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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Indianhead North Ridge Messages in this topic - RSS

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338


10/30/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338
It's desert season! I started this year by visiting Indianhead for the second time. My first trip was in 2013 following DPS route B, up Palm Canyon then back along the southwest ridge. This time I tried the north ridge. I drove to the intersection of Borrego Springs and Henderson Canyon, then followed the dirt road past the Jeep statue as far as north as it went. I followed a use trail up a wash toward Henderson Canyon. Approaching the main gully, I noticed some bones of a bighorn scattered around. A brief search revealed an intact skull, a spine, and a couple of legs with flesh still clinging above the hoof. The kill didn't look recent. Just right of the gully, I started climbing in the shade of the mountain. The ground was littered with large boulders, low vegetation, and a surprising amount of grass. The north side must retain water long enough for the slopes to be grassy instead of barren like the south side. This helped with traction as it grew increasingly steep.


Golden hour, summit not visible yet










Easy walk to the summit from here

The route crossed some of the minor ridges to avoid the worst terrain. There was a lot of low level scrambling, but only a couple of moves I'd consider class 3. The slope continued to get steeper near the top and some of the boulders grew to the size of shipping containers. Multiple registers filled a plastic container. I signed the newest one, the previous entry from March. After taking some photos/videos, I headed for the south summit, a prow jutting into space. I had not visited it on my first trip. A faint use trail traced the bottom of the angled slabs and it was easy to get to the high point. It had a dramatic precipice and view. While there is no easy way to the top of Indianhead, the north ridge seemed easier than DPS route B. That impression might be due to having more experience now. The north ridge does provide shade in the morning, so requires less water. Indianhead remains one of my favorite desert peaks.


South summit


San Ysidro East


Looking down from south summit




Heading back down the north ridge


edited by tekewin on 10/31/2022
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 184


10/30/2022
Brian
Brian
Posts: 184
Great pics. S Summit doesn't look like a place I'd be comfortable (fear of heights kicking in just from your video).
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338


10/31/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338
Brian wrote:
Great pics. S Summit doesn't look like a place I'd be comfortable (fear of heights kicking in just from your video).



I think it looks far worse than it is. Definitely worth a few minutes to check out if you trudge all the way up there.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 562


10/31/2022
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 562
That looks like one tough hike. Did they lift the ban on drones for AB?
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338


10/31/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338
Rocko1 wrote:
That looks like one tough hike. Did they lift the ban on drones for AB?



Indianhead is a pretty tough hike, but it's not an epic like Rabbit or Dawns.

And a great big mea culpa on the drone. Still banned. I feel pretty dumb for not doing a 2 second google search on this beforehand. So that was the first and last flight in the park.


The laws are a complex mix of federal, state, local, and FAA.


Here is the CA state park rule:
Drones are currently allowed in State Parks, State Beaches, State Historic Parks, State Recreational Areas, and State Vehicular Recreation Areas except where prohibited by a District Superintendent’s posted order.

But I'm not making an excuse. It was a mistake and I should have known.

I don't think anyone was harmed, or annoyed, or heard it, or saw it since I was alone on top of Indianhead.


As an aside, my understanding of the general rules:
National Parks - no

National Monuments - no
Within 5 miles of an airport - no
National Forests - yes, except where prohibited by an order
CA state parks - yes, except where prohibited by an order
BLM land - yes, except where prohibited by an order
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 443


10/31/2022
Buford
Buford
Posts: 443
Nice. The pictures definitely capture the terrain well. Great start to the desert season. That invasive fountain grass in the pictures is everywhere now. Sounds like the dirt road was open? It's been gated the last couple times I've been back there and was forced to park at the paved curve in the road.

I've done the route you just did and was also surprised at the amount of normal grass on the slopes. Kept it from being too loose but was slippery in it's own way. Another time I came up Henderson Canyon to the Palm Mesa high point, then traversed down to Indianhead hitting all the high points along the way before dropping down to Henderson again.

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Links to my photos: ABDSP photos, Bighorn sheep photos, ABDSP time lapse video, Wildlife photos (mainly birds)
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338


10/31/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338
Buford wrote:
Nice. The pictures definitely capture the terrain well. Great start to the desert season. That invasive fountain grass in the pictures is everywhere now. Sounds like the dirt road was open? It's been gated the last couple times I've been back there and was forced to park at the paved curve in the road.

I've done the route you just did and was also surprised at the amount of normal grass on the slopes. Kept it from being too loose but was slippery in it's own way. Another time I came up Henderson Canyon to the Palm Mesa high point, then traversed down to Indianhead hitting all the high points along the way before dropping down to Henderson again.



I remember your report on Henderson Canyon. I actually looked at the rest of the canyon route last night on Google Earth. Looks fun. Making that entire giant loop, not as fun. I went to Palm Mesa High Point from the west via north fork. That was memorable because my partner got double quad cramps on the Palm Mesa summit. Made for a long, tense, return trip. No rescue, so success!


It was pre-dawn when I arrived at the intersection. There was an open dirt road to the Jeep and I just kept going north. I didn't notice any signs, but that doesn't mean they were not there.
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 910


11/1/2022
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 910
Nice-looking trip. On my to-do list.

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http://www.coyotelearning.org
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 662


11/2/2022
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 662
Nice rock scramble! Fantastic views. Thanks for posting the trail report and for kicking of the desert hiking season. I need to get in gear!
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338


11/2/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 338
rockhopper wrote:
Nice rock scramble! Fantastic views. Thanks for posting the trail report and for kicking of the desert hiking season. I need to get in gear!



Let's go!
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