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San Ysidro Mountain, The Thimble, White BM, Bonny BM

 
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tekewin



Joined: 11 Apr 2013
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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: San Ysidro Mountain, The Thimble, White BM, Bonny BM  Reply with quote

I'm still unsure if these kind of reports are supposed to go in Other Socal Ranges or here under Trip Reports.

I took a day off work Wednesday to hike San Ysidro Mountain.  It is on the Sierra Club Hundred Peaks list and also the San Diego County Peaks list. It is also one of the highest in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I had climbed one other nearby desert peak, Indianhead, and it was tough, so I expected a difficult cross country, cactus filled day. I truly love the desert. Many desert peaks have no trails and everything on the itinerary today was cross country, leaving from the side of Montezuma Valley Road just inside the Anza-Borrego Park.


Daybreak


Cactus companions the whole way

I approached White BM from the west. It was steep, but relatively clear. The summit block was an easy climb and I was glad to get the first one under my belt. I took a shot of Hellhole Canyon off to the east. According to Jerry Schad in Afoot and Afield in San Diego County, Hellhole Canyon earned the name because cattle often wandered into the canyon and it was "hellish" to get them out. A herd of feral cattle apparently lived in the canyon until they were helicoptered out in the late 1980s. After a short rest, I descended back to the west and traversed north toward The Thimble. The boulder hopping and bushwhacking got unpleasant on the northwest slope. I think the east side would have been better.


Approaching White Benchmark


The Thimble and San Ysidro from the White summit boulder


Hellhole Canyon from White BM

The Thimble looked intimidating as I got near. I ducked through a barbed wire fence (on private property) to take the most direct path. I had heard dogs barking earlier and hoped that they would stay in the distance. I headed directly up the south slope of The Thimble, all class 2 until the last 100 feet. I slipped on a slab and grabbed a nearby bush to stop myself, but the bush bit back, causing a nice blood flow from my left index finger. I had just taken off my gloves as the day warmed up, but after a bandaid, the gloves went back on. Finally, I got to a wall of cliffs and boulders. There appeared to be several tough class 3 routes, but I headed west until I found the chimney that is supposed to be the normal route. There is one chimney behind a tree, but after a close look, I decided to climb another chimney left of it. After that climb, I found a long granite slab with class 2 access to make it the rest of the way. The exposure was not severe in either case, and it was good granite. Once on top, I signed the summit register, took photos, then ate and explored the cool rock formations on large summit area. The north side looked uninviting for a down climb, so I went down the way I came up, which was easier than expected, then traversed east up a saddle between the The Thimble and another rock ridge.


Approaching The Thimble


Class 3 up The Thimble


Final slab to the top, good, solid granite


San Ysidro from The Thimble

Getting to the wash at the base of San Ysidro was another unpleasant boulder and bushwhacking affair. It was overgrown with buckthorn and had few animal trails.  Once in the wash, I found cairns leading the way up a reasonable use trail. It was steep, but didn't require any use of hands. For some reason, I was sapped of energy. I think I had been focusing so much on The Thimble, that once it was done, I lost some drive. It took me a lot longer than planned to get up San Ysidro. I forced myself up, only to be greeted by strong, cold winds and thicker clouds. I climbed up to the triangulation benchmark, which is where the summit register was, signed it, took a few photos and started down without wasting time.


Traversing between The Thimble and rock ridge


Marked use trail up San Ysidro


Looking back from San Ysidro


San Ysidro benchmark and register

At this point, I was in no mood for the two boulder/bushwhacks that awaited me on the north slopes of the The Thimble and White. I followed the cairns down to the wash and continued following it west, even though it would take me a mile or so out of the way. I had forgotten what it was like to hike without obstacles. Very nice. I made great time bypassing The Thimble and the worst of White. Unfortunately, it took me back on private land. When I spotted a house, I took a hard left and climbed back near the south side of White, then continued on toward Bonny BM.  My return to the car led me into more brush but I eventually emerged about 100 yards from my car. It was a long, hard day, and a gratifying drive home.


Crazy formation on the way to Bonny


Bonny summit blocks


Final look back into the desert from Bonny

This was my last big adventure of the year.  9.4 miles round trip cross country. My wife was pissed that I did some class 3 alone. I was going to tell her that I had my knife if I had go all "127 hours", but I didn't think that would help.

Full report:
http://ironhiker.blogspot.com/201...ro-mountain-thimble-white-bm.html
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hvydrt



Joined: 27 Sep 2007
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Location: yes

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good trip! I like that area. The area down below those peaks in Hell Hole Flat is a fun area to hike as well.
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Sean
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: Monterey Park, CA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: San Ysidro Mountain, The Thimble, White BM, Bonny BM Reply with quote

tekewin wrote:
I was going to tell her that I had my knife if I had go all "127 hours"...


Thanks for the report. I hope you at least wear a helmet, especially going solo. On one of my Class 2+ hikes, a girl tumbled backward off a log and cut open her head on a rock. Her helmet was strapped to her pack at the time.
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tekewin



Joined: 11 Apr 2013
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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hvydrt,

Hellhole Flat looks like a great destination with 4 nearby benchmarks: Hob, Tuck, Goat, and Webo.  Looks like you can avoid crossing the canyon if you come from the west.  However, my next trip to Anza-Borrego will be to Goat Canyon Trestle.

Sean,

A helmet is on my list, will have one in January. I know, not ideal. A lot can go wrong, but it didn't seem like an unreasonable risk.  My wife is already over it.


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