Monday, June 26, 2017

W6/NC-226 Kickham Peak

Kickham Peak is near Henry Coe SP, east of the border, inside the Canada de los Osos Ecological Reserve. I climbed it in a loop from Bills Hill, but the routes I took could be used in either direction. From the height of land on Hunting Hollow Road, go left up the hill into the reserve. I did not see any trail names or signs inside the reserve, so bring a map.
Small pond.
After climbing the hill, the road descends to a flat area with a small pond and lots of birds. The flat section was a pleasant change from the climbing in the hot morning sun. After this respite, the trail continues up to the summit. You have to leave the trail to get to the highest point, where there are some old pieces of wood.
Kickham Peak summit. That's Loma Prieta and Mt Um in the distance.
The views from the top were good, looking into the southern part of Santa Clara county and points south and east. It was very hot in the sun, so I setup in a small wooded area between the summit and the trail. I spent about 1.5 hours on top, working stations on 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, and 2 meters. There was a very strong 4G signal (Verizon) on top, so I was able to self-spot when I changed bands.
My operating position, in the shade. The mag loop barely fit under the branches.
After packing up, I retraced my steps to the pond. Here I decided to go cross country along the ridge to take the Wagon Road trail back down to Hunting Hollow. This was easy, the ridge is very wide and flat in this section. As I was descending on the Wagon Road, two vehicles passed me, one sheriff jeep and one with park rangers. I figured they were out checking for people unprepared for the heat, as the first one stopped to see if I was OK. Later, near the parking lot, I talked to a volunteer on a bike who said that they had been out to rescue some people who were illegally driving on some of the old ranch roads and had got stuck. He said he couldn't give details, but they had been arrested. Makes me think that they were doing more than just driving around.
A shady section of Hunting Hollow.

Trailhead: Hunting Hollow Entrance.
Website: SOTA Site.
Maps: KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map.
Route: Hunting Hollow Road to Wagon Road. Follow the ridge south until you get to the road in the preserve. Follow preserve road to the summit. Alternatively, take Hunting Hollow Road to the Height of land, turn left and follow the road to the summit. See the kb1kxl caltopo map.
Red Tape: None.

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