As a peak bagger, I like to find lists of peaks I can climb, then to go out and climb them. Last winter while waiting for drier weather I noticed that there were only six SOTA peaks in Pinnacles National Park, in central California. This seemed like a good list to tackle in 2017. I had activated two of the peaks last year, but my goal was to climb all six in 2017.
Only one peak, North Chalone, has a maintained trail to the summit. Two more, South Chalone and Hawkins Peak, have trails that get you close to the summit. The other three are off trail, and require various amounts of bushwhacking. Most of the vegetation in the park is chaparral, and can be extremely hard to bushwhack through. Hawkins Peak and North Chalone had been previously activated, but I was able to do the first activations of the rest of the peaks.
The highlight of all the peaks was on North Chalone, when two (critically endangered) California condors flew directly over my head, then landed a few meters away.
One on the rock, the other coming in to land.
They later jumped down and sat on the roof of the pit toilet.
In the spring, the grass is green and the flowers in bloom.
It is very hot in the summer. Here I am trying not to melt.
Hawkins Peak on the left.