Duke and I climbed Mission Peak today from Ohlone College. Mission peak is 2517 ft tall and is one of the highest peaks in the hills to the east of the south part of the San Francisco bay.
It is a cool windy day here today. We guessed that the wind at the top was blowing 70 MPH but I just checked the wind speeds on Mt Hamilton to the south and according to the University of California Lick Observatory web site the wind speed there was 40 MPH. In any case the wind was VERY strong. It was hard to stand up and the wind almost blew my glasses off my face. The wind blown grass looked like a rushing river and the dry weeds chasing each other down the mountain reminded me of the tumble weeds in North Dakota. The temperature was about 50 Fahrenheit but the wind chill made it very cold when you were in the wind.
In spite of the wind, or maybe because of it, the hike was a wonderful adventure. We saw only about 2 other people. We saw a magnificent red tail hawk land and take off right next to the trail. The wind and cold made the air exceptionally clear. The views were amazing. To the north we could see San Francisco, Oakland and Mt Tamalpais. To the west we could see the Sierras in the distance and below us to the west was the whole south San Francisco Bay.
There are several ways to climb Mission Peak. Today's hike was out third hike to the top this month. . Our first ascent was on November 5. We went up the steepest, most direct and most popular route. It is about three miles and starts on the west side of Mission Peak. Next we went up from Sunol Regional Park to the east on November 15. That route is about 5.5 miles. Next we want to take another route that starts on the east side of the peak. Maybe we'll do that next week.
It was a wonderful hike. The views were wonderful, the wind almost blew us away, and I always love seeing the hills start to turn green.