Monday, March 26, 2007

My Mission Peak Mission - Sat Mar 3

Sat Mar 03

Its been a while since I posted.  But not since I've been out on the trails.  I've got 7 trips of various lengths to report on (some are even interesting).

Starting with this one...

...the March W.A.I.S.T. Management hike was way back on Mar 3rd.  After some wrangling over destination for the March hike, many of us ended up at Mission Pk to climb by moonlight (it was a full moon that night).

Participants: me, Steve, Michael, Jay, Ed, Barbara, Alberto, and Sarah.  Barbara dropped out after a mile or so.  Too much climbing and distance for her.  Us young -uns (I jest, Barbara's birthday is one day before mine, or something like that :-) didn't know any better, apparently.

I was out to complete my long anticipated "triple:" climbing all three of Mission Peak, Mt. Allison, and Monument Peak, the 3 highest points on the ridge above Milpitas and Fremont just south of the Sunol "pass" (do they call that a pass?  It's definitely the "Sunol grade" when you're climbing it on 680).

See my previous exploits in the same area twice in the previous months, recorded in previous entries to this humble journal.  I remarked in the last one that it would have been nice to have climbed Mission Peak as well on that trip.  So I had resolved to give it another go.

The mission was ambitious.  Plus, it was by moonlight.  The parking lot is posted as being open till 10pm.  I notice that the park web site says till dusk, however.  So go after sunset at your own risk.

The hike was pretty uneventful.  We only got lost once.  Well, Ok; maybe twice.  But we weren't really lost.  I missed the turn towards Monument Peak coming down from Mt. Allison (due to poor lighting and distractions shooting the breeze with other hikers).  We had to go cross country a couple of hundred yards to pick up the road heading over to Monument Peak.  No biggee.

Coming back, I erred and led us downhill on the road to Mt. Allison.   That was just a brain fart.  I thought the road junction there was a different junction and insisted on turning, even though it was at the wrong place.  This one took us downhill a couple hundred feet.  Eventually, I went around the ridge to the left to get a view of Mission Peak.  After some scrambling up to the top of a rocky hill, above a steep rocky canyon to the NW, I called out for everybody to turn around and rejoin me up at the top.

Things were uneventful from that point on.  We got to the top of Mission Peak just before 9pm.  Wanting to avoid a ticket for being parked in the lot past closing, I jogged pretty much all the way down (3 miles) with Steve.  We got there after about 45 minutes to meet Barbara and then wait for everybody else.

We did enjoy a cold beer while waiting (that's probably illegal, too).  Sarah and Alberto were the last to arrive.  We spoke to Anne by phone in order to cancel the next days outing (what would have been the real WM hike).  She gets full credit for christening this the "Mission Peak Mission."

Mission Accomplished!

Hike totals: 9 mi, 3000' elevation gain
2007 totals: 87 miles, 21,000' elevation gain

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