Peak 1,930ft P500

Mar 25, 2018

With: Jackie Burd

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In the San Diego area with family, Jackie and I set out to do a moderate hike while Mom was otherwise occupied. I chose unnamed Peak 1,930ft above lake Ramona for a target, 7mi roundtrip, a modest amount of cross-country and a class 5 summit block - seemed almost ideal. Even better, it was only a 10min drive from grammy's house in Rancho Bernardo. We started from the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve TH off Espola Rd where there is a large lot that could easily accomodate us on a not-so-early Sunday morning start. Most of the route follows the Green Valley Truck Trail, now repurposed as a trail leading from Blue Sky up to Lake Ramona and environs. At about the halfway point we wandered off into the brush in search of a PB-only point called Joe West BM. We found the benchmark and a small rock outcrop nearby that we could call the "summit", but it has prominence measured in inches and otherwise of little interest. Further on, the trail switchbacks up to the top of the dam on the southwest side of the lake before contouring above the lake to the northwest. Above the dam where the trail passes by a saddle, we left it to do the half mile of cross-country north to our peak. The brush wasn't too bad (though we picked up a few ticks) and we even found a small racer snake and an interesting purple-tinted yucca. There are some large boulders near the summit which we threaded our way around, the cross-country lasting about 20min before we reached the summit. The 10-foot summit block itself lived up to its (low) class 5 rating. I went up via a route on the south side and descended a shorter route off the west side. Jackie went up and down the west side after I'd gotten back down as there isn't much room for more than one person up there. We signed a register less than a year old before going off to explore some of the other rocks. We eventually went back down to the road/trail via a shorter but not recommended route because we found some tougher bushwhacking closer to the road. On our way back we took a short detour to explore the Creekside Trail back in the Blue Sky preserve, though oddly one fork of this dead-ended without warning. We had hoped it would lead us back to the parking lot via another route, but we had to return to the truck trail before finding our way back around noon. Nice little hike.

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