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South Ventana Cone
1 sub-album and 19 images in this album on 3 pages.
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Took another day trip down to Ventana for a lengthy hike/bushwack from the China Camp trailhead. I hit the trailhead a bit later than I had hoped- I was following the directions in Schaffer's book which directed one to follow the route to the Los Padres Dam trailhead. Unfortunately, I didn't switch over to the China Camp directions and was well down the road to the dam before realizing my error and turning around. Made it to the trailhead around 6:45 and was on the trail by 7.

We had our first freeze of the winter in overnight, and it was quite cold when I hit the trail. I had on ski leggings and a light winter coat, both more as a protection against the local flora than for warmth. Managed to completely shred the left leg of the leggings during my chaparral bushwack. The trails were cold and dry. Routefinding wasn't much of an issue, though the trail was completely overgrown in a multitude of 10-20 yard stretches. The area has mostly recovered from the latest fire (mid 90's?) but the larger trees are still heavily charred. Saw only single person all day- a lone backpacker heading out to Pine Valley for the weekend.

Another trip to South Ventana Cone (and then on to Ventana Cone) can be found here.
TL
The car survived yet another forest road en route to the China Camp parking lot.  Not sure I would have wanted to try the road in the mud.  The campsite was empty when I arrived, full up when I left.
BB
The car survived yet another forest road en route to the China Camp parking lot. Not sure I would have wanted to try the road in the mud. The campsite was empty when I arrived, full up when I left.
Viewed: 97 times.
11/21/2003 07:09 AM
TL
Standing water had a thin coat of ice on it as I left the campsite.  It would warm up a bit during the day, but not by much.
BB
Standing water had a thin coat of ice on it as I left the campsite. It would warm up a bit during the day, but not by much.
Viewed: 48 times.
11/21/2003 07:11 AM
TL
Past the trailhead, the route immediately climbed to the top of the ridge.  Sun was just coming up when I hit the trail around 7
BB
Past the trailhead, the route immediately climbed to the top of the ridge. Sun was just coming up when I hit the trail around 7
Viewed: 52 times.
11/21/2003 07:19 AM
TL
The eastern facing slopes were covered in frost, which melted as the day went on.
BB
The eastern facing slopes were covered in frost, which melted as the day went on.
Viewed: 53 times.
11/21/2003 07:33 AM
TL
Approaching the Church Creek Divide.  Ventana Cone (left) and Ventana Double Cone (right) on the horizen
BB
Approaching the Church Creek Divide. Ventana Cone (left) and Ventana Double Cone (right) on the horizen
Viewed: 91 times.
11/21/2003 08:08 AM
TL
Trail junction at Church Creek.  Didn't see the creek, but didn't look too hard.
BB
Trail junction at Church Creek. Didn't see the creek, but didn't look too hard.
Viewed: 128 times.
11/21/2003 08:42 AM
TL
This small (and not overly impressive looking) stream a short way past Divide Camp was the only water source I saw all day.
BB
This small (and not overly impressive looking) stream a short way past Divide Camp was the only water source I saw all day.
Viewed: 80 times.
11/21/2003 09:08 AM
TL
Thought this was South Ventana Cone at first, but the peak is actually directly behind this ridge.  Climbed the chaparral to the left of the scree slope following an animal trail to the top.
BB
Thought this was South Ventana Cone at first, but the peak is actually directly behind this ridge. Climbed the chaparral to the left of the scree slope following an animal trail to the top.
Viewed: 49 times.
11/21/2003 09:49 AM
TL
Closer view of the slope I took to the top.  (This is not the easiest route to the summit, but wasn't too bad.  For the easiest route head up toward the Black Cone trail junction and then head offtrail toward the summit.  The chapparral on the slopes gets more overgrown each season, making this slightly a slightly harder trip over time)
BB
Closer view of the slope I took to the top. (This is not the easiest route to the summit, but wasn't too bad. For the easiest route head up toward the Black Cone trail junction and then head offtrail toward the summit. The chapparral on the slopes gets more overgrown each season, making this slightly a slightly harder trip over time)
Viewed: 73 times.
11/21/2003 09:55 AM
   
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