Saturday, October 8, 2016

LC2 BM and Moro Ridge BM

Hiked: 10/8/2016
Distance: 7.8 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 912' (LC2), 1013' (Moro)
Elevation Gain: 1300'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 1.04
Round trip time: 2 hours
Recommended water: 32 oz.
Parking/Fees: $3 OC Parks
Difficulty: Easy

I thought I had exhausted all the OC peaklets in the San Joaquin Hills, at least ones with benchmarks, but a scan of the peakbagger map showed otherwise. Patrick Vaughn added Moro Ridge Benchmark to the database this year, marked on the topo with an X at 1013'. I planned a jog along Bommer Ridge to get it, and to check out another X at 912' near the south end of the ridge. Neither of these marks appear in the downloadable OC Geodetic Survey.

I parked at the Big Bend staging area on Laguna Canyon Road. The parking lot has a portable restroom and plenty of parking. I packed light: two bottles of water, a couple of bandaids, and regular running shoes. I started south, planning to use Laguna Ridge trail. However, it was closed for some reason so I turned right up the Big Bend trail. Most of the gain comes in three sections of this trail before it hits Bommer Ridge. Once on the ridge, I turned left (south) and started jogging toward the first peaklet at 912'. The ridge is wide, smooth, and mostly rock free. Easy going for both people and bikes. It was a quick trip to 912' where I found an OC benchmark stamped "LC2", presumably Laguna Canyon 2. The area looked like it had undergone a controlled burn. Without delay, I headed back north along the ridge. I got distracted and climbed the bump at the turn which had nothing newsworthy. I got back on the ridge and jogged to the junction with the Willow trail. I hiked up to the Moro Canyon gate, then down Moro Canyon trail. I thought I might have to leave the trail to get to the top, but I saw a couple of mountain bikers on top and knew they didn't ride through any brush. About a quarter mile down the trail, the summit trail climbs up to the right. There I found the benchmark stamped "Moro" sticking well above ground, most of it still encased in concrete. I took a break to enjoy the view and exchange greetings with the bikers. Two more peaklets bagged, I returned to the car, jogging the flats and downhills on the way back. I'll never set any speed records, but going lighter and faster was fun on easy terrain.

Art at the start


LC2 summit

LC2 benchmark

Moro Canyon gate, Moro Ridge benchmark rising behind

Moro benchmark

Moro summit

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