I somehow hoodwinked the Resident Expert into joining me in a Bay Area peak-bagging project, by way of preparing us for the Bearpaw adventure later this summer. Our first stop was REI, where we availed ourselves of some new Osprey day packs, which they had available at a smokin’ low price. Last week we hit Portola Redwoods and the North Ridge Trail, and that went OK. Here’s the trail. If it looks steep to you, then you have accurate vision.

This trail goes out the park boundary, and seems to want to go downhill again after you’ve already climbed a bunch. That approach to trail building is kind of a turn-off in my opinion, so we didn’t actually make it to the end of the North Ridge Trail.

This week we decided to bag Montara Mountain as the first peak in our bag. Some of the other Bay Area peaks might require that we get an earlier start, and we didn’t get going until about 2pm. Because we were at REI. We took the very nice and good Brooks Falls trail up to the Montara Mountain fire road from San Pedro Valley Park. I recommend this, if you’re going. The trail up from McNee Ranch on Route 1 is all exposed and on the fire road; this other route goes through more interesting terrain, including some rocky sections, and if there’s any water (there was) you get views of the Falls.

I had some new gear; my recently acquired day pack, and a new ultra-light rain jacket. Didn’t expect to need that as the sun was actually out in Pacifica. Residents were outside looking at the sun, wondering what it was. Here’s a view of Mt. Diablo, barely visible in the distance from the summit zone on Montara Mountain.

Diablo is up next. We’ll have to get an earlier start for that one, which should be doable because REI’s sale is over with. This view looks down towards Pacifica and the coast north towards Frisco and beyond. I should have snagged some images on the way up, because you could see the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge from the north side of Montara. By the time we reached the top, it got real windy and then started raining. This was not expected, but I was all prepared with my new rain jacket. Worked great. But we forgot to test the pack covers built-in to our new day packs. Let’s just assume they would have worked out great also. After quickly consuming our peak picnic in the lee of some government antenna building at the summit of Montara, we made our way back down to the car.

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