About the challenge
Now, what is the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Depending on your location or where you want to take this challenge (of course, you can take them all if you have the time!), you sign up for Southern California, Northern California, Central Oregon, New England or Colorado Rockies. I write more about it in my first log from Mission Peak.
Completed May 19, 2018
At the visitor center (where I came only so I could exchange my $20 bill and therefore pay for the entrance), they tried to persuade me that trying to reach the peak from there is a really difficult business which will take me up to 10 hours to complete and that I’ll be totally exhausted after that. But I understand, they did it in a good will. If I saw myself with their eyes; this a bit chubby girl with taped knees and ankles, I’d probably think about my abilities twice, too (not that I didn’t).
After giving me a paper map and wishing me good luck (all of us thinking that they have actually convinced me to do only Eagle Peak and come back), I finally got on the trail.
It took me only about 200 yards and a woman with a number on her shorts to realize something; today was the day of Mt Diablo Trail Run.
I spent the next few miles yielding to the runners (and picking one up after she slid on the rocky trail – she had my full admiration as this white-haired sixty-something lady took on the 10K).
I stopped on Mitchell Rock and Eagle Peak for longer breaks than just a few seconds and to enjoy the view (which was truly mazing). I contemplated giving up on a crossroad right after Eagle Peak – I could make it a loop from here and go back and maybe attempt Mt Diablo some other day. But… well… in the question of completing what I once decided to complete, I’m quite stubborn.
The upper half of Bald Ridge Trail kicked my butt and I found myself thinking: “Please, please, give me a mile of boring flat path with no uphills or downhills. Or just a half of a mile. Or maybe only a hundred yards…” and the little I had to walk on North Peak Trail was the worst mile of the whole hike.
Summit was… Nice. Beautiful. Amazing. I had to start with “yeah, nice” because I was too exhausted even to be excited about reaching the peak. I peeked inside the Visitor Center.
“We’re closing,” was the very first thing the ranger right behind the door said.
“I know, can I just ask if the water here is drinkable?” I pointed to the old faucet hidden behind a bench in a corner. It was, I thanked the ranger and gladly re-filled my very thin water supply. Honestly, I’d probably take the water even if it wasn’t drinkable – or I’d have to get a hitch back to my car (and I didn’t want to do that).
I took a look at the trails, twisting throughout the vegetation and on the ridges of hills and peaks below me.
Ever since I first came to Mt Diablo, I’ve always admired the teeny-tiny hikers who were sweating their way up on the mountain on these trails. I always felt a bit like a cheater and weakling, having hiked only from Juniper Camp parking. They were the heroes, the badass ones, the strong and the tough. They were something I never even dared to start aspiring to be. They were the pinnacle of Bay Area hikers, almost god-like creatures in my eyes.
And today, I was one of them.
I was one of them only because I stopped thinking about that I’m not fit or strong or tough enough to make it all the way and decided to take on the challenge even though physically probably unprepared. And it worked.
The way down was even easier than I thought it was going to be and I made it back to my car with the sun already behind the horizon (yes, I admit, I started late into the day), broken sunglasses, a few scratches (which I don’t even know how I got them), my knee hurting so badly I almost couldn’t drive back home and chafed – in some parts so badly that it was almost bleeding (and no, it wasn’t because of my clothing or anything like that). Yikes.
But I loved the hike, every single part of it, even the ones I hated at the moment.
Mitchell Rock Trail
Eagle Peak Trail
Bald Ridge Trail
North Peak Trail
North Juniper Trail
Deer Flat Fire Rd
Mitchell Canyon Fire Rd
Total: 14 miles
The previous Six-Pack-of-Peaks-Challenge article is HERE.
The next one will be HERE as soon as I get to the top of the next peak (and write it down and publish).
And have a day full of breathtaking views! 🙂
(Also, if you feel like it, you can follow my blog so you won’t miss any of the following Six-Pack-of-Peaks-Challenge articles!)