During last years Super Bowl Uwe and I decided to snowshoe San Jacinto which turned out to be a phenomenal idea as the mountain was empty. This year I decided to skip the game and spend some time outside.
Friday afternoon I left lab, grabbed some food and headed off to the desert. After leaving Ramona I put my phone in airplane mode and didn’t take it out until Sunday afternoon – a wonderful quietness and stillness would be the theme of the weekend. After arriving in the desert I made a campfire and set up my tent. Temps were nice, somewhere in the 50s and I enjoyed a beer while planning my hikes for the next day.
Saturday morning I woke at sunrise and had a leisurely morning, not really in a rush to get anywhere. My goal for the day was to get some peaks John had already been on top of. At around 10AM I parked at the Jasper Trail and started off on my adventure. I was able to quickly get to Bonny and climb to the top. Attaining the summit block required the climbing the most hollow, terrifying flake I had ever climbed. Not a good idea when going alone… After signing the register, I took off and quickly snagged Clyde and White Benchmarks.
Avoiding the private property to the immediate west, I made my way to the Thimble. It seemed daunting but had vegetation going all the way up so I figured there must be at least a class 3 way to the top. Indeed, towards the top it got a little sketchy. I am not sure how you guys got up there but I tried from the south and got turned around. Then tried from the west and got to within 10 feet of the summit where I found myself climbing a chimney in a no-fall zone. This was not class 2 or 3. I considered the fact that I was alone and had to downclimb anything I climbed and turned around. I retraced my steps and tried from the north. Here, the climbing was easier but I got cliffed out again and turned around. Did you guys touch the absolute top?
After taking a small break I was off to get San Ysirdro Mountain. I found a nice wash leading up the SSE aspect of the hill, got to the saddle and went NE to the summit. San Ysidro provided great views in all directions and I took a break while planning my route towards Goat Benchmark. I made my way past the east side of The Thimble and down a very open, pleasant wash towards Goat. The hiking here was fast and easy. After about 30 minutes of walking I was on Goat. From here, I just needed to hike out which is unfortunate because Goat is in the middle of nowhere. Why is that even on the SD100 list? In short time I had climbed back to White Benchmark and made my way out before snagging the summit of Chimney Rock. I was back to my car before sunset.
After a successful day I went back to my campsite and set up camp again. I enjoyed dinner and another campfire. Sunday I woke up at sunrise and contemplated my options. I could go bag everything in the Cuyamaca State Park or I could stay in the desert and get Sunset Peak. I decided my legs were tired enough from Saturday and intended to sit on Sunset for a while. Around 10AM I was hiking and a short while later I was on the summit. I stayed here for a while enjoying the views and the silence. I made my way back to my car, down the surprisingly scrambly route and in the early afternoon was headed back to SD.