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Hiking Stats as of 11/21/2018
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 325
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet
I had just completed my first week back at work following my 18 day vacation (not that I was counting or anything) during which I also was extremely active on the hiking trails, going on 4 trips and picking up 7 new summits during that vacation. As my first work week wound down, I had thought that I may be adopting a third dog and would need to stay home all weekend to see how everyone got along but at the last minute the dog visit was postponed until February leaving me with no real plans for the weekend. I wasn't too disappointed with the thought of enjoying a couple of quiet days as I ease my way back into the regular work routine, and when I woke up Saturday morning I knew I was staying local.

One of the internal conflicts that comes up sometimes as I've expanded my hiking is between my desire to hike for fitness versus my desire to try to summit as many different peaks on the various peak lists as I can. If I want to hike for fitness I can revisit the few Bay Area peaks near where I live - they require no research, no maps, no GPS and best of all very little driving time so I can spend more time at home with the dogs. On the other hand, going up the same peaks can be a bit boring, and there is nothing quite like getting to the top of a new peak and I enjoy the long-term challenge of working towards summitting all of the peaks on the peak lists. When I started hiking I was focused on the fitness aspect as I wasn't even aware of peak lists. Back then I largely rotated my hikes between Diablo, Ohlone, and Mission Peak. Over the past year I have probably been a bit heavier on the peak list side, going after new peaks almost weekly.

On this Saturday morning I knew I wanted to hike something, but also wanted to walk the dogs and watch some football. I thought about looking up some of the CC peaks I had yet climbed in the Bay Area, but those are largely easy, and my goal on the day was simply getting in a nice maintenance hike. Kyle and I have already planned a trip up to the Sierra for next weekend, so this weekend was all about taking it easy and getting my work in. This fits the description of the Mission Peak/Mt. Allison/Monument Peak traverse that I have a half dozen times before. Despite what is probably the longest intro I have ever written for a trip report, I left knowing the purpose of the trip was not to see anything I haven't seen before, and I decided to use the camera on my iPhone. After walking the dogs for a bit over 6 miles, I set off a few minutes past 10 AM for Fremont.

Mission Peak is an extraordinarily popular hike, probably the most popular that I have seen in the Bay Area. The cars were lining the streets a full quarter mile away from the TH and seeing this I parked down below and headed towards the TH several minutes before 11AM. It was funny to see how many cars were driving up to the TH, which can hold maybe 20 cars, only to have to turn around and drive back down. I mean the purpose of everyone's visit is to get some exercise, so why refuse to park an extra quarter mile downhill? Anyway, I got to the bustling TH and after waiting in line to use the restroom for about 7 minutes, I finally got started on the actual trail several minutes after 11 AM. The trail was wildly busy, and I put in my earbuds and listened to an audiobook to pass the time as I made my way up. I decided to try to summit Mission Peak in 1 hour, a fairly strong pace that I have done in the past, although never when I knew I was going to continue on to Mt. Allison and Monument Peak. The cloudy and cool weather helped keep my energy levels high, and I didn't stop to rest at all on the ascent. I'll have to remember to come here next time I want an ego boost, because I must have passed 40 people on my way and not one person passed me up. Anyway, I reached the final steep section with only a few minutes to go to make my hour deadline, so I picked up my pace, passed more people resting, and summitted after exactly 1 hour.

There was quite the party atmosphere on top. Well nearly on top, everyone stops there although the actual summit is another few hundred feet south. No matter, I spent 3 minutes on top, enough time to get a new bottle of Powerade Zero from my pack and then kept going down the south side of Mission Peak, towards Mt. Allison. As I have learned is always the case, the crowds do not follow over here. In fact, I would not see one more person for the next 2+ hours until I would cross Mission Peak again on my descent. I much prefer this environment. I reached the summit of Mt. Allison a few minutes after 12:30, and with the views completely obstructed by low cloud cover I immediately started down and headed towards Monument Peak. Along the way I did catch sight of a family of deer, which surprised me somewhat as I couldn't recall ever seeing any deer up here in the past. Before heading up Monument Peak I went up a peak just north of Monument Peak that is actually higher, although it is unnamed. It had nice views back to Mt. Allison which was now visible under the clouds. I then went over to Monument Peak, which was the site where I had found a tarantula back in September. There was no such excitement today. Instead, my iPhone died on me, meaning I was unable to listen to the rest of my audiobook for the descent and also that I could only get off one final shot from the summit of Monument Peak a few minutes before 1:30.

The descent was largely a retracing of my steps, without summitting Mt. Allison. The climb back up and over Mission Peak was a little tiring as my legs were a touch sore from pushing them to get up the peak under an hour in the first place, and once at the top I of course saw all the hoards of people who would be around me all the way back down to my car, another 3 miles of walking away. The entire hike was nearly 13 miles with a little over 3 thousand feet of elevation gain, in barely over 4 hours, and I was back to the car around 3 PM. I got back home around 3:50 and was able to watch the 2 NFL playoff games (recorded). I enjoyed doing a hike yet still having lots of time to do other things on the day. Next week it is back to the Sierra for a new summit, but its also a 3 day weekend so I've got an extra day to burn!

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