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Ascent of Rabbit Peak on 2010-10-21

Climber: Amin Faraday

Date:Thursday, October 21, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rabbit Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:6640 ft / 2023 m

Ascent Trip Report

***Sierra Club HPS-Led Hike

Leaders: Mars Bonfire, Dave Comerzan

Peaks: Villager Peak (5756') and Rabbit Peak #2 (6640+) in that order.

Stats: 21 miles RT, +8,300' gain via Route #1

Time Start: 4:06 AM
Time Summit Villager: 10:00 AM (5 hr 54 min to summit)
Time Leave Villager: 11:00 AM
Time Summit Rabbit: 1:13 PM (2 hr 13 to summit from Villager)
Time Leave Rabbit: 1:17 PM
Time Back @ Villager: 4:47 PM (3 hr 30 min since leaving Rabbit)
Time Finish: 8:55 PM (me)
Total time: 16 hr 49 min

Notes:
1) I signed out of the group after summitting Villager to get back to the car sooner.

2) Clouds rolled in as I was making my way along the ridgeline from Villager to Rabbit. Visibility very limited due to the low-lying clouds. Trick is to stick to the ridgeline (close to the cliff's edge) to stay on path in such situations. Use trails came and went between the two peaks.

3) Coming back from Rabbit I lost my track and went too far East down the wrong ridgeline (HPS Route #2 it turns out). Very heavy fog so I was unable to discern which way to go. Only my compass (bearing set for West) helped me get back to the main Rabbit-Villager ridgeline. I tried to contour at 5700' as much as possible to avoid any unnecessary ups/downs. Got to the saddle right before the steep slope to Rabbit at 2:17 PM and waited a while thinking I should hike back with the group. I chose to continue after many minutes waiting once the clouds started to clear south of me.

4) At 6:30 PM, I had to use my headlamps. By then, I was at the 3700' foot contour.

5) I missed the big cairn structure signifying the start/end of the switch-backed use trail down to the desert floor. I was too far West, but you need to follow the route drawn on the topo map and stay much further East. You'll run into a use trail leading to this cairn.

6) Once on the desert floor, easy to miss ducks and use trails. Just aim for the leftmost end of the Lute (easy to see this when there's a Full Moon). If you can setup strobe lights (at least 2) on your car dashboard and place sun protector behind them (to reflect the light) that'd be the best way to ensure you end up at your cars. Mars did this with his truck and it worked great for me and them!!

7) Dayhike to both summits highly recommended during a Full Moon and cool weather (50s, 60s). We had 50s the whole day - perfect!!

8) I took 4 L of water (3 L mixed with Emergen-C) and 2 L of Gatorade . Dropped 1 L of water at about 3,000' so had 5 L of fluids left. Only drank 2.5 L of fluids from trailhead to Rabbit back to saddle (leading up to Rabbit). Once I got to the cars, I had drank 4 L. Next time I'll bring 5 L max assuming weather is in the 50s.

9) Make sure to bring your map and compass and know how to use them.

10) If you can, best to finish both summits and be back at the cars before it gets dark. Ideal time would be to do this late October or late March when days are longer relative to the other times possible (November - February). And even then, go when there's a Full Moon (assuming clear skies, of course) and temperatures are cool (50s, 60s).
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Mostly Sunny then Clouds, 50s, low winds (if any)



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