Store
    Peaks
    Lists
    Photos
    Words
    Links
    About
    News
    Home
SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com
  • SummitSight.com

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
– Albert Einstein

Our Spring 2001 Desert Trip to Southern California

For seven active days from 3/17 to 3/23/2001, Jennifer and I climbed 8 peaks in Southern California and Baja California. Meeting friends in El Centro on 3/16, we drove a convoy of 4 vehicles into Baja and spent the night wondering where in the heck the trailhead for our peak, Cerro Pescadores, was. We found the trailhead the next morning and started up the peak late. This relegated us to a hot ascent. For reference, turn west off Mexico 5 just north of (before) the deserted Gun Club. Pescadores lived up to its reputation, and we got back to the vehicles in the last light.
Heading for Cerro Pescadores in Baja Heading for Cerro Pescadores in northern Baja, Mexico
Jennifer moving a desert tortoise out of the road en route to Black Butte Jennifer moving a desert tortoise out of the road en route to Black Butte
On the next two days we climbed Jacumba just north of the Baja border and Black Butte in preparation for our feature peak, Rabbit on 3/20. Rabbit lived up to its reputation as being one of the longest hikes to a peak on the DPS desert peaks list. We spent the night before Rabbit nestled in the fragrant lemon groves and started walking toward the distant goal at 5AM. Jennifer and I each carried 5.5 quarts of liquid. It would not be enough. The sun found our backs all too soon and we toiled up the huge hill for hours dodging Needle Point Agave and Cholla. We found some bits of snow near the summit to supplement our water supply. That helped, but was still not enough. Our companions, Charlie Winger and Jon MacManus were speedier than Jennifer and I. They made it back to the car before dark while Jennifer and I finished by flashlight at 7 PM after a 14-hour effort up and down 6,720 feet of the cactus infested monster. Too pooped to party, we slept in the lemon grove again.
Jennifer on top of the big Conejo at 1 PM Jennifer on top of the big Conejo at 1 PM
5 PM! The race against darkness is on as the lemon groves and Salton Sea wait for us 5 PM! The race against darkness is on as the lemon groves and Salton Sea wait for us
6,660-foot Rabbit Peak from the lemon groves at 80 feet below sea level 6,660-foot Rabbit Peak from the lemon groves at 80 feet below sea level near the Salton Sea in Southern California.

Gerry took this photo at dawn on 3/21/2001, the morning after our epic ascent.
The next day I looked through the heat haze for any peak that had snow on it. I spied Santa Rosa Mountain and proclaimed that to be our destination. When snow stopped our vehicles, we hopped with happiness, and postholed through knee-deep snow for several miles to Santa Rosa’s summit. En route, we enjoyed the Redwoods, which we do not have here in Colorado.
Santa Rosa's cool summit Santa Rosa’s cool summit
Over the next two days we ventured back to the desert peaks for more heat and sun. My survival equation became “Early start, short peak!” This formula worked well on Chuckwalla. On our last day we tackled Big Maria. On the middle summit, we discovered that there is a debate about which of the three summits is the highest. The register proclaimed, “Oh, Big Maria! With all these nipples on your chest, it’s hard to know which is best!” After careful hand (level) measurements, I determined that the middle summit is the highest. We climbed the south peak as well just to make sure. This relegated us to a hot descent. At the end of the trip, my feet felt like raw hamburger, but we were happy, since Gerry had now climbed 60 of the 98 DPS list peaks and Jennifer weighed in with 54.
Jennifer on Big Maria’s south peak Jennifer on Big Maria's south peak, our last summit
Dueling ideologies on a DPS register can Dueling ideologies on a DPS register can
Desert Guy Desert Guy
On our return to Boulder, we took a detour to Arches National Park where we visited Broken Arch and Magic Mystery Arch. Broken Arch sees thousands of tourists each season, but nearby Magic Mystery Arch sees very few visitors.
The La Sal Mountains watch Jennifer on top of Broken Arch The La Sal Mountains watch Jennifer on top of Broken Arch
Inside Magic Mystery Arch Inside Magic Mystery Arch
Copyright © 2001-2017 by Gerry Roach. All Rights Reserved.
Click to return to the Main Menu Click to return to the Main Menu Click to return to the Main Menu Click to return to the Main Menu Click for the banner photo