Ascent of Rabbit Peak on 2017-02-20

Climber: Derek Tse

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, February 20, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Rabbit Peak
    Elevation:6640 ft / 2023 m

Ascent Trip Report

An epic solo day hike of Villager and Rabbit Peaks. Gorgeous view of Clark Valley in the west and the Salton Sea in the east. I did not see another person all day and the last entry in the Rabbit Peak register was dated 8 days prior. It was a surreal experience being the only person around for miles, enjoying the desert views and witnessing an amazing sunrise and sunset alone. It washed away all thoughts of the mundane things in life and gave me a chance for deep contemplation. The Santa Rosa mountains are a true gem, providing solitude in the midst of bustling Southern California. I will definitely come back again. Total stats: 22.9mi, 8300ft gain/loss, 14h 37mins, 50% use-trail, 50% cross country.

3:45am - Started from the parking lot on north side of Borrego-Salton Seaway (S22) at call box S22-319, near the 32 mile marker. Followed HPS Villager Peak route across the desert floor and up the ridge leading to Villager Peak.

4:18am - Arrived at the base of the ridge, found a well-defined use-trail. The trail exists almost the entire way up to Villager, except for a few rocky areas. The compacted dirt made walking very easy.

7:42am - Arrived at 4,900' elevation. This is where I turned east last year to climb Mile High Peak, Rosa Point, and Pyramid Peak. This time I stayed on the ridge to continue on to Villager Peak

8:42am - Reached Villager Peak. Strong winds and updraft created a cloud around the peak, so visibility was limited. Previous summit register entry was dated 2/18/2017. I stopped 30 mins for food and enjoyed the view. There are plenty of spots to camp near the summit, but one would have to carry all his/her water up.

9:14am - Departed Villager Peak, continued along the ridge towards Rabbit Peak. There are many ups and downs along the ridge so that even though Rabbit is only 900ft taller than Villager, one has to climb roughly 3,100ft for the round trip. I tried to minimize elevation gain/loss by going around the bumps along the ridge, but the side hilling and bushwacking actually made movement slower. It's better to just go over the bumps.

10:53am - Passed over Peak 5859, which is marked on the USGS map. It is one of the more prominent bumps along the ridge

11:27am - Started the final 900ft ascent to Rabbit Peak. At this point, I still had lots of energy and felt disappointed that this hike wasn't more challenging despite the hype.

12:00pm - Arrived at Rabbit Peak! I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude since Rabbit had been on my wish list for a long time! The summit was very windy and cold, and completely enshrouded in clouds, but I didn't care! I found the summit register under a large boulder and signed my name. Since my friends Kay and Su would be attempting this peak on 3/11/2017, I wrote a message to them. The last person to sign the register did so on 2/12/2017. I stayed for 30mins and had lunch.

12:34pm - There were several other boulders which looked like they might be taller than the one with the register under it. I made sure to stand on each one before reversing my track to Villager. The journey back seemed much longer than before.

1:27pm - Back at Peak 5859

2:52pm - Back at Villager Peak.

5:54pm - Reached the bottom of the ridge and started crossing the desert floor. Found a decent use-trail most of the way. I was hoping to make it back to the car before sunset, but it turned out to be too optimistic.

6:23pm - Arrived at the parking lot. Chatted with a guy who said he'd done the Villager - Rabbit - Dawn's - Toro - Santa Rosa traverse over the course of 3 days. Sounds like fun! Maybe next time!
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Part of Trip: Villager & Rabbit Peaks

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Villager Peak2017-02-20 a 
2Rabbit Peak2017-02-20 b 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Derek Tse
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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