By: Bob Cates


At 7:00 am, with the temperature already beginning to soar, 12 addled Individuals gathered around the desert pup fish pond at the west end of the Borrego-Palm Canyon Campground. It was obviously going to be a cooker of a climb today on Indianhead's sunny south ridge. My only solace was that anyone, including the leader, who would show up In this kind of weather deserved to have his or her brain fried.

On previous occasions I have found the slopes directly above the palm oasis to be hazardous due to rockfall. This time we found an excellent route starting about a hundred yards downstream of the main grove. A prominent water metering device stands at the base of the slope. HOT! HOT! HOT! I felt like Sisyphus, condemned to my corner of Hell, forever rolling a huge boulder to the top of the mount, only to have it roll down again. There were times I wished I could roll myself down this mount. Nevertheless, the high-angle friction slabs were overcome and the summit reached by the last climber (the leader, of course!) at 11:00 am.

While recovering on the summit, in commemoration of the leader's third, and LAST, ascent of Indianhead, he was presented a solid brass Indian Head belt buckle by Maureen Schmidt, who was commemorating her second, and LAST, ascent. The group was led down the Class 2 route by Ron Fracisco and Jon Inskeep. Three of us stayed behind to regain our appetites, and to enjoy a more leisurely descent, arriving at the parking area at 3:15 pm, hoping never to see another boulder. . . at least until next weekend.

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