Rabbit Peak


By: Bill Henderson


Hikers clambered all over this potent advisory last weekend, - at least it was conquered from two directions. Jerry Zagorites, leading a group from San. Diego consisting of Jerry Hall, assistant leader, Gene Vinson, Barbara Lilley, and guests Sam Williams, Roger Gump, and Joe Levine, climbed Rabbit from Clark's Well by the route used by 25 Sierra Club members in 1948. Fritz Sloman and Peggy Cullins, arriving too late to join Jerry's group, struck out on their own. Without maps or any knowledge of the mountain they made the summit from the south by a longer, but probably much easier route.

Jerry's group started their back-pack at 9:00 A.M. Saturday morning. At 2:30 they made camp at the foot of the main steep ridge on the west side of Rabbit Peak. Leaving camp at 6:15 the following morning they reached the summit at 8:35, thus requiring an actual climbing time of approx. 8 hours. Descent time was 6 hours.

And for flavor, add snow and fog
even worse than L.A. smog.
When it's so cold the fire freezes
and snow and sleet come on icy breezes,
Frozen Wild Rabbit.

From the poem, you can judge the weather!

Fritz and Peggy, not knowing the route Jerry was using, looked the mountain over and decided to try the south end. Using the Truckhavon road leading east from Borego, they drove to within a mile of a prominent ridge running due south of Rabbit peak. Their hike started from a point 10 miles airline south of the peak. A good camp spot was found at about 4000 ft. On Sunday they reached the summit around noon, just 2 hours after the San Diego group had departed. The actual climbing time was 8 hrs. or so.

This route had been given consideration before, but had not been used because it was twice as long as the Clark Wall route. However, Fritz reports the terrain so gentle and ideal for walking, and the views from the ridge so impressive, that this route should be much preferred over the West route. A highlight of the trip for both parties was their sighting by each of a mountain sheep. Maybe the same one.

The party read the poem "Wild Rabbit" composed by Chester Versteeg, and left on the summit by the 1948 group, felt, poetic, and composed an extra verse, to wit:

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