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Pico Blanco
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Dayhike from the Bottchers Gap trailhead to the Little Sur River camp and the Pico Blanco Summit


Pico Blanco limestone/marble (for the geologically inclined)
(originally posed on the VWA forum by riverprowler@aol.com)

Limestone is a general, inclusive term for all sedimentary rocks that have formed through the organic precipitation of calcium carbonate by aquatic organisms. This includes chalk, coquina, lithographic limestone, argillaceous limestone, dolomite, etc. (dolomite is just regular limestone in which some of the calcium has been replaced by magnesium). Marble is metamorphosed, crystalline limestone. For building purposes, the commercial term "marble" is used for any lime carbonate rock that is capable of taking a polish (thus including some regular limestones).

The Pico Blanco deposit consists of two bodies of crystalline limestone (marble) known as the Pico Blanco body and the Hayfield body. The Pico Blanco body forms the bulk of the mountain, including the peak itself, while the Hayfield body blankets the lower south slope of the mountain. Both bodies consist of white or nearly-white coarsely crystalline limestone composed almost entirely of calcite, with minor amounts of quartz and graphite. The marble is low-grade, so it wouldn't be useful as a building material, but because of its purity, it could have been mined for cement or other metallurgical uses. Similar deposits are scattered throughout the Santa Lucias, but on a much smaller scale.

As others have pointed out, Granite Rock was denied permission in the past to quarry the mountain since it is visible from Highway 1 and thus under the purview of the Coastal Commission. But as we all know, political priorities can change. Granite Rock's continued ownership of the mountain is an indication of their perpetual interest in the potential value of this limestone "reserve". We should all support any effort to add this remarkable peak to the Ventana Wilderness.


TL
Topo for the day.  Started at the Bottchers Gap trailhead (upper right).  1000 ft elevation drop down to the boy scout camp, then a 2700 ft gain up to the peak.  Forgot to add the side trip down to the Little Sur River Camp.  The spur to from the saddle to the peak is offtrail and possibly on private property.
BB
Topo for the day. Started at the Bottchers Gap trailhead (upper right). 1000 ft elevation drop down to the boy scout camp, then a 2700 ft gain up to the peak. Forgot to add the side trip down to the Little Sur River Camp. The spur to from the saddle to the peak is offtrail and possibly on private property.
Last comment 01/30/2006.
Viewed: 2819 times.
11/13/2004 08:58 PM
TL
Hit the trail right around sunrise.  The first few miles were downhill on the Pico Blanco Boy Scout camp access road.
BB
Hit the trail right around sunrise. The first few miles were downhill on the Pico Blanco Boy Scout camp access road.
Viewed: 327 times.
11/13/2004 07:31 AM
TL
Continuing down the access road, dropping into the pines.
BB
Continuing down the access road, dropping into the pines.
Last comment 02/19/2006.
Viewed: 264 times.
11/13/2004 07:38 AM
TL
Pico Blanco was visible from several of the switchbacks on the access road.  My route today would be up the back side of the peak.
BB
Pico Blanco was visible from several of the switchbacks on the access road. My route today would be up the back side of the peak.
Viewed: 306 times.
11/13/2004 07:56 AM
TL
The turnoff to the Little Sur River camp.  Mistook this for the Little Sur River trail and thus was treated to a nice, but unnecessary,  1.5 mile side trip down to the river.
BB
The turnoff to the Little Sur River camp. Mistook this for the Little Sur River trail and thus was treated to a nice, but unnecessary, 1.5 mile side trip down to the river.
Viewed: 265 times.
11/13/2004 07:56 AM
TL
Dense tree cover on the Little Sur River camp trail.  The trail led steadily downhill until it reached the river.
BB
Dense tree cover on the Little Sur River camp trail. The trail led steadily downhill until it reached the river.
Viewed: 302 times.
11/13/2004 08:05 AM
TL
One of the two developed riverside campsites at the Little Sur River Camp.
BB
One of the two developed riverside campsites at the Little Sur River Camp.
Viewed: 474 times.
11/13/2004 08:13 AM
TL
Looking upstream at the Little Sur River.  The trail deadended at the campsite.  I pulled out my map, figured out my mistake, and headed back up to the access road.  Still amused by what passes for a "river" out west.
BB
Looking upstream at the Little Sur River. The trail deadended at the campsite. I pulled out my map, figured out my mistake, and headed back up to the access road. Still amused by what passes for a "river" out west.
Viewed: 384 times.
11/13/2004 08:14 AM
TL
The Pico Blanco Trail sign at the back of the Boy Scout camp.  (Follow the access road to the footbridge, turn left, trails are behind the commissary)
BB
The Pico Blanco Trail sign at the back of the Boy Scout camp. (Follow the access road to the footbridge, turn left, trails are behind the commissary)
Viewed: 409 times.
11/13/2004 09:19 AM
   
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