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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Fish Benchmark and Eagle Benchmark Messages in this topic - RSS

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262


1/4/2021
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262
I kicked off 2021 with a two summit loop in the Fish Creek Mountains just east of the Salton Sea. Eagle BM is also the high point in the Fish Creek Mountains. I drove to the end of Split Mountain Road, then east for 5 miles on a dirt road that parallels the Plaster City Narrow Gauge Railroad. The second mile of the road had some deeper sand and I used 4x4 but not sure it was needed. I parked along the tracks near my planned exit point and walked less than a mile to the ascent gully. The gully was full of large boulders and dry falls. The 1500' ascent was a mix of class 2/3, but with careful route finding, most was class 2. A second ascent gully was about 500', followed by 300' on the final ridge to reach Fish BM. On top, I found a benchmark, reference mark, and register placed in 1979 by Wes Shelberg. Fish is seldom visited. The prior entry in the register was from a year ago and was the only entry in 2020. The register was only half full since 1979.





Start of ascent gully





From the top of the first gully








Looking over at Eagle BM, about 40' higher than Fish

I dropped back onto the plateau and started down a long class 2 gully toward Eagle. I was dumped out about 700' below Eagle in a confluence of canyons. I aimed for the slope left of Eagle and slowly picked my way up. I heard voices and saw a couple of hikers on the ridge on their way to Eagle, a surprise since I didn't expect to see anyone the whole day. After fighting up to the saddle below Eagle, I was startled by an explosion above the summit. Some kind of loud fireworks had gone off above the summit, followed by a second explosion. In 15 minutes, I was on the summit with a party of six hikers and a dog. They were the vanguard of a larger group and set off the fireworks to let the others know they had reached the summit. I chatted with a guy named Alexis and discovered they were all local. I found no benchmark on Eagle, but the register also went back to 1979. The hikers settled north of the summit to wait for the rest of their group. I was only on Eagle long enough to sign the register since the day was short. I came down a steep, loose gully on the NW side of Eagle. Nothing was stable and I had to butt scoot most of it. I should have stayed on the ridge. Once on the lower plateau, I eventually found the remnants of an old miner's trail and was able to follow it on and off for the rest of the descent. Just under 8 hours round trip, 3300' gain, sore quads.




Looking back at Fish BM from Eagle


Some of the hikers on Eagle


Crappy, loose gully


Looking back at Eagle


Final descent


edited by tekewin on 1/4/2021
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 387


1/4/2021
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 387
Great report. Love the old register entries. That is some serious rock scrambling.
edited by Rocko1 on 1/4/2021
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Britain
Britain
Posts: 507


1/4/2021
Britain
Britain
Posts: 507
Good job. Was up there from the southeast a few years back. Got within a 3/4 mile south of Fish. But fish wasn't what we were up there for. Thats some brutal stuff in there. Always had my eye on your route afterwards to tag fish.

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Cant drive 55
Britain
http://icorva.com
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262


1/4/2021
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262
Rocko1 wrote:
Great report. Love the old register entries. That is some serious rock scrambling.
edited by Rocko1 on 1/4/2021



It was really fun going up to Fish. I was concerned there might be some really hard spots, but nothing really exposed or scary.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262


1/4/2021
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262
Britain wrote:
Good job. Was up there from the southeast a few years back. Got within a 3/4 mile south of Fish. But fish wasn't what we were up there for. Thats some brutal stuff in there. Always had my eye on your route afterwards to tag fish.



Thanks, Fish was great! I thought the scrambling and gain was mostly over once I got to Fish, but was mistaken. Sort of a grind to Eagle, then a long 3.5 miles to get out. Legs are still complaining, but it hurts so good, haha.
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Britain
Britain
Posts: 507


1/4/2021
Britain
Britain
Posts: 507
Had to get on GE to see the miner trail. Pretty cool down

--
Cant drive 55
Britain
http://icorva.com
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262


1/5/2021
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262
Britain wrote:
Had to get on GE to see the miner trail. Pretty cool down



The trail was in good shape up to the first plateau, then has some cairn markers, but kind of fades in and out all the way to the second plateau below Eagle.
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Britain
Britain
Posts: 507


1/5/2021
Britain
Britain
Posts: 507
If I can get my hill climbing legs going I'm going to hit that ole miner trail. Tore out my bottom of my pants from some butt scooting last spring.

--
Cant drive 55
Britain
http://icorva.com
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 862


1/5/2021
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 862
Great trip! Too bad about the fireworks hikers. New Year's Day? I tend to avoid any New Year's hikes, *everyone* is out. But you at least had the expectation of remoteness!

--
http://www.coyotelearning.org
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262


1/5/2021
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262
ziphius wrote:
Great trip! Too bad about the fireworks hikers. New Year's Day? I tend to avoid any New Year's hikes, *everyone* is out. But you at least had the expectation of remoteness!



It was actually 1/2 instead of New Year's Day, I should have been more clear. My first thought when I heard the fireworks go off was that someone was shooting up from the firing range below. Then I realized I was too far away even for a high powered rifle.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 387


1/5/2021
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 387
ziphius wrote:
Great trip! Too bad about the fireworks hikers. New Year's Day? I tend to avoid any New Year's hikes, *everyone* is out. But you at least had the expectation of remoteness!

I also would have never guessed seeing people on a hike like this.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 57


1/6/2021
Brian
Brian
Posts: 57
Here's a trip report from a guy who did Eagle in November. I haven't done anything in that area but it's now on my (very long) todo list.
https://evanquarnstrom.com/2020/11/11/socal-desert-explorations-fish-creek-mountains/
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262


1/7/2021
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 262
Brian wrote:
Here's a trip report from a guy who did Eagle in November. I haven't done anything in that area but it's now on my (very long) todo list.
https://evanquarnstrom.com/2020/11/11/socal-desert-explorations-fish-creek-mountains/



Thanks, that was a cool report. From the register, it was clear that Eagle is far more popular than Fish. I am also surprised they found a bighorn skull. I don't remember seeing much evidence of sheep or deer out there.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469


1/8/2021
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2469
Nice work..! Been near there and it looks tough. Glad to see folks are still getting out and enjoying the desert.

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http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 560


1/10/2021
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 560
I would have sore quads too. Nice hike and great trail report.
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AdventureGraham
AdventureGraham
Posts: 170


1/24/2021
AdventureGraham
AdventureGraham
Posts: 170
Good job out there. I did the same loop a few years ago, minus Eagle BM. I'll have to get out there again.
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deborah
deborah
Posts: 103


14 days ago
deborah
deborah
Posts: 103
Great trip report tekewin! I had to look that up on Caltopo, haven't been out there yet either. Nice work!
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