New Meetup: Ventana Series: Mt. Carmel & Devil's Peak (~10 Miles, ~3,000 Feet)

From: Robert
Sent on: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 4:00 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group!

What: Ventana Series: Mt. Carmel & Devil's Peak (~10 Miles, ~3,000 Feet)

When: Sunday, August 8,[masked]:00 AM

Price: $1.00 per person

Where: Bottcher's Gap
Los Padres National Forest
Big Sur, CA 93920

Ventana is a mystical, if not magical place that fills the heart with rapture and delight to experience her unspoiled treasures. Please join me for a Sunday hike into this vast expanse of beautiful wilderness on a trek to Mt. Carmel, the northernmost peak in the Ventana Wilderness. Unlike many of my past Ventana hikes, this one is relatively shorter and will take us to places that can offer 360-degree panoramic views of the Ventana Double Cone (elev. 4,853 feet), the Ventana "window", Pico Blanco (elev. 3,709 feet), as well as the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.

We'll start out at the Bottcher's Gap trailhead (elev. 2,050 feet) and hike 2 miles along the Skinner Ridge Trail to the first viewpoint (elev. 3,370 feet) before turning hard left and down to the saddle where we'll intersect the Turner Creek Trail and junction to Apple Tree Camp. We'll continue past this junction and climb up towards Devil's Peak along the Big Pines Trail. At Devil's Peak (elev. 4,158 feet) we will have reached our second prominent viewpoint before turning north for the final 0.8 miles to the summit of Mt. Carmel (elev. 4,430 feet).

On the return trek we'll backtrack down to the Turner Creek saddle and head down the beautiful Turner Creek Trail towards Apple Tree Camp and Long Ridge. It is along this stretch where the trail passes under shady oak woodland canopy dotted with majestic madro?o trees. Once on Long Ridge it'll be a long, steep descent back to the "The Hoist" which will conclude the hike.




HIKE SUMMARY:
Location: Bottcher's Gap (Los Padres National Forest)
Start Time: 9:00 a.m.
Hike Duration: 6 to 8 hours
Pace: Moderate (2 to 3 mph)
Total Distance: ~10 miles
Total Elevation Gain: ~3,000 feet
Difficulty: Challenging for Distance, Cumulative Elevation Gain














THIS WILL BE A STRENUOUS HIKE due to the combination of total distance and cumulative elevation gain. This will NOT be a speed hike and we will take time to enjoy the views of the vast unspoiled wilderness that is quintessential to Ventana. Trail conditions are generally in good shape from Bottcher's Gap up to Devil's Peak, however the final 0.8 miles to the summit of Mt. Carmel can be overgrown and require some degree of bushwhack for successful negotiation.

WHAT TO BRING: Sturdy hiking shoes, layered clothing, wind & rain gear, lunch, hat, gloves, 4-5 liters of water, long pants and long sleeve shirt (for poison oak protection). Bring your trekking polls if you have them as there may be steep inclines & declines. Important: Water sources are extremely unpredictable in some sections of the Ventana Wilderness so PLEASE bring ample supplies of drinking water (4-5 liters of water recommended).

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Very fit, very well disciplined hikers who can handle a 10-mile hike over steep terrain. This hike is for hikers who crave the thrill of hiking in rugged, remote back country wilderness.




WHAT TO EXPECT ON THIS HIKE:
Hike will commence at approximately 10 minutes after the posted start time. There may be some bushwhacking and negotiation through unstable terrain along the 0.8-mile stretch of the Mt. Carmel Trail, so solid hiking boots and conditioned feet are required for this event! Additionally, there will likely be areas along the trail that will contain POISON OAK encroachment. It would be unwise to attend this hike without: wind/rain protection, long pants (or pants with removable legs), hat, gloves, long sleeve shirt due to poison oak & some bushes we will have to pass through.

THIS WILL BE A TEAM HIKING EFFORT WHICH MEANS WE WILL STAY TOGETHER AS A GROUP. WE WILL BE HIKING THROUGH AREAS OF VASTLY REMOTE WILDERNESS AND FOR SAFETY REASONS WE WILL MAKE EVERY ATTEMPT TO STAY TOGETHER AS A GROUP THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE HIKE.




POINT-TO-POINT LOGISTICS:
We will meet at 9 a.m. SHARP at the "Hoist" which is an area along Long Ridge on the saddle between Las Piedras Canyon and the Mill Creek watershed. Curbside parking is available at this location and once gathered we will arrange a car shuttle for the final 4-miles to the Bottcher's Gap trail head. Driving directions and map to our meet-up location can be found here:

Map & Directions to "The Hoist" (from Carmel, CA)

Our hike will commence at the Bottcher's Gap trail head located in the Los Padres National Forest. Map of this area can be found here:

Map of Bottcher's Gap in The Los Padres National Forest

There is a $5 per vehicle day-use fee at Bottcher's Gap so if parking a vehicle please bring exact change. Parking availability is limited so carpooling/shuttling is recommended.




RESPONSIBILITY:
Please be aware that we expect you to take responsibility for your safety while we are out on the trails. This means being prepared with adequate hiking gear and making sure the difficulty level of the event IS NOT beyond the limits of your health & conditioning. 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.




RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/The-Monterey-Bay-Area-Hiking-Group/calendar/14309397/

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