The family was coming to join me in San Diego for the weekend, so I had
only a few hours to squeeze in a couple of hikes while Mom went to pick
daughter up from the train station.
This summit is found within the Cleveland National Forest adjacent to and above
the El Capitan Lake Recreation Area.
The trailhead is at Jet Ski Point, though
there's no actual trail. I parked in the overflow lot on the west side
of the road because it saved me a few hundred feet of hiking. The hike is short,
only about 3/4mi each way, but it climbs more than 1,000ft and is very steep.
Thankfully, much of the NE Ridge can be climbed on grass between the
brush. The only real brush comes at the beginning in climbing to
a transmission tower a few hundred feet up, and even that isn't too bad
if you weave around for the better paths. Late May is not a good time to climb
it - the stickers and thistles from the grasses were attaching to just about
every pore on my boots and socks, even with long pants. Once the steep section
is dispensed with, the summit rocks come into view another quarter mile
to the southwest. There's little elevation gain left and one can follow
an old motorcycle track the entire way. There are two summits to this
one, within a foot or two of each other, too little difference for me to pick a
winner, so I climbed both. The register left by Mark Adrian in 2018 is
located at the base of the western summit block. It is located outside
the NF on private property, demarcated by a barbed-wire fence. The
eastern block is where LoJ has the summit. It is comprised of two
closely-spaced granite boulders about 12ft high. The sides are very steep all
around. The only way I could figure out to get up the thing was to chimney in
the 3-foot space between the boulders. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.
After finishing the gymnastics on the eastern summit, I returned
back down the NE ridge via the same route. I spent about an hour and
forty minutes on the exercise.
This is an easier summit in the hills north of Santee, with developments
surrounding it on three sides. There is a great deal of
graffiti at the summit,
popular with the local teens going back decades (Pacman characters date it back
three decades, at least). Michael Sullivan describes a route from the southwest
at the corner of Kerrigan St and Magnolia Av. I tried this first. As I was
walking across Magnolia to the dirt road/trail heading east, it looked very
familiar. I looked at my GPSr and noted it did not show me as having climbed
Peak 1,108ft. Yet, it looked very familiar. Looking ahead, I saw a
chain link fence around the base of the mountain and suddenly recalled that I
had indeed been here only a few years ago, but I'd given up because of the
fence and the proximity to so many homes. I saw that a number of folks had
registered ascents on PB in the past two years, so there must be another way.
I went back to the Jeep, studied the satellite views a bit, and decided I
would try via the paved road going to a water tower on the north side of
the summit. This worked nicely. The starting point was only a few minutes'
drive north to the end of Princess Joann Rd. There is a gate signed for
No Trespassing that I ignored. I hiked about half a mile up the road
to the water tank. A dirt road, also gated, forks off to the
left, going to the summit. It is also signed for No Trespassing. The dirt road
was recently graded, but it already is covered in footprints - this is a
well-used route. The road ends below the summit, but old motorcycle
tracks and use trails can be taken the remaining short distance
to the summit rocks. The highpoint is a large
boulder, a stiff class 3 climb up its east side, aided by a lower rock to step
on. It's basically a steep slab climb, only about 5ft, but a little nervy in
hiking boots. Going back the same way, I spent a little less than
40min on the round trip effort.