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Dawns Peak Day Hike Messages in this topic - RSS

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/1/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
Dawns Peak (aka Lorenzens Peak, aka Peak 6582) is challenging peak in the Santa Rosa Mountains between Toro and Rabbit Peak. I prefer Dawns Peak (Jerry Schad's name), but I guess it is still officially 6582. I picked up my friend Henry at 2 AM in Mission Viejo and we drove to our starting point on Rockhouse Canyon Trail. The road was in decent shape, but the last few miles to the trailhead had large rocks and deep sand. 4x4 recommended. We started at 5 AM. After 1.8 miles, we started up the first steep ridge that leveled out into a plateau. We were following the standard route and it drops into a wash near the end of the plateau. The wash was easy going and mostly flat. A few dry falls required class 3 or a bypass which was always available. At the end of the wash, we dropped a water cache under a boulder for the return trip. Then, we climbed another steep slope toward peak 3439. At the top of the slope was another plateau, but we were surprised to also find a masterfully constructed 4' cairn. It looked like a mini-version of the giant cairn on Dawns Peak.





dropping into the wash



dry fall with a cool chockstone, we bypassed going up, but down climbed it coming back


Henry climbing the slope toward peak 3489


mini cairn on the P3489 plateau with Dawns in full view

We dropped off the 2nd plateau and started a mile plus traverse across open desert and small gullies toward the ascent ridge. We took a long break at the base of the ridge before starting the brutal 3000' of class 2/3 to Dawns. The ridge was broken into three steep sections with short connectors. The rock was solid, but may not be anchored well to the slope. Some manzanita, junipers, and pinyons dotted the landscape. We were now in full sun, and I was moving slowly but deliberately. At the top of the ridge, there was a final bump to Dawns summit. The brush and trees there were thicker. There was a mostly clear path through but we didn't find it on the way up, so ended up with some unnecessary class 3 and scrapes. The summit was glorious with the famous cairn as a backdrop to the 6000' drop to Clark Dry Lake. Both Toro and Rabbit looked very far away. Salton Sea was shining. Since there was no register, we left one.


start of ascent ridge




Two on the summit


Toro


Rabbit and Salton Sea

When we started down, we dropped a couple of hundred feet on a rib past our ascent path. It looked like it connected below so we forged ahead. This cost us more time and energy as we carefully dropped down a chute, then crossed an unstable scree field to get to the right part of the ridge. Correcting course overheated me a little and I never fully recovered. We continued down the steep ridges, easier with gravity, but nearly as slow as going up. By the time we got off the ridge, I was fairly miserable. It was a suffer fest the rest of the way. I alternated taking sips of water and pouring it over my head to cool off. I guessed it was 10 degrees warmer on the mountain than the NWS had forecast. One intentional change we made to our descent was that we dropped immediately into the wash below the Peak 3489. Going up, we climbed the slope more directly. I thought the wash route was better. Shortly after, we picked up our water cache. At sunset, I got some relief and enjoyed the shadows and twilight as we continued down. We almost made it off the mountain before dark, almost. The open desert return to the truck seemed to go on forever. I was in zombie mode at this point, shuffling across the desert, but did notice the bright star field. We made it back without seeing another soul on the mountain or the road. 16 miles, 6266' gain, 15.5 hours.


Down we go


Almost off the ridge


Almost off the mountain
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510


4/1/2022
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510
Great job. Fantastic report. I hope to do this hike as a two day trip sometime. Make it to the plateau and attempt the peak in the early AM of the next day.
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 417


4/1/2022
Buford
Buford
Posts: 417
Nice. I prefer long day hikes to carrying overnight gear on hikes like that. When I did the route a couple years ago we also found that other giant cairn.

It’s a shame if the register is really gone. There were some good ones in there. It was in the base of the big cairn.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2553


4/1/2022
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2553
I remember seeing Jerry schads name in the register...it was buried in the rocks of the giant cairn.

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http://www.carrizogorge.com
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/1/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
Buford wrote:
Nice. I prefer long day hikes to carrying overnight gear on hikes like that. When I did the route a couple years ago we also found that other giant cairn.

It’s a shame if the register is really gone. There were some good ones in there. It was in the base of the big cairn.



It's entirely possible that we missed the register(s). Henry's friend had gone up 2 weeks prior and said the register was gone. We honestly didn't look hard for it. I hope the original is still there.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/1/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
Rocko1 wrote:
Great job. Fantastic report. I hope to do this hike as a two day trip sometime. Make it to the plateau and attempt the peak in the early AM of the next day.



I think I would have enjoyed a 2-day more to be honest.
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Brian
Brian
Posts: 146


4/1/2022
Brian
Brian
Posts: 146
Well done and great pics. On a loop trip I did earlier this season, I descended that ridge spur that you took up from Clark Valley. Even that part is no joke! And I was imagining what it must be like to deal with that at the end of the day when you've already tackled Dawn's and just want to be done.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510


4/1/2022
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510
Any chance you can give approximate times to the final plateau and then up to the summit?
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/1/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
Rocko1 wrote:
Any chance you can give approximate times to the final plateau and then up to the summit?



Looking at my track, best guess was 3.5 hours to the plateau with peak 3489 on it.

From there to summit, another 4.5 hours (3 hours from base of the ridge).

Took me 8 hours up, 7.5 hours down.

By comparison, Bob Burds report from 2013 took his group 9.5 hours round trip.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/1/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
Brian wrote:
Well done and great pics. On a loop trip I did earlier this season, I descended that ridge spur that you took up from Clark Valley. Even that part is no joke! And I was imagining what it must be like to deal with that at the end of the day when you've already tackled Dawn's and just want to be done.



At the end of the hike, I swore I would never do this kind of thing again. The next day, looking through the photos, I was thinking I would totally do something like this again. 10 years ago, it would not have been such a stretch for me, but that was 10 years ago, ha.
edited by tekewin on 4/1/2022
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510


4/1/2022
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510
tekewin wrote:



At the end of the hike, I swore I would never do this kind of thing again. The next day, looking through the photos, I was thinking I would totally do something like this again. 10 years ago, it would not have been such a stretch for me, but that was 10 years ago, ha.
edited by tekewin on 4/1/2022



I have said that about Villager after I hiked it. Then 2 years later I did Rabbit and swore never again. I am now contemplating doing Villager with a friend-his first time. Funny how we forget the misery.
edited by Rocko1 on 4/1/2022
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 417


4/1/2022
Buford
Buford
Posts: 417
tekewin wrote:
Buford wrote:
Nice. I prefer long day hikes to carrying overnight gear on hikes like that. When I did the route a couple years ago we also found that other giant cairn.

It’s a shame if the register is really gone. There were some good ones in there. It was in the base of the big cairn.


It's entirely possible that we missed the register(s). Henry's friend had gone up 2 weeks prior and said the register was gone. We honestly didn't look hard for it. I hope the original is still there.


I still think you did the right thing by day hiking it. Hauling extra water and sleeping gear up the first ridge to sleep in the wash would hurt.

A picture of the register from a couple years ago. Looks like it was not the original. It did contain some good signatures and went back to 1980.




It sucks if someone took it.


@Rocko1
For hiking time, it is all dependent on the individual, weather and exact route choices. Some are much faster, some much slower.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2553


4/2/2022
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2553


I have done several trips up to 6582 and the top of the 'rosa's is one of my favorite places to be at sunrise and sunset. I have also done day trips up/down and far prefer two day or longer trips, each person just needs to know what works best for them.

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http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com

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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/2/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
Rocko1 wrote:

I have said that about Villager after I hiked it. Then 2 years later I did Rabbit and swore never again. I am now contemplating doing Villager with a friend-his first time. Funny how we forget the misery.
edited by Rocko1 on 4/1/2022



Yes, it's exactly like that. Have fun on Villager again!
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Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 107


4/2/2022
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 107
Outstanding trip report. That is the toughest hike in Borrego. We have done the trip both as a day hike and an overnight.
The day hike we camped the night before at the trailhead on Rockhouse road. We left before sunrise and like you came back in the dark. The overnight we spent the night in the flats before the final ascent to Dawns. We also spent the night on Dawns when we traversed the Santa Rosas from Toro to Villager.
I like the overnight version to Dawns. Pack super light, no stove etc because it is all water weight.
Thanks for posting
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/2/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
Scooter wrote:
Outstanding trip report. That is the toughest hike in Borrego. We have done the trip both as a day hike and an overnight.
The day hike we camped the night before at the trailhead on Rockhouse road. We left before sunrise and like you came back in the dark. The overnight we spent the night in the flats before the final ascent to Dawns. We also spent the night on Dawns when we traversed the Santa Rosas from Toro to Villager.
I like the overnight version to Dawns. Pack super light, no stove etc because it is all water weight.
Thanks for posting



Sitting between Toro and Rabbit, looking at the terrain and distance between them, increased my respect for anyone who did the Santa Rosa traverse. That is rough terrain with unclear connections in places and few bail points. A magical place.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 641


4/2/2022
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 641
Good show man! That's one tough hike. Sounds like you were awake more than 24 hrs. But where are your hiking poles! No poles? I use them going down and have saved me a spill more than a few times. Your right about forgetting the misery. Doing a day hike of Rabbit peak, I swore I would never do that again. If I did Dawns, I would make a base camp. Great trip report.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315


4/3/2022
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 315
rockhopper wrote:
Good show man! That's one tough hike. Sounds like you were awake more than 24 hrs. But where are your hiking poles! No poles? I use them going down and have saved me a spill more than a few times. Your right about forgetting the misery. Doing a day hike of Rabbit peak, I swore I would never do that again. If I did Dawns, I would make a base camp. Great trip report.



I usually use a single pole, but thought it would be counterproductive with so much scrambling. Might have saved some stress on the knees but it was also a little less weight. With drive time, I was up almost exactly 24 hours. My poor friend Henry had to drive another hour back to LA. He was drinking coffee on the way back.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510


4/4/2022
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 510
Scooter wrote:
Outstanding trip report. That is the toughest hike in Borrego. We have done the trip both as a day hike and an overnight.
The day hike we camped the night before at the trailhead on Rockhouse road. We left before sunrise and like you came back in the dark. The overnight we spent the night in the flats before the final ascent to Dawns. We also spent the night on Dawns when we traversed the Santa Rosas from Toro to Villager.
I like the overnight version to Dawns. Pack super light, no stove etc because it is all water weight.
Thanks for posting



I think this method works best for me on difficult hikes. Slamming Dawns in a day hike would mean leaving my house at 3am(waking at 2am) and driving 2 hours. If I did an overnight I could forgo that and be in much better shape to hike that final ascent.

When I did my overnight on Rabbit I slept an hour maybe the night before, up at 2am, drove 3-5a and was hiking at 5:30am. Some of my worst hiking happened that day. In my youth I could have plowed through without too much impact, not so much anymore.
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