False Sombrero ©
February 19, 2016, Joel Hawk
(Click on pictures to enlarge)
Going solo today and it's 110 miles one way from my home, so up early at 3 a.m and on my way by 4 so I can be there by sunrise. Looking forward to walking on the desert floor and since I've never been in the Indian Gorge, I'm excited.
My plan to is bag both False Sombrero and Sombrero Peak today. This is a challenging undertaking, but I'm up for it. I want to start with False Sombrero to get warmed up and then go get Sombrero Peak. This is Sombrero Peak in the distance. There is a great shot of both peaks off of S-2 before you reach Indian Gorge, but I forgot to stop on my way out.
360 degree pano at the trailhead. Hard to see, but there are some desert flowers starting to bloom. A coyote graced me this morning and saw a couple of jack rabbits/birds/lizards. I did see some tracks in the DG that appeared to be mountain sheep, but the tracks were not clear.
So I've navigated to the trailhead and need to decide which way up do I want to go. I have always been a "straight up" kind of guy, but I will take the wash to the left and see how it goes.
About to summit as I come upon what I suspect is the culprit that gave this peak its name. This isn't the high point nor where the register is, but it is a cool looking rock and if you use your childish imagination, you can see what looks like a sombrero.
Once you summit, finding the register is easy. I looked for the benchmark, but could not find it if there was one. I'm getting pretty good at climbing rocks without rope and chain, but more on that later.
I never made a plan that I couldn't change on the fly. I had wanted to come down the way I came up, but read a previous entry in the register about the ascent from the South. Remembering the rock structures to the right of the mountain, I thought that would be fun, so I opted to rock scramble back down vs. taking the screed slide. Have you ever had cholla in your rear...hard to get it out when you're by yourself and embarrassing to let someone else try...so no slide today.
Sometimes the lessons learned on the trail come the hard way. By the time you find out, it's too late!
Great views straight down regarding the rock scramble adventure I'm on. Almost down with about 200 ft to go.
Quick view back up from where I've come. Knarley works our Lord has created, but beautiful as well.
Remember I said I was pretty good at climbing rocks. Well obviously, I'm pretty good at falling off them as well. I have officially climbed over 100 peaks and this is the worst fall I've had. You just never know....
Nothing hurt bad...just some scrapes and bruises and pride. I'm sure I'll feel it more tomorrow. Just a quick message about the risks we take when hiking the back country.
My track...start left and come back down that way...
Be safe, (really, really safe), enjoy living and appreciate our lands. ~ Joel
Directions and the numbers:
Take I-8 to Ocotillo and take the S-2 all the way back to Indian Gorge. Almost any vehicle can manage this road and will take you to the trailhead. Total round trip from the end of the dirt road up to the peak is 1.5 miles, 2086 total ascent with a max elevation of 3445 ft. Overall this took me about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
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