Ascent of Agua Tibia Mountain on 2020-01-06

Climber: Sandy Lara

Others in Party:Catherine Rossbach
Date:Monday, January 6, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Agua Tibia Mountain
    Elevation:4779 ft / 1456 m

Ascent Trip Report

We tried this 10 days before and got stopped by thick brush (lots of buckthorn) with 6" of snow on top, making the branches bend even farther into what was left of the "trail." There was a man doing trail work on that day who made the ascending trail clear up to the junction with the Palomar Divide Road (no longer a road) so we knew that would be okay. Kelley Laxamana also posted that she had been up 3 additional times since Christmas, making it to the beginning of the U in the PD road at 4650'. This was to be Catherine's LPC list finish and she wanted to do it before the HPS/LPC banquet this Saturday, so the pressure was on to make it to the summit. We both had loppers. I estimate that we cut over a hundred yards of trail clear, cut back another 200 yards to make it passable (but needs more work) and intermittently crawled another 200 yards through the worst areas, still cutting as we went. We did a lot of work but there is still much left to do! In a few places a hand saw is necessary. The summit was a delight with a nice class 3 boulder, sunshine, and gusty wind. The register is found to the left in some rocks as you are heading toward the boulder, maybe 15-20 yards away (nesting red cans). It took us almost 3 hours to get from the signed trail junction to the summit as we were chopping and crawling. We did more trail work on our exit through this area, especially at the junction of the PD road and the little use trail that goes to the summit, which had been totally obscured. Now that area is clear so you at least know the proper place to turn. Many, many thanks to those who have done trail work to make this ascent possible. The brush overgrows so quickly that it will take routine maintenance once it is finally cleared. I haven't been fond of many of the Lower Peaks, but this one has character and should be kept as long as accessibility can be maintained. Anyone going up there should carry loppers and consider a small hand saw. Power tools not allowed in the area.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3500 ft / 1066 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3500 ft / 1066 m
    Distance:17 mi / 27.4 km
    Start Trailhead:1279 ft / 389 m
Descent Statistics

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