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563. Five Peaks of Diablo (05/05/07)

Hikers (19): Dave H, George, Helen, Hima, Janice, Leon, Linda L, Nani, Paul, Peter, Ramesh, Rick, Ross, Rudi, Russ, Sabine, Sarah, Steve, Wennie
Distance: 16 miles
Rating: 5 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Mt. Diablo State Park near Clayton

Write-up by Peter -- Pictures by Janice

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, INCH planned to hike the Five Peaks of Diablo. By special request, I added an air of dignity to the festivities.

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

Twin Peaks, 1738': There was controversy surrounding the first peak -- before, during, and after the hike. Before the hike, Esteban raised the issue that since it's called Twin Peaks, shouldn't it count as two peaks? During the hike, the group of front-runners went blazing past the point which Pedro thought was the peak (a 100-foot spur off the main trail to an overlook). Should they get a black leaf or no leaf? After the hike, Jorge was so peeved at missing the so-called first peak, that he went back! More on this later ...

Eagle Peak, 2369': On with the hike! The group forged ahead to the second peak. The left fork which goes up a shorter, steeper path to the peak is now an official trail, so half the group took one trail and half the other. Either way, it's a good workout. The group was now starting to get pretty spread out, so I had the peak all to myself for a little while. I stopped to enjoy the view while waiting for the back of the pack to catch up.

Diablo Summit, 3849': From Eagle Peak we headed over to Deer Flat. Those who could read a map and follow directions took the Deer Flat Trail (just to get a little more elevation gain on the day) -- the others took the boring fire road. I was walking with La Jefa most of the way, but lost track of her as we approached Juniper Campground. Knowing that she was a savvy veteran of Diablo who could not possibly lose the way, I pressed on to the summit. At the summit, I joined a group of cranky INCHers huddled together for shelter from the gusty wind on the overlook platform. Seeing the disgruntled looks on their faces made it all worthwhile. La Jefa finally showed up -- in her own words, she had gone "bushwacking" -- you can make up your own jokes.

North Peak, 3557': OK, let's get the show back on the road ... as expected, a few INCHers initially took the wrong trail coming down from the summit and got in an extra mile or so. I've gone down that trail before. Makes you feel pretty stupid, doesn't it? Welcome to INCH! Eventually, all made it up to the antennas at North Peak, followed by the joy of scrambling down the steep trail. Love that scree!

Mt. Olympia, 2946': The fifth and final peak was the easiest one of the day, basically just a speed bump on the descent from North Peak. One last chance to enjoy the view before the long downhill. La Jefa said something like "How far back to the car, 3 miles?". "Yeah, that's about right", I replied, lying through my teeth. I think she managed to get lost yet again on the way back, giving herself a couple of extra miles for the day -- good practice the 40-miler next month.

Post-hike: Back at the parking lot, we took turns scalding our internal organs by tasting Esteban's hot sauce while waiting for Jorge to come back from his second foray to Twin Peaks. After he returned like Moses from the mountain, he informed us that the overlook was not actually the peak. The controversy continues ... but now, it was time to eat! Jorge broke out the cooker and whipped up a great batch of burritos with all the fixin's. Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmmm! Viva Mexico!

Check out all of La Jefa's pix of the hike.

Milestones:
Highest point in Contra Costa county
Helen's 30th leaf
Leon's 1st leaf
Ramesh's 40th leaf
Rudi's 50th leaf



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