Sombrero Peak, Jacumba Mountain


By: Ron Fracisco


Twenty eight climbers met at 8:00 A.M. at the junction of S2 and S80 on Interstate 8 in Imperial County for a climb of Sombrero. The climbers consolidated cars and caravaned to the Bow Willow Campground in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The Bow Willow Canyon jeep road beyond the campground was washed out and was the channel for a running stream. So the climb began from the campground rather than from the end of the jeep trail. A short break was taken at the Sombrero Peak Palm Grove. The best approach to the summit from the Palm Grove is northwest of the grove to the ridge and southwest on the ridge to the summit. The approach west of the grove to the ridge and northwesterly on the ridge to the summit is laden with brush. Eighteen climbers made the summit and all climbers returned to the campground by 8:30 P.M.

We caravaned to a place of encampment which placed us in a convenient mode for the climb of Jacumba. (Driving west on Interstate 8 we took the IN-KO-PAH County Park turn off.) We turned left, drove up the hill and went under the freeway to the left at the first opportunity. We made a right turn and drove to the top of the hill. There is a dirt road at the top of the hill which parallels the freeway on the south side. We took that road, turned right at the first opportunity and crossed back under the freeway. Not far up this road we camped, ate and slept.

At 6:00 A. M. the climbers were awakened by the song bird, Lois Fracisco, giving us her rendition of 0-0-0-0-OH, What A Beautiful Morning.

Around 7:00 P.M. all caravaned up the road to a point where it made a 3 way fork. The left hand fork was taken to a point where the road steepened. All but the four wheel drives parked. Then four wheel drives ferried the climbing party down the road to a point where it turned east, away from the peak. We gained the main ridge of Jacumba from the east and followed it to the summit.

From the Summit the ridge was followed back to the saddle below pk 4224 and the canyon to the east was descended. We left the canyon somewhere between the 3400 and 3000 contour lines and proceeded cross country in a southeasterly direction to the cars which were rendered at 3:30 P.M. The party caravaned out to the freeway and many made a get-away for home.

Meanwhile, "in another part of town", because he took a civilization break for dinner, Claudius Maximus never found the sky glow from our camp fires. So presumably he camped without the climber's fellowship in the new RV campground shown at Dubber Spur/Arsenic Spring on the 15" Jacumba topo. The campground road is taken from the Jacumba exit on Interstate 8. His approach followed the Old Mine road to the quarry. The trip was 4 miles total. It took him 2 hours and 5 minutes to get to the summit. He was off the mountain by 10:30 A.M.

The Summit needs a register can. We left a register in a glass mayonnaise jar.

The trip was leisurely paced as advertised, the climb of Sombrero taking roughly ten hours and the climb of Jacumba taking six.

The weather was ideal and the moon was nearly full. Baby Jessica and the coyotes joined in an antiphonal chorus which lent a special atmosphere to this experiential happening. So ended the 1st Annual Ron Fracisco Birthday climb.

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