Ascent of Sugarloaf on 2018-01-31

Climber: Marcus Lostracco

Date:Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:2087 ft / 636 m

Ascent Trip Report

I set out to witness the full-moon supermoon lunar eclipse with my friend Alex - we intended on being on the summit of Santiago Peak for the eclipse (at 5:30am). We left Carlsbad at 3:30am, and when we got to Orange County on our way to Santiago Peak on Trabuca Canyon Rd around 4:30am, we ran into a bunch of police cars stopped and with all the police out with their guns drawn pointed at a flipped car... this must have just happened since they had done nothing to block the road and they were very much in "situation mode"... we were the first on the scene and we just sat there and watched for a bit. Really crazy. Then some more police came and we were told it was going to be a while and we should turn around.

We had to come up with a Plan B, still shaken up by this crazy incident. We would find a trailhead off of Ortega Hwy and just start making our way up. We didn't find a real trail, it turned out, more of a bushwhack. Headlamps on, and climbing, on our way up the eclipse was in full effect. The Moon was entirely red. And then we see a pair of glowing green eyes staring back at us. This was definitely a mountain lion. It was probably 80 yards away. We continued our upward bushwhack checking back to look at the cat - it continued to watch us as we carried on.

We found a summit registry at the top of our bushwhack for Peak 1480. I wrote in it and mentioned the police standoff and the blood supermoon eclipse. We then didn't quite know what to do so I pulled out my phone and we analyzed the topo maps. It looked like if we continued bushwhacking down the ridge it would connect with a trail. The bushwhacking was hard work - spiny stuff everywhere and it was fairly dense. We were very grateful when we got on the main trail. The Old San Juan trial is a really nice singletrack trail with some superb views.

Orange County gained some points in our books today
Summary Total Data
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Old San Juan Trail
Descent Statistics

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