This is a class 2 hike of moderate difficulty within easy driving distance of Bakersfield. The total distance for this cross country hike is 4.8 miles with an elevation gain of 2400 feet. It looks like the weather will be cool and perfect.
Onyx Peak Weather (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=35.65618041632016&lon=-118.22662353515625&site=hnx&unit=0&lg=en&FcstType=text)
We will meet at the Sierra Gateway and then carpool/caravan to the the trailhead [masked], [masked]) where we will begin hiking by 7:30am. We will hike down the dirt road for a short distance, and then head cross country towards Onyx (http://www.summitpost.org/onyx-peak/562774). We will take our time hiking up the very steep ridge. Though it is very steep the distance is not great. We will locate the "ducked route" on the major ridge and then hike up to the summit.
We will relax and enjoy the view of the Kern River Valley which is fantastic from Onyx Peak. Lake Isabella can be seen as well as Weldon, Onyx, Walker Pass, Kelso Valley, the Piute Mountains, the Kern Plateau, and South Fork. After enjoying the view we will make really good time hiking back down the steep ridgeline, and then back to our vehicles.
Depending on how long we stay on the summit we should be back down well before noon so hikers will be able to drive into Lake Isabella to get some lunch before heading home. Everyone should get home at a very reasonable time after enjoying a short but challenging morning hike. Hiking poles are helpful for this cross country class 2 hike.
For those interested Onyx Peak is a Sierra Club HPS Peak (http://angeles.sierraclub.org/hps/Peaks/02D.html).
It is important that we all understand the rating system that organizers use on their hikes. For my hikes I generally use something close to the Yosemite Decimal System. I have seen many different versions of this system, and many are adamant that their version is the right version and etc.. The best description I have seen of the five classes that seems to encompass the most general idea may be found at Climber.org under ‘Five Classes of Climbing Difficulty’ ( click here (http://www.climber.org/data/decimal.html) ).
*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers, and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Kern River Valley Hiking Club - Tulare-Kern Peakbags & Hikes from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.