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Kandlbinder Peak (4653ft)- 3 days/ 2 nights

  • Apr 26, 2014 · 8:30 AM

******Please review the entire trip description before you RSVP. This is a waitlisted event and limited to individuals I know to be strong hikers/backpackers with demonstrated skill******









In October 2012, Alex and I made it to "The Saddle" in a day hike on our way to The Window (La Ventana) but ran out of daylight and were forced to turned around. Two months later, Marc and I made it to The Window on a backpack but not to Kandlbinder- we ran out of daylight. This time we're going to Kandlbinder first then to The Window. This is a three day/ two night backpack with both nights in Happy Fork Camp (Jackson Creek).

Photos of 2012 backpack to La Ventana. There is also a trip report penned by Marc Eldridge you can find here.

Our Route: Little Sur to Jackson Creek to "The Saddle". From here we drop into the drainage below La Ventana where we will hike/climb to Kandlbinder's summit. After Kandlbinder we drop below the ridge and cut across to The Window.

What to Expect: The hike through Jackson Creek is off-trail and difficult. I've done it twice, each time vowing never again. The route is characterized by down trees and branches, lots of branches, making passage slow and painful. The climb out of Jackson Creek is steep and the soil tends to be soft slowing progress, forcing fatigue. There are intermittent yet prolong encounters with brush and other entanglements plus some poison oak. We will try to take the route of least resistance and hike along the creek as much as possible before climbing so expect to be wet a good portion of the hike.

The route to Kandlbinder is also difficult, perhaps more so than the hike to The Window. Kandlbinder's peak at 4653ft is 393ft higher than La Ventana and the way to get there is a ~1200ft scree scramble up the north facing slope.

Water is available in the Little Sur River and Jackson Creek. There is also a spring below La Ventana but it is not known to me if that is perennial.

Our hike into Jackson Creek includes multiple river crossings, again, prepare for wet socks, wet shoes.

Event Prerequisites:

1. You must be a strong hiker and seasoned backpacker
2. I must know you AND have a strong, reassuring understanding of your skill-set.

This is open to a small group, people I know who are strong hikers, strong and seasoned backpackers.

This is a group event. We go in together, we come out together. No one will be allowed to explore separate from the group.








Photos: (Above) View of La Ventana from "The Saddle", December 2012; (Below) Me in a branch-jam in Jackson Creek, December, 2012, by Marc Eldridge








Please RSVP to the waitlist.

We meet at Rio Rd. in Carmel to carpool to the trailhead at Pico Blanco Boys Scout Camp which is a short drive down from Bottcher’s Gap. Access is by permit only at $8/day for each vehicle. Carpool logistics and vehicle permits will be arrange in advance of the event.

Please be aware that we expect you to take responsibility for your safety while we are out on the trails. Joining hikes with the Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group is entirely voluntary and participants assume the full risks associated with the activities. It is each hiker's responsibility to ensure that he/she is in sufficient fitness and health to participate in the hiking activity, and to bring appropriate water, food, clothing, first aid, and navigation equipment for the conditions. The Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group and the individual hike organizers make no representation or warranties about the quality, safety, or supervision of these activities. We understand that your "Yes" RSVP to this event means you accept this. For more information regarding safety, please refer to the Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group "About" section for more details.


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  • Vincent

    OK, I've been thinking about this since the trip. The hike was brutal but very rewarding. Jackson Creek and the canyon was incredibly beautiful. Reaching "The Window" was something I've wanted to accomplish for a long time. Very happy you all made Kandlbinder and The Window. But really what made the trip the most enjoyable was hiking and spending time with the three of you. I'm careful who I backpack with and wasn't sure on the chemistry but could not have asked for a nicer group. Maria, you never cease to amaze me. Alex, I knew you as a super hiker but now know you also a solid hiking companion in all ways. And Evin , was great meeting you and sharing many of the same views. Believe it or not, I want to go back and this time reach Kandlbinder. Probably would take a rest day @ Happy Fork before attempting the summits so would make it a three night stay. Also, didn't get any poison oak. Blew my mind. So thank you all for a very, very special trip. I'm up for it again:)

    2 · May 7, 2014

  • Maria

    Thank you Evin, Alex, and Vince. The trip was perfect. Despite all the bruising and scratches and the poison oak- it's now under control :-), the climb exceeded my expectations in every way. I'm particularly impressed by how well our group worked together. Could not ask for more perfect companions for such an endeavor. The best! It's been a week since the climb and I'm still thinking had we waited a few more minutes on the summit the clouds would have cleared and Double Cone would have revealed itself. You know, there is more than one way up Kandlbinder- Interested?

    May 4, 2014

    • Alex

      For now my answer is NO WAY. But if you can come up with an interesting route, ask me again in a few months.

      May 5, 2014

  • Alex

    Your socks turned up in my laundry bag. I have no idea how they got there. Anyway, I already washed them and I'll bring them on the next hike that you will be attending. If you need them back earlier contact me and we'll figure something out!

    April 29, 2014

  • Alex

    A lot of scratches and bruises, torn clothes but a lot of wonderful memories as well. Factor in the successful ascent to Kandlbinder, a trip to the Window and you end up with a great and memorable trip. Thank you, Maria, for making this possible. Great group. Enjoyed every minute of it (well, almost every minute). Now that we've done it I know I won't have to do it again.

    1 · April 29, 2014

  • Maria

    30% showers before 11am for Sunday, winds on Saturday. We're still a go!

    April 25, 2014

  • Maria

    Weather is holding up for the weekend though may be cooler. Let's see if anything changes next 24hrs but feeling confident we're a go.

    April 23, 2014

  • Alex

    As of Tuesday morning there is no rain in the forecast for this weekend. Below normal temperatures but looks like all rain will stay north of San Francisco, no precipitation for us. I will keep watching

    April 22, 2014

  • Marc E.

    I'm going to have to back out of this one. Have fun.

    April 21, 2014

  • Alex

    I think rescheduling is a good idea. Overnight it went from Mostly Cloudy and 20% to 70% Rain all of a sudden for Saturday. Go figure.

    March 26, 2014

  • Amy

    Have vertigo and apparently won't be completely balanced for a few more weeks.

    March 23, 2014

  • Doug

    Need to work out the time off work first. Please leave me on the waitlist for the time being.

    March 12, 2014

  • Nathan M.

    Is this trip, Fri - Sun or Sat - Mon? It is listed as just on Saturday. Thanks,

    March 10, 2014

    • Alex

      It's Saturday through Monday.

      March 10, 2014

  • Marc E.

    Was going over the big calendar and found that the 30th is Easter. I will have to decline this event. :-(

    February 25, 2014

    • Amy

      Traditional Easter is April 20. Don't know about Orthodox.

      February 25, 2014

    • Alex

      Hi, Marc, Amy is right, Catholic Easter is April 20th this year. Greek Orthodox Church uses a traditional Julian Calendar which is 13 days behind a Gregorian calendar. It just happens so that this year Orthodox Easter is also April 20th. Hope you can make it!

      February 25, 2014

  • Alex

    Maria, in the "What to Expect" section you could have been more concise and just said "Expect Jackson Creek". This is self-explanatory. Jackson Creek. Sigh.

    February 16, 2014

    • Maria

      I think it's worth a triple "sigh" that it's posted, we can start regretting it ;-)

      February 16, 2014

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