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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Red Top day hike Messages in this topic - RSS

tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 114


12/9/2018
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 114
A couple of week ago, Matt and I attempted a day hike of Sawtooth Mountains high point and Red Top. We got Sawtooth, but ran out of daylight about half a mile below Red Top. Yesterday, we went back. We parked on North Indian Canyon Road so we could go over the Tierra Blanca Pass. We cached water in two places: at the entrance to Canebrake and at the bottom of the ascent gully. We went up the gully then drifted north, staying inside a sort of alley between higher ridges on both sides. The terrain is confusing and sometimes a 50' ridge blocked the view where 80' contour lines on the GPS showed a flat area. There was another big gully with huge boulders that got us about 200' below the summit. The wall of boulders choked with vegetation made a direct approach look improbable, or at very least, miserable. We climbed a short wall to the west to reach a final plateau clear of boulders. From this point forward, our GPS track is a mess as we picked our way up and across the maze toward the summit. There was a lot of bushwhacking and backtracking. Sometimes we would split up to explore different options, shouting to each other if it advanced our cause. The last 100' was mostly class 3, with the same kind of recon and route finding needed to find a way to the summit block.












A couple of hundred feet below the summit



A single red can held the register underneath the summit block. The summit block was about 20', but another boulder was piled against it to provide a head start. While the summit block is rated class 3, the final 10-12' was a mostly smooth surface requiring a friction move. It was a little spicier than expected, though the exposure was not bad. I got down by sliding into the boulder. The views in all directions were spectacular. The southeast ridge view was something special. The Inner Pasture and Canebrake surrounded everything like a moat. For Matt, it was his 69th peak on the Sierra Club San Diego Peak List. For me, it was 100/100 and a perfect list finish. After we both signed the register, we spread out one of the monster slabs for lunch. It took us about 2 hours to descend back to the bottom of the ascent gully. The walk back was long, interrupted occasionally by startled jack rabbits. We thought the sun would set when we reached the top of the pass, but we made it back to the truck just as twilight was fading. Red Top is a unique mountain that thoroughly captured my imagination. It is the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the SDC list. It's combination of remoteness, allure, and layered defenses make it one of my all time favorites. Full report here.


Climbing the summit block.


Southeast ridge


Looking over at Sawtooth






East ridge


Returning toward the pass, the truck another mile on the other side
edited by tekewin on 12/9/2018
edited by tekewin on 12/9/2018
edited by tekewin on 12/9/2018
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 123


12/9/2018
Buford
Buford
Posts: 123
Nice. I’ll be hitting those up soon. Planning on doing both in a long day via the same route from Indian Gorge.
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Britain
Britain
Posts: 371


12/10/2018
Britain
Britain
Posts: 371
Nice write-up Congrats!

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Cant drive 55
Britain
http://icorva.com
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 723


12/11/2018
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 723
Nice job! I remember the red can! Turns out I've never 'summited', 'cuz I decided not to do the summit block move - I was there solo and not feeling particularly lucky that day! I must return. Congrats.
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 723


12/11/2018
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 723
Oh man, I wish you hadn't called it the T-Rex of the SDC list. Now everyone will feel obligated to do it. It used to be such a quiet place.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 114


12/12/2018
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 114
Buford wrote:
Nice. I’ll be hitting those up soon. Planning on doing both in a long day via the same route from Indian Gorge.



Awesome, looking forward to your report. You take some detailed photos.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 114


12/12/2018
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 114
ziphius wrote:
Oh man, I wish you hadn't called it the T-Rex of the SDC list. Now everyone will feel obligated to do it. It used to be such a quiet place.



I think it the hardest of the bunch. The Sawtooth summit block was slightly harder, but getting to the Red Top summit block was harder. I needed a rope for Square Top, but the hike and navigation was much easier. I think T-Rex is a pretty good description, haha. I don't know that it will appeal to that many people. I've been into Indian Gorge 5 times and only saw people one time, at the False Sombrero trailhead. One of the things I love about Anza-Borrego is it usually isn't crowded, at least the places I've been going.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 420


12/13/2018
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 420
I very much enjoyed your trail report and photos. I glean a grin when you described the " misery" of the choked vegetation. Many thanks for busting through it to make it easier for the next guy! Seriously, great expedition fellas! Cheers.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2203


5 days ago
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2203
Nice! One of my favorite areas for sure..!

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http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 123


3 days ago
Buford
Buford
Posts: 123
Can confirm, those two are probably the toughest on the list. I wouldn’t worry about them getting too popular.
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