Saturday, December 07, 2013

Villager Peak Hike

I did my first hike with the local Sierra Club chapter up to Villager Peak.  After reading about the Villager and Rabbit Peaks in Schad, I have wanted to hit these peaks. However, the trip seems pretty daunting due to the lack of an established trail.  Having a guided trip was the perfect solution.
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.

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