I had been wanting to do this trail for a very long time. It is a short 3 mile round trip hike where one can climb out from the top of the cave and travel on to Kas’elew (Castle Peak) where Chumash priests and astronomers held ceremonies for the summer and winter solstice.
Climbing into the cave was ridiculous. I told myself that once we got inside, there was no way we would be turning around and coming back down this route.
This is what they call a “chimney cave.” It was really intimidating and we were alone. But getting out was actually way more simple than climbing into it.
The views above the cave were AMAZING. No one really described how to get to Castle Peak except that it would be hard and a lot of false trails – no one mentioned how little footing you would have or how steep it would be. I had always been afraid of heights, but this was something else.
The true way to continue the trail was to keep climbing up the rock face, but there was so much loose sand and we were already so high up. I was really scared so we spent the rest of the time trying to figure out the safest route back to ground.
Jp took this picture of me of where I was about to cry… or as she calls it – facing my fear. She stayed brave for me so I wouldn’t be even more terrified, and for that I am grateful. It doesn’t help that there were tons of broken glass everywhere so we had to be extra careful. You can see Castle Peak in the distance, how the hell does one get there?! 😯
My hands were still trembling after we got home and my arms and legs were left with bruises. But Castle Peak, I’m coming back for you.