Peak 1,198ft P500
Tooth Rock Fail CS

Jun 6, 2022
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX
Tooth Rock later climbed Jun 8, 2022


The weather was turning warm again, climbing into the 80s today, and warming more as the week progressed. I went out to do a couple of short hikes in the early morning while it was still cool enough to do comfortably.

Peak 1,198ft

This isolated mountain separates the communities of Santee and Lakeside. It is found south of the San Diego River and east of the 67 freeway. At one time the sole occupant of the peak was a home at the very top, accessed via Valley High Rd up the east side. Telecom antennae now crowd the summit area. Over the past several decades, new homes and apartments have sprung up on the northwest side, what is called the Sky Ranch neighborhood. The neighborhood roads provide close access from the north, within half a mile of the summit. There are two summits to the peak. The home and most of the telecom installations are found at the north summit where the spot elevation is shown on the topo map. The southern summit has the same number of contours as the north summit, but the last contour is smaller. LoJ and PB both mark the north summit as the highpoint. Despite this, it seems most if not all visitors go to the southern summit, which has a smaller installation, not nearly as much fencing protecting it, and none of the creep factor one gets in trying to visit the north summit. Perhaps as justification, Mark Adrian in his LoJ TR comments, "Spot elevation 1198 has been cropped" without actually surveying it, as he usually does. I parked at the cul-de-sac near the end of Ocotillo St. The road continues from here, but is signed as a Private Road and No Trespassing. I watched a neighborhood jogger head off past the signs without giving them a second thought, so I figured it couldn't be too serious. The road leads to a small enclave of four upscale homes. Beyond that, a locked gate and road leads to a water tank on the north side of the summit. I continued up to the tank and then around the fencing on the south side to discover a threaded use trail that leads around the west side of the peak. It goes through brush and cactus well below the summit, out of possible view from above. Some light bushwhacking led me to the south summit where the highpoint is outside the fencing, adjacent to the access road coming up from the south. This had only a partial feeling of satisfaction, as the north summit seems the better prize. It was hard for me to imagine anyone actually living in the home anymore surrounded by all the telecom equipment. I suspected maybe it was sold to one of the infrastructure companies to allow the communication developments. It certainly looked poorly-maintained when I viewed it from the water tank. However, the satellite view shows a travel van parked near the highpoint, the sort of thing an older, retired person might own. It certainly gives the place a feeling of being occupied and I was loathe to discover it so by intruding on someone's home. It does not look to me that the highpoint was leveled as Mark suggested. Anyway, not sure if I can actually claim this summit. Perhaps someone will go there and survey the two peaks for a proper determination. I spent about 35min on the roundtrip effort.

Tooth Rock

This summit is found on PB, but not LoJ. It is a very reconizeable landmark on the east side of Poway. A large granite block, partially covered in graffiti, is about 20ft tall on the uphill side and appears aptly named. There is an access trail found off Ranger Park Rd on the southwest side of the summit. The trail follows the north side of the seasonal creek in Rattlesnake canyon for about 1/3mi before running into a fence. Signs indicate the continuing trail through private property is now closed. Turning left, I followed a use trail along the fenceline until it was well passed it and then turns uphill. It eventually joins a version of the trail closed lower down. I followed this to the summit in about 30min where I inspected the summit monolith. This one is harder than Chiquito Peak I did a few days earlier, as well as one I did last month with Patrick O'Neil. The block is vertical or overhanging on all sides. Two rusty pitons can be seen in a horizontal crack on the north and northeast sides. Neither looked to offer any help in getting up the block. I had brought my 75-foot Home Depot rope with me, but it would be useless. Even if I could rig it up over the block and anchor it to the opposite side, I would not be able to climb the vertical rope via simple loops in the rope - it would require prussiks or ascenders. I took a picture of the block with my phone and sent it with a quick note to Patrick. He responded in only a few minutes, and after a few excahnges we had arranged to give it a proper try in the next few days, even before I had left the summit. Stay tuned...


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