Ascent of Blue Angels Peak on 2010-09-19

Climber: Matt Holder

Others in Party:Ruben Lozano
Date:Sunday, September 19, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Blue Angels Peak
    Elevation:4548 ft / 1386 m

Ascent Trip Report

Ruben and I set out from Irvine at just after 7am on Sunday. We headed straight to Blue Angels Peak, with the hope we could also bag Hot Springs Mountain on the way back to Orange County and still be back by 2pm, I hope we had until descending Blue Angels and realized it wouldn't be.
We took the In-Ko-Pah exit, made a right and another quick right followed quickly be an easy hair pin left turn onto a dirt road. A very nice border patrol agent assured us we were at the right place. We parked just after the power transmission lines, but realized we could have made it up at least another half mile because we had an SUV.
We started out on the switchbacks and it definitely has a quick elevation gain, but not too bad. We came to the small wilderness area sign mentioned in the Suttle book after 22 minutes and continued on to the right. There was a fork that we stayed to the right on, although the left turn looked to be a very nice hike through a canyon like wash. I'm sure one could get to the peak by going this route then scrambling up tough slopes, but with snakes and the like lurking and a nice trail ahead, it doesn't seem worth it. The next major fork looks like the right goes to the antennea towers so we made a left. That meanders around a hill and left us to discuss how confident we were in our decisions. There does not seem to be any road signs or gates as mentioned in Suttle so we were a little concerned. However, we made a turn to the east and headed up hill. At the top of that the road basically ends and a look up to the left shows the cement miners facility and to the right is the huge bolder on top of the hill. We headed south on a faintly traveled path and kept heading toward the west side of that hill. The we made our own scramble up the bolders and brush up to the flat saddle and then the very short scramble up to Blue Angels Peak. We found two of the markers and the one that was most important. There seems to be another peak, but we didn't think it was higher than our goal. The marker says SMUGGLER on it. We got our pictures taken and ate a cliff bar.
It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to the top, ten minutes up top and then 50 minutes down. We were delayed on the way up by many stops to refer to the Suttle book to help keep us on the right path.
This is not a strenous hike from were we parked, but it was vigourous.
We figure it was just under 3 miles each way.
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Trailhead:Parking area  
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:50 Minutes

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