Road to Cachuma Saddle. This detour caused a delay which caused two participants to be late and at least one to miss the trip.

The trip itself went well. We arrived at our campsite well before noon. Because of this I decided to go for Santa Cruz Peak on Saturday instead of Sunday. On the way out to Santa Cruz we met David Eisenberg who was coming back from the peak. He had hiked in on Friday night to get a head start. Thanks to an overcast sky the trip out to Santa Cruz and back went well. Several of the participants were in favor of doing all three peaks on Saturday. By the time we got back to the saddle between McKinley and San Rafael these brave hikers were singing another tune. We decided to leave them for Sunday.

Sunday was much warmer. The overcast was gone. We started early from the camp and climbed both McKinley and San Rafael before 9:00 A. M. We then broke camp and hiked out to the cars.

During the weekend we met three HPS bicycle riders several times. They bagged all three peaks in one day. Even more amazing was that they were accompanied by a dog who had to do thirty plus miles all on foot. That must have been one tired puppy!

It was a great weekend. After the detour all went very well. Again I would like to thank Carleton for his excellent assistance.

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