Black Lassic

The Lassics

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One of the great places to visit of our area, Black Lassic. The great thing about this peak (5,900′), is that it is very easy to get right up on top. A road essentially crosses a broad saddle where Black Lassic connects with Red Lassic and Signal Peak. There is a turn off where you can park then walk a relatively gentle trail and be on top in 15-20 minutes. If there is snow, you might not be able to get as close so be prepared to hike for a few hours depending on how close you can get. The mountain is always in plain view so its not hard to know where to go, just make sure you get to the uphill side of Lassic before you try to get to the top. All the other sides of the mountain get extremely steep and most of it is fractured and unstable.

The Lassics are considered a unique geologic area where different pieces of ancient history collide. This grey and red soil is called ‘serpentine’ and is highly acidic, and even has naturally occurring asbestos within in it. While allot of this land can be barren, stands of incense cedar and pines can grow on serpentine. Where more developed soils occur, stands true fir stands develop.

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I decided to scramble up to Red Lassic first. While this is not a hard hike, there is no trail so don’t try to take small kids or bad legs up here.

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At first glance it looks like a simple enough walk, but you must cross these talus slopes and that can be hard on your knees. My knees seem to feel it more and more each year, but I have always enjoyed scrambling over this kind of terrain.

Eventually you get to relatively stable rock and can take in some fantastic views.

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The highest point in this picture is called Signal Peak. I think there used to be a fire lookout here. When you visit this place, you can easily get to the top of all three of the peaks, Black Lassic, Red Lassic, and Signal Peak in a single day.

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A nice view of Mad River Rock. That is on my radar for my next adventure. I have always wanted to explore it! Someday Ill find the time.

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And of course a great view of Black Lassic from the top of Red.

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Looking back at Red Lassic, it does not look that impressive, although shooting a picture into the sun never really works…

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Making my way up Black Lassic, you can really see the black color of the rocks and soil, which is indeed in contrast to the red hue of Red Lassic.

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And finally, the truly epic view. Mad River Rock again. Its the Van Duzen River between us and the Rock. The next ridge you see is ‘South Fork Mountain’ which drains the Mad River. I do not know what to call the next ridge line, however I know that the east side of South Fork drains into the South Fork Trinity River. I have some panoramas Ill be posting next taken from these peaks.

High Salt Ground

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This may look like a regular mountain meadow, but it has an interesting history. A local historian told me this story a few years back, hopefully Im remembering it right!

Apparently during the Indian Wars (1850s-1860s), the US carvery had captured a number of Nongatl Indians and were taking them to the Round Valley reservation in Covelo. By some luck, the Indians managed to escape. However their luck was not long lived, as they were attacked by Lassic Indians on their way home. When the survivors made it back to their territory with their tale, they set upon their revenge, with a little help from their neighbors.

It was at High Salt Ground where a coalition of tribes (Nongatls, Whilikuts, and Chilula) gathered before heading south to battle with the Lassic Tribe. This was in 1863.

This is a surprising story (to me) considering the amount of pressure all of the aboriginal people were facing from the US Calvary – who had been fighting with all of the tribes for over a decade. Chief Lassic had many incursions with the foreign invaders himself, being captured and escaping many times. Was this the best time to battle other Indians when they all were being attacked by the whites? Obviously these were people of principle, and when war was need, they were not making any exceptions.