Angels Point
Peak 810ft P300
Mt. Washington P300
Monterey No 2 BM P300
Peak 710ft

Sat, Apr 6, 2019
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX


Matt Yaussi, a Sierra Challenge participant and good friend who had joined me on numerous desert trips over the past few years, had died in a canyoneering accident several weeks ago. His memorial service in Glendale was scheduled for today at 1p, which was one of the reasons I had returned to Southern California so soon after my last visit. The other reason was a nephew's wedding in Temecula at 4p, an event where most of my family would be in attendance, a rarity these days. With the 1.5hr drive between venues, I would be hard-pressed to make both events. Since I wouldn't be able to meet Matt's family after the memorial, they were kind enough to meet with me the previous evening at their home for about an hour. I had met Matt's sister at the Sierra Challenge last August - he was so proud to show her off to everyone - and had heard much about his parents from Matt with whom he was very close. They were as wonderful in person as I might have imagined, grieving for the loss of their only son, yet so thankful that he had found something he loved so, something he would talk about constantly and gave him so much joy. It was clear that his mom enjoyed the outdoors as much as Matt did - she was as familiar with the mountains, valleys and trails of the Sierra and other parts of the state as much as any seasoned mountaineer, having visited a mumber of these places with Matt over the past years and read up on many, many more. I left their home that night thinking Matt had one of the most supportive families I had ever met, such a blessing, and such a sad time for all of them, and those who had the priviledge to know Matt and be his friend.

It had been arranged that a group of his climbing friends would get together at 10a for breakfast before the memorial service. I was up early to visit a couple of summits in the area beforehand, something I'm sure Matt could have appreciated. It gave me a chance to get lost in my thoughts and ruminations regarding Matt, his accident, his life and, indeed, my own.

Angels Point/Peak 810ft

These two summits are part of Elysian Park, just a few miles north of downtown Los Angeles. The area is most known for being the site of Dodger Stadium. The stadium was completed in 1962 before I had turned 2yrs of age, and for a number of my teenage years I was an ardent fan. Oddly, it didn't rekindle many memories or revive a lost love for the team - I had only visited the stadium a few times but had listened to hundreds of games on the radio with Vin Scully doing the play-by-play. There was no game and hardly a soul in the park when I visited early on a Saturday morning around 6:30a. I didn't figure out parking ahead of time and had some trouble, but in hindsight I think the easiest way is to park off Angels Point Rd northeast of Angels Point and hike both of them from there. The ultra lazy can move their car to the Little League parking lot adjacent to Peak 810ft. I ended up parking in the large Academy Rd parking lot northwest of Angels Point and walking a few miles. I headed towards Dodger Stadium, then gained access to the Angels Point Trail in a park at the intersection just before entering the stadium parking lot. A short hike gets one to the viewpoint where a modern sculpture can be found covered in graffiti, a bit neglected. The newest and cleanest thing there is the No Graffiti sign. There is a nice view of the downtown skyline, as urban as it gets in Los Angeles. Ten more minutes' walking saw me to the highpoint of Elysian Park, unnamed Peak 810ft. There is a water tank (more graffiti) atop the point, but no maintained trails or other developments. I found a use trail descending the NW side of the summit, which made for a convenient shortcut to return to the park below where I'd parked. I spotted a coyote on the trail just before reaching the road below. It had a radio collar around its neck, so it must be know to the authorities here. A guy with a large, unleashed dog was just starting up the trail when I was exiting - I told him about the coyote hoping he would take his dog elsewhere or put it on a leash. He did neither after replying "ok". Ten seconds later there was loud barking as the dog bolted off, the guy yelling after it to no avail. Really? He couldn't see that coming?

Mt. Washington

Mt. Washington sits a few miles northeast of Elysian Park across Interstate 5 and the LA River, in a residential neighborhood. The summit has a pair of water tanks and some telecom towers, all surrounded by a formidable fence. One has either to climb the fence directly in view of several neighbors, or content oneself with casing the periphery. I didn't find much value in climbing the fence as there didn't seem to be anything much higher than what could be found outside it. No views that I found, either.

Monterey No 2 BM/Peak 710ft

These last two are found in the neighborhood of Monterey Park, south of Interstate 10 (or "The 10") and east of Interstate 710, one on either side of Monterey Pass Rd, both in residential neighborhoods. The highpoint of Monterey No 2 BM appears to be along Ridgecrest St, nothing of interest enough to even bother getting out of the car for. Peak 710ft has a large water tank atop it, fenced, of course. One can scale this fence with some effort, or just climb up to the highpoint outside the fence which seemed equally fair.


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