Palos Verdes Barite, Aug 25, 2018

The group converged on Palos Verdes on Saturday, Aug 25, 2018. It was a beautiful day with sun shining occasionally thru the marine layer. We parked at the Pelican Cove Park, which used to be called Point Vincente Fishing Access in the old days. We took a long walk down the trail to look for barite crystals at the Long Point area, below the Terranea Resort.

We walked down the Bluff Top Trail to the bottom below the Nelson’s restaurant, then we turned off from the trail at the beach rocks.

Some participants decided to avoid climbing the big boulders on the beach and stayed in the area near the turnoff. They did not miss out too much as there was access to plenty of good material. The rest of the group turned toward west and climbed over some big beach boulders on the beach for approx. 300ft.

We encountered some veins going deep into the unstable cliffs, but it was not worth the risk of falling boulders. We saw signs of past collecting in those veins though as the material was really tempting.

There is a lot of material in light gray Monterey shale boulders, as well as in oxidized red volcanic inclusions. The veins consist mostly of milky barite and pearly white dolomite. The Monterey shale is oil-rich and also silica-rich due to fossilized remains of microscopic diatoms. Many rocks exhibit interesting striations of darker and lighter bands. The shale is hard to break even with heavy hammers.

We collected nice clear and milky barite crystals from the veins on the boulders that fell off the cliff instead. Many specimens had crystals up to 1-1.5 inch in size.

There was also some nice chalcedony and small pointy quartz crystals points, some double-terminated.

Some of the material was covered with red dirt from the cliffs, but cleaned up very nicely.

Barite is very heavy, so we hauled only the best pieces up to the parking lot, where we exchanged experiences and looked at the specimens.

The youngest participant received some fluorite crystals from Boulder Hill mine, NV, as the welcome gift.

Everybody happily packed their collected specimens and wrapped up the trip as well.

See you next time, band! Thank you for the pictures, Angie, Rudy and Josh!