Castle Peak

(Created: February 23, 2005, 2:16AM, Views: 3759)


Castle Peak
castlepeak.jpg
Castle Peak as seen from the 'back' (east)
ElevationExternal Link:450 m (~1,475 ft)
Location:Los AngelesExternal Link, CAExternal Link, USAExternal Link
RangeExternal Link:Simi HillsExternal Link
CoordinatesExternal Link:34°12′ 0.45″ N 118°39′ 51.7″ W
Castle Peak (also known as Kas'elew, Saddle Peak or Saddle Ridge) is a prominent peak in El Escorpion Park.

Geography and Path

Castle Peak can be divided into five phases, each with its own unique geography. The total hike is hardly over a mile, but provides an elevation gain of 620 ft, which means the elevation gain is equivalent to 1069 ft/mi.z

Phase One - When one reaches the base of Castle Peak, the path heads straight up the mountain. It is a steep path amongst usually tall grasses. This is usually what stops non-believers from climbing the mountain, as if you do not take it slow at first, you can easily tire yourself out on this part alone. There is a slightly less slippery trail developing to the right.

The way down phase one is best taken slowly, but it can be run the final length at full speed.

Phase Two - This phase is characterized by the red soil in this area. The trail is in poor condition, often divided by a deep chasm, known as Gershon Canyon. This areas has many woody bushes on the sides.

Phase Three - The trail on phase three is little more than rocks and gravel. This phase is best climbed by heading right of where the trail appears to be to get better footing. When one reaches the chalk, a large white chalk deposit on the side of the mountain, there are about 3 ways up. The straighter you go, the harder the trail. The more to the left you travel, the easier the climb.

One the way down phase three, one can 'rock surf.'

The Castle Peak geocacheExternal Link is on the farthest left trail that goes around the chalk of phase three.

Phase Four - This phase consists of walking up steep paths and practically climbing rocks. There is a big bush at the end of phase four.

Phase Five - The start of Phase five is a flat section after a large bush. This is the final approach to the peak. There are many ways up, but the best way is to cut left, and then head up. Make use of Handle Rock!

The Peak - Even when one reaches the peak, the hike isn't over. One must do a little bit of rock climbing to reach the top. There are two main ways. The first is to head up the straight, obvious route. But if one travels right and around the peak, there is an easy climbing wall named "Jesse's Wall" that you can take up to the top. Once at the top, one can see the entire San Fernando Valley on a clear day.

Being almost exactly one mile from the Fuller House made it a popular hangout spot over the years.

The hike up and down took about 30 minutes for Tim and Jesse in their prime, but takes normal people about an hour, not counting a break at the top.

This hike can be part of a number of loops. You can loop around through Bell Canyon by heading across the ridge from Castle Peak and taking the fork to the right. This is a fairly long hike. If you take the fork to the left, you can go through the gap in the ridge and down through the Cave of Munits. This hike is rather treacherous. If you pass the gap and follow the Hunter Allen Trail, you will end up back at the county line.

cp-profile

History

At the base of Castle Peak the was a village called Huwam. This village was an area where ChumashExternal Link and TongvaExternal Link people interacted with one another. Castle Peak was known as Kas'elew (sometimes Kas'élewun) and has traditionally been an area of great ceremonial importance for Chumash people. It was traditionally used by priests and astronomers during winter and summer solstice ceremonies.

One story about the peak claims that a great and terrible scorpionExternal Link lives beneath the peak. It burrowed its way all the way through Malibu Canyon and came to rest here. Someday it will awaken and devour everything the surrounding areas, if not the whole world.

Miscellaneous

Jesse's media production outfit in his high school years, primarily employed for projects for Mr. Alexopoulos, was known as Castle Peak Productions, and was of course named after the mountain.

Gil once said that he went up the peak to find the top sunken and gone. Jesse and Tim immediately went to go check, and found everything as it has been for 20 years.

Categories: Hiking | Locations

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