Rosa Point, Indian Head
By: Gary Craig
It has been difficult to schedule successful trips this year, especially during the winter months, due to all of the rain. Greg Roach, my co-leader, called me well in advance of our original date to ask if we could move the trip date one week later (to the February 26-27 date) due to a conflict he had with a WTC outing. I agreed, and it was very lucky that I did. The President's Day weekend saw severe rain throughout Southern California, but our new weekend saw clear skies, reasonable temperatures, and the desert starting an incredible flower bloom.
We had a round trip of a bit more than ten hours on Rosa Point from the standard trailhead on S-22 following the routes described in the Peaks Guide. Many varieties of flowers were encountered on our climb; one of particular note was the Desert Lily of which we found several nice specimens on the alluvial fan at the start of the hike. We climbed Rosa via the "B" variation and descended via the "A" variation described in the Guide. Skies were we reached the ridgeline leading northeast. The crest of the ridge provided much easier walking than the slope out of the canyon, with only a few rocky bumps to negotiate. This ridge merges with Indianhead's main northwest ridge near a saddle, where we turned right and followed the northwest ridge to the summit. There are a few spots requiring some devious route-finding on this final ridge to avoid large blocks; at one point we found a slanting tunnel leading between two slabs. We made the summit in good order for lunch, more photos, and well-deserved relaxing.
Our descent from the summit went slowly but well. The upper portions of the route are not technically difficult but the terrain is steep and demands constant attention. We all negotiated this section without incident. When just above the main canyon, a few of us in the group spotted a few bighorn sheep on the left (when facing downhill) side of the canyon, browsing and moving slowly uphill. We stopped for a few moments to watch and take photos. The entire group re-united (after getting a bit spread out on the descent) upon reaching the trail in the main canyon, and returned to the vehicles with a round-trip time of about seven hours.
Thanks to co-leaders Greg and Mirna Roach for coleading this outing. Others participating were Dave Boyle, Dave Baldwin, Elaine Baldwin, Spencer Berman, Gloria Miladin, Dan Simon, Pete Yamagata, and Harry Langenbacher.
Congratulations to all for completing these physically demanding climbs.
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