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Quail Mtn-JNP

 
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David R



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:25 pm    Post subject: Quail Mtn-JNP  Reply with quote

This long weekend I got to hang out at JTree. My first day there I did Queen and Inspiration Point. The next day was the fun one Quail. There appears to be many routes up this peak with the one consistency being that you get to find your way.

I voted for the most direct route where you park just south of Hidden Valley. If this is your desired route, I have many recommendations since I wandered a bit on this route. I followed the HPS directions and parked almost a mile south from Hidden Valley. This left me far south of the proper gully to climb. My recommendation is to park further north and aim to stay just south of the southernmost mountain spur as you head directly west over the flat JTree plain for your 2.75 miles. The proper gulch is difficult to spot and is the northenmost gulley between two sizeable rocky promontories that heads west. The gully looks rough and the way out is not apparent from a distance. Once in the gulley you will see evidence if not a use trail that you are in the correct gully

My route OTOH stayed further south and I ended up climbing up a rise that wasn't even the first low ridge. I had to drop down and then climbed a ridge about 1/4 mile south of the proper route. I was finally able to see the first flat area and the second gully just north that must be the correct route. I would have to give up some elevation to get over there so stayed south and climbed the next gradual rise ending up on a ridge. I followed this ridge west and then north until I connected to the main route.

At this point there is a difficult to spot gully that drops you down to the flat area where you would access the SW ridge. I made a boneheaded move after missing this gully and assumed that the next gully must climb not go down. I then started climbing up the slopes of Pt 5215 and contouring around a small gully. However once I reached this point I realized that I had to drop down regardless or climb much further north which I knew was not the correct route. After this rigamorole I descended essentially in a circle back down to where the SW ridge began.

This SW ridge route first goes through a bit of a rocky section and has a bit of a use trail as it heads in a more northerly fashion. You reach a pile of rocks and the route turns a bit more westerly and less rocky. The use trail becomes more pronounced as you head over a wide saddle and start a climb up a steep section that then contours almost directly to the west to the summit. With the use trail the route is pretty easy but I would suggest looking behind yourself once in a while since there are many subsidiary ridges splitting off here and there.

The top of Quail is similar to Rabbit in that it has an oddly flat look to it. It was quite windy on top and I used the rocky shelter to stay warm. The views are quite amazing as Quail has significant prominance especially to the south and west. Perusing the register, it can be noted that a crazy man named Doug Bear has climbed this peak 151 times.

The way back was much easier as I knew the route after all my wanderings. The majority of the route has footprints on it and you should be able to stay on route. All the gullies are truly narrow so are easy to miss especially the first one and the one to come down to the SE ridge. The last exciting part is to see how close you get to your car after you cross the plain. I ended up about 300 yards north of my car.

The entire hike was still only 4 hours and I probably traveled around 11 miles with 2,000 feel gain if not more due to my route finding escapades. This route like many desert ones can be difficult to follow the specifics but all you really have to look for is Quail to the west and Ryan to the southeast to keep your bearings.
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RichardK



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
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Location: Florida East Coast

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Quail Reply with quote

Did you see any sign of missing hiker Bill Ewasko?

See here for details: http://www.mtsanjacinto.info/viewtopic.php?t=3554
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David R



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No even with my wanderings I still stuck to what I would consider areas that hikers taking this route would frequent. When I hit the high point of the ridge to the south, I even noticed a duck placed there. I would assume after all these searches that the remains of that hiker are sitting in a more remote location.
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