Moses Mountain, North Maggie Mountain
By: George Toby, Ron Young
Two late cancellations reduced our group to 12 and Ron Young filled in as Assistant Leader in place of Bill Gray. We left the Shake trailhead and pack station at 8:15 AM for an easy backpack to a nice meadow camp just 100 yards south of the Tule River crossing. We set up camp and headed for Moses. There are many ways to do Moses, but none are very good. This is a heavily wooded area and you don't see the peak until you are very close to it. Starting at the Tule River crossing, we took the trail 1/4 mile north to a meadow with a black snow marker 31E15. Then West up the forested slopes to The ridge, avoiding the brush. We thought we could run the ridge south to the peak. Impossible, too many canyons, pinnacles, etc. So we dropped down 300 feet and contoured south about a short mile until we were even with the peak, then straight up to the summit. There was some low 3rd class en route. Ten climbers made the peak. The return route was more or less northeast straight down some steep rocks and very dense forest. We hit the trail 1/4 mile below camp. The route up was probably the best way to go, just so you stay below the ridge. We were back to camp by 4:30 PM and a super happy hour that lasted through dinner and into campfire time. The wine flowed freely. Mary McMannes and George got a bit tipsy and had great fun trying to pump water. The water just did not want to go into the bottles.
Sunday morning we headed for N. Maggie at 7:30 AM. We climbed a little dry stream bed straight up from camp. It was great for a while but fitted out into lots of brush. After a false summit we got to the saddle west of the peak and up to the top. Ten made the peak, but not the same ten as the day before. Ron led us down a better route. It avoids the saddle and goes northwest directly down to a large gully that was less brushy than the way up. It leads to the trail at the same meadow with the snow marker sign 3 1E5, 1/4 mile north of the Tule River crossing. This would be the preferred route both up and down. Far less brush. We were out to the cars by early afternoon for an easy ride home. My thanks to Ron Young for a fine assist. George, Mary Mac, & Ron Young enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Maitia's Basque Restaurant. Excellent food and service. The best in Bakersfield.
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