Peak 2,642ft P300
Peak 2,860ft P300
Peak 2,900ft P500

Mon, May 23, 2022
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX

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Today was a bushwhacking day. No trails, just classic San Diego cross-country up chapparal-covered slopes - yum. The three summits are located along the Mother Grundy Truck Trail south of Bratton Valley. The coastal fog lasted only for the first summit, then things slowly warmed up. I decided to call it quits when I did because I was beat up and ready for a nap. I'm getting old, can you tell?

Peak 2,642ft

This summit is found just north of Honey Springs Rd. An old road goes nearly to the summit from the east and northeast. The start of this road is at a private ranch house, so another route is needed to access it. Mark Adrian has a GPX track on LoJ that approaches from the south. I used a modified version of this route. While the initial ascent to reach the road was moderately brushy, the old road had a good deal of brush, too. I short-cutted one of the switchbacks on the way up, but it turned out to be no faster than just following the roadway. I spent almost 40min to make my way to the top. There are a number of large granite boulders scattered about. I climbed the highest two, one to the west, the other to the east. Mark indicated in the register that the eastern one was highest. A thinning fog layer was blowing across the summit when I was there. It would dissipate by the time I got back to the Jeep. It took just over 30min for the return.

Peak 2,860ft

This summit is called Mother Gundy on PB. It lies about 2mi south of the first summit. I used the same starting point on Mother Grundy Truck Trail that Michael Sullivan did, using his GPX track on PB. There is a faded No Trespassing sign at a junction with an old road. I followed this spur road, turning off where an old shack is found. I ended up veering from Michael's track soon after, favoring slopes to the right. A combination of bushwhacking and scrambling got me to the large summit block in 25min. With eight ascents recorded on PB, I was not expecting technical difficulties, but this looked hard. I went around to the backside expecting easier going, but found nothing of the sort. The block is about 25ft high, split in two by a crack. On the north side, this crack is wide enough for hands, but goes overhanging. On the southeast side, the crack is off-width, vertical to start. The south side seemed to be the best option, but it was devoid of usable holds at the start. I don't think any of the folks who listed an ascent actually climbed this thing, otherwise you'd expect some mention of the beast. I spent probably 20min probing for a way up, but in the end decided it would need a rope and aide climbing for me to get up. Sadness!

Peak 2,900ft

A most interesting summit, this one is located between the other two. I first attempted to drive Pringle Canyon Rd through to the Lucky Six Truck Trail on the south and west side of Mother Grundy Peak (not to be confused with Mother Gundy), but I found that road gated. It would require a 45min drive around the long way, so I left Mother Grundy Peak for another day. I had initially rejected Peak 2,900ft when I drove by it earlier. There is a mile-long road going nearly to the summit from the southwest, but it is gated. I would have walked the road, but the tire tracks on the road showed very recent use. The sattelite view had shown structures at the end of the road, but I couldn't discern if they were lived in. As I was driving back out on Mother Grundy TT after Peak 2,860ft, I thought I might be able to climb it from the south. I found an abandoned homestead with just a foundation on that side, pulled in and parked. I was only 0.40mi from the summit from here - how hard could it be? Plenty, it seems. It wasn't all brutal, as there were some relatively open sections along the way, but it was the toughest bushwhacking I'd run across all week. I met up with the road just below the structures and quickly backed off when I spotted a car parked just up the road. I would come to find that there were two cars in fact, and a gentleman sitting outside in a chair facing north with a book, but this was only later when I was near the summit. I backed down away from the road and continued a more roundabout way to the summit. I had to get up some steep sections through large granite boulders, eventually approaching from the east, the backside when viewed from the property. The summit rocks had a handline on the crux, anchored above to a climbing bolt. Had the guy who lived there installed this? Above the handline I was briefly in plain view of the property below. I spotted the gentleman in the chair and noticed he was facing 90 degrees from me. I moved slowly while in plain view to keep from being noticed in his peripheral vision. I paid a quick visit to the very summit and then beat a retreat after snapping a few photos. I was down to the Jeep by 11:40p, having spent an hour and a half on the effort. A toughie, for such a short distance...

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