Anyone who knows me or reads my blog, is aware that I hike Tehachapi Mountain A LOT. For me this mountain is not just a climb, but a lifestyle. For over 14 years I have hiked, snowshoed, and jogged up and down the steep slopes year round in rain, snow, sleet, extreme wind, heat, and in perfect weather. The climb has prepared me for countless adventure trips, climbing, biking, and miles of backpacking. However, the BIGGEST benefit the mountain has gifted me with is the opportunity to lead groups of youth and adults up 2 miles and the 2000 feet of elevation gain. The experience of viewing the expression of sheer joy on faces at the summit after being pushed both physically and mentally to the top is well…priceless. The personal accomplishment of conquering this local peak is life changing for many.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I headed up the mountain on a pre-hike a few days before our school’s annual Tehachapi Mountain climb. Shockingly, about 3/4 the way up we were met with a no trespassing sign with cable and branches blocking the trail. Stunned, we decided to hike on up to check out the situation. Reaching the top, we met our beloved summit stripped of the historical wooden sign and red metal ammo box register. This box held years of notebooks that held stories of history, friendship, love, and family. I was sick, speechless and felt as if I had lost a close friend.
We have since learned that Phillip Wyman, a former California State Assemblyman whose family has owned the property since the late 1800’s has closed the trail to the top. The latest article in the Tehachapi News stated “The trail and the park go to a certain point then it connects to our private property and in the past we have had people who go up there. Particularly since we’ve had logging and other issues up there, we’ve had concerns about liability, safety and criminal activity, poaching and things like that,” Wyman said.
This report was discouraging to say the least. Rumors have it that legal action may be in the works to somehow reopen the summit trail. Once upon a time the Tehachapi area offered 5 major peaks to climb: Cummings Mountain, Bear Mountain, Black Mountain, and Tehachapi Mountain. Tragically one by one these beauties have become off-limits to the public.
My hope is that Mr. Wyman will come to understand the important and positive impact this mountain trail has on our community and grant access once again to Tehachapi’s summit.
Thank you my majestic Friend for countless hours of beauty, physical exertion, and challenge.
Tehachapi Mountain from Meadowbrook Park – 2008
Tehachapi Mountain Field Trip Fall 2005
Student Signing the Summit Register – 2009
Happiness at the Top – Fall 2005
View North from the Summit 2010
Record Snow at the Top – April 2010
Top Stripped of Sign and Summit Box – October 23, 2011