Villager Peak, Rabbit Peak #2
By: George Tucker
Leaders: George Tucker, Frank Dobos
14 Villagers headed north from the parking area 14.7 miles west of Salton City intersection at 10AM, on a clear day with a moderate temperature. We found a genuine trail leading up the toe of the ridge. Two who were not in adequate condition weakened after 3000 feet or so, but fortunately Richard Fritzen was available to help them along while the rest went ahead to locate a campsite. We reached a good ridgetop site at twilight's last gleaming. A small group diverged to a site in the trees for wind protection.
12 Wabbiteers hopped up Saturday morning at 7AM over one bump, over Villager, and on to Big Rabbit. It was another pleasant day with one band of clouds slicing straight northwest oblivious of topography. Someone had done Villager from Clark Lake in three hours a couple of weeks before. I never did figure out why it takes six hours roundtrip between Villager and Rabbit (six miles, 3000' feet gain and loss, straight-forward ridge route). We had a pleasant lunch on Rabbit and replaced the register can.
Coming back from Rabbit, we discovered a smoldering campfire, explaining the smell detected when outbound. Someone (Al White?) had earlier mentioned poachers- a possibility. Martha Flores and helpers put it out. Fearless leader skillfully dived head-first down some rocks shortly after getting sight of camp, but declined a promising career as a diving instructor.
Whatever time we broke camp (2:30?) was too late. Richard got a head start with the slower people; the rest of us caught up halfway down as the third planet interposed itself between us and the nearest star. Bob Emerick headed off to Rosa point in the meantime. The cholla content of the boots and legs increased after dark. Pam Teichman decided she preferred to overnight on the ridge- around 2500 feet. The remaining "Dirty Dozen" went gradually far to the right (against Frank's advice), then contoured left to the trail down to the toe, found a good trail heading directly to the toe of the east-west ridge below, then headed for a light that was propitiously positioned at the parking area by persons unrelated to us. We arrived near 9PM, still warm. Bob and Pam got back the next day without incident.
Borrego Springs has one good restaurant open until IOPM, Jimbo's in the shopping center. Good Soup. Oh My God Hot Spring was Road Warrior City, a dirtbiker hangout well into the night. Novel twist- the guy with the gyrocopter crashed while we were gone.
No one else wanted to climb Indianhead the next day, so it was cancelled. A couple of us went on our own, joined by Jim Haggarty of Thermal. Donna 0. left early. We took the gentle back ridge; Donna took more direct and adventurous routes. No problems. Nice walk.
If anyone wants to lead Villager and Rabbit as a two day backpack in the future, I would emphasize preparation for return after dark, screen people better beforehand and turn them back even at the trailhead if not in shape, and be prepared to pull out cholla. Personally, I would prefer to include Rosa Point in a three day trip.
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