Villager Peak, Rabbit Peak
By: Igor Mamedalin
This trip was advertised as a strenuous backpack along a ridge from the Anza-Borrego desert floor (~1,000') to the lofty summits of Villager (5,756') and Rabbit (6,640'). The word "strenuous" alone should have struck terror in the hearts of experienced desert rats -- not to mention the peak names. April Fools! Nonetheless, eight bleary eyed people gathered early Saturday morning to make a bid for the peaks; for two of the participants, Bob Hess and Joanne Sherry, this would be their first desert peak experience - for Joanne it would be her first Southern California peak experience.
Loaded down with sufficient water (8 quarts per person) the group trudged across the desert floor to the mouth of Rattlesnake Canyon. Here the northern ridge was gained after a brief scramble out of the Canyon. The morning was cool and a breeze fanned the hikers the whole distance along the ridge. The ridge climb turned into a pleasant stroll as everybody made it to the top of Villager in the early afternoon. As we basked in the sun around camp, four desert rats from San Diego arrived to share the views and the camp with us. The campfire did not last long, in fact none was made, that evening as people dozed off early in preparation for the final assault upon Rabbit in the coming morning.
Sunday, our group got an early start and headed along the ridge for Rabbit. Staying on the ridge one encounters a few unnecessary ups and downs but it beats side hilling around the bumps. The summit of Rabbit was gained around 10:30 AM and after admiring the wonderful views from it top, none, the group backtracked to camp crossing the path of the San Diego group along the way. After lunch, we broke camp and headed down along the ridge. At this point, Suzanne's $9.98 Sports Chalet bargain boots lived up to their reputation; her feet transformed into bruises and blisters deterred her progress. Fortunately, Bill Stevens brought along a pair of old bicycling shoes (for lounging around camp) which he loaned to Suzanne. To Suzanne's misery and our entertainment, a descent down a steep ball bearing strewn ridge through jumping cholla and barrel cactus garden in a pair of bald bicycling shoes is a worthy sight. Suzanne pledged to torch the $9.98 bargains at the next desert BBQ campfire. Despite this excitement, everyone made back to the cars with the sun still shining.
Everybody made both peaks and the fine backpack; we hope to see both Bob and Joanne on other desert outings as their first desert experience proved to be such a breeze. The other participants were: Tanya Mamedalin, and Don and Ursula Slager.
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