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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

GPS Collar Retrieval Near Rabbit Messages in this topic - RSS

tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


4/8/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
The weekend prior to the park closure, Daren, Gary, Randy and I headed up a steep rocky ridge toward a tight grouping of gps points, the last data bursts from of a dying tracking collar. The unfortunate wearer was a ewe, presumably a victim of mountain lion predation and lying in peace somewhere on an east facing slope midway between Rabbit and Villager. The last pings were time stamped early 4/2019. With the collar battery lasting about five years, it was unclear when the ewe died or whether the collar was currently anywhere near the sheep remains. That night, Daren would return with collar in hand completing the successful recovery with little help from his hiking companions.

IMG_20200328_140523_7 by tomteske, on Flickr

This all started when Daren emailed the group stating he was asked by a Fish and Game biologist to recover said collar ( apparently they're not cheap) and inviting us along for the adventure. Daren suggested the obvious route up the Villager ramp as an overnight. However, being the least experienced and least knowledgeable hiker in the group but apparently with the most free time, I suggested an an old native trail ascending sharply from the banks of Clark Lake to the Santa Rosa spine and ending on Rabbit. My route information was based on exactly two sentences extracted from an old BLM document and hours of rather imaginative trail spotting on GE. It would shave a couple miles off the standard route and looked much easier, at least from outer space. After successfully bamboozling the group on the "better" route, we all met under the NE shoulder of Coyote Mt and headed out.

Getting ready

IMG_3533 by tomteske, on Flickr

Somewhere in the middle of Clark Lake, a vertical gas tank.

IMG_3534 by tomteske, on Flickr

Also, somewhere in the middle of the the lake, BM Camp.

IMG_3541 by tomteske, on Flickr

After crossing the lake bed, we made it to the start of the "obvious" trail on GE.

IMG_3544 by tomteske, on Flickr

It truly was an old native trail and somewhat farther up, a nice petroglyph site.

IMG_3551 by tomteske, on Flickr

IMG_3548 by tomteske, on Flickr

IMG_3555 by tomteske, on Flickr

IMG_3563 by tomteske, on Flickr

Gary checking out trail cairns.

IMG_3570 by tomteske, on Flickr

View from camp at the base of the Santa Rosa Mts.

IMG_3577 by tomteske, on Flickr

The next morning, we cached our gear and started up the "trail" planning on day hiking to the top, finding the collar and returning to the vehicles. But to our dismay, there was no trail. None. Just a scramble up steep rocky terrain.

Nice piece of pottery before the ascent.

IMG_3583 by tomteske, on Flickr

Halfway up the first 1300 ft slog, a nice land snail, the first one I've ever seen out in the desert.

IMG_3585 by tomteske, on Flickr

Halfway up the second slog, I found this rotting Buck knife sheath. Little did I know but just minutes before it contained a pristine Buck knife, rescued by Daren who was by now far ahead of me (Gary and Randy had already had enough of my "route" and called it a day).

IMG_3596 by tomteske, on Flickr

There actually was a trail ascending the ridge at some point as a pot drop along with multiple roasting pits, rubs and pottery sherds would attest. Just not anymore.

IMG_3600 by tomteske, on Flickr

The view from a few rubs.

IMG_3603 by tomteske, on Flickr


IMG_3610 by tomteske, on Flickr

The last slog to the top.

IMG_3611 by tomteske, on Flickr

Finally on top, the view toward Rabbit and the collar, somewhere between the far green patch and faint white vertical line on the east ridge heading up Rabbit. By now, Daren had recovered the collar and was heading back having wisely chosen not to wait for his "team."

IMG_3615 by tomteske, on Flickr

Here's Daren's pics of the sheep and collar.

IMG_20200328_140545_8 by tomteske, on Flickr

IMG_20200328_140523_7 by tomteske, on Flickr

Daren searching for a short cut back to camp.

IMG_3623 by tomteske, on Flickr

The whole endeavor was about 16 miles, 5K g/l and probably not the easiest way to the top! Still, another great time in the desert. Enjoy! Tom
edited by tommy750 on 4/8/2020
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


4/9/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Rocko1 wrote:
Fantastic trip! Couple questions. Do you think you ended up tracing the actual ''trail' up most of the way? I assume it's just disappeared over the years do to little to no use? What was your time up to the spine from base camp?

There was an obvious trail most of the way up to the ridge we ascended but nothing convincingly apparent afterward. I thought I saw something on GE but may well have been game trails. Couldn't tell you the time to the top off hand but was just happy a few days after another birthday with the number six in front of it to have made it up there!
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


4/9/2020
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
Nothing better than an old-fashioned easter egg hunt! I think your snail may be a 'shoulderband' species, and probably rarely-documented from that area. If you ever use iNaturalist.org, post a photo and location of it there. Great trip report!

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http://www.coyotelearning.org
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


4/9/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
ziphius wrote:
Nothing better than an old-fashioned easter egg hunt! I think your snail may be a 'shoulderband' species, and probably rarely-documented from that area. If you ever use iNaturalist.org, post a photo and location of it there. Great trip report!

Thanks, Ziphius. What do you think about this ID for a snail on an old Cahuilla trail? Latin name seems to check out smile https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/172128-Cahuillus-indioensis
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


4/9/2020
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Buford wrote:
Cool trip, pictures and finds along the way.

Funny, I have been planning a trip up that ridge for a while to access Rabbit. Wanted to bypass the ramp and see new ground. I was supposed to do it last month but things got in the way.

Buford, I can assure you it will be waiting for you smile Looked through a few hundred posts on peakbagger to see how often Rabbit and Villager are ascended out of Clark Lake and found none on our route but a few to the north and south. Have fun.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518


4/9/2020
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518
Nice pics Tom, I like them..!

No real good place to carry a stray 6" blade up and down the side of a rocky desert mountain, but the shoulder strap worked...mostly



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

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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518


4/11/2020
dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2518
For those that did not know, Buck had their factory out in El Cajon forever, I used to go there when I was kid, we used ride our skateboards out there and dig thru the dumpsters looking for scraps. They have since moved to Idaho, CA I guess killed them off too.

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