Villager Peak Hike
The nine members of the group met at Kendall's Cafe in Borrego Springs at 6:00a. After breakfast (just coffee and chocolate milk for me), we headed out to the trailhead along S22.
The first part of the trail is quite flat as you cross a plain to get the "trail". The trail is started up the ramp via a series of switchbacks. It then leveled a bit for the next 5000' of elevation. There was a faint use trail and ducks for most of the way, but portions, especially along the knife edges were mostly cross-country.
After several false peaks, we finally got to the summit in 4.5 hours. All but one of us made it (the other stopped due to injury). After a lunch break, we headed down. Going down the step and rocky trail was at times more difficult than going up. My carpool partner and I made it down in 3 hours. The others came in over the next hour.
Overall, this is one of the most difficult day hikes I have been on. It is essentially 7 miles and 5000' feet straight up. One of the highlights was seeing a pair of bighorn sheep. Although it was a from a good distance, they were unmistakable as they cross a canyon wall. I enjoyed the hike to Villager, but don't intend on going back anytime soon.
See my track and pix here.