Shay Mountain, Little Shay Mountain, Ingham Peak, Deer Mountain, Hawes Peak, White Mountain #2, Little Bear Peak, Delamar Mountain, Arctic Point
By: Alan Coles
Leaders: Alan Coles, Martin Feather
Seven participants and 2 leaders met at 7:30 am on a cold autumn morning near the entrance to Big Pine Flats Campground north of Big Bear Lake. After waiting for about 20 minutes for any late members, we left some cars at 2 campsites and carpooled in the others over to the Hawes Ranch site. The last drop down to the trailhead is steep and not recommended for 2 wheel drive vehicles. There we met Paul Freiman from San Diego who had inconveniently locked himself out of his car.
It was even colder at Hawes Ranch, so we got going very fast straight up the ridge towards Little Shay with a "tap tap tap" sound emanating below us. The temperature rose by about 40 degrees in about 10 minutes and we quickly changed into shorts and short sleeves. We were all on top of Little Shay shortly after 9. Paul joined us shortly later after using a "universal" key to gain entry into his car.
From Little Shay, we went over to hapless Ingham, then back over and up to Big Shay; reaching the summit around 11 am. The temperature was getting quite warm by this time.
From Big Shay, we cross-countried down the SW ridge towards the gully that is the take-off point for Deer. This works fairly well except for some rocks and brush in the bottom of the gully. A deer antler was found but no one wanted to carry it as the deer hunters were in abundance.
We met the trail at the duck which marks the traditional take off point for Deer. We followed the gully down to where it begins to turn left (south) then ascended up and over the shallow saddle to the south of bump 5805'. (Old Deer) The peak guide says to continue in the gully but this is not a very good route. From the saddle, we headed almost due west towards the summit crossing a deep ravine which, on second thought, was not the best route. We reached the top around 1 pm and had a late and somewhat warm lunch.
On the way back, we took a much easier route that is by far the best way to do this peak. (See directions below.) Once back on the trail, we put our feet on auto-pilot and returned back to Hawes Ranch by 4 pm.
Only Bob Michael declined to do Hawes as he had leg cramps from the heat. The rest raced with what energy was left and after many false summits, reached the final one around 4:45.
We got back to the campground around 6 pm and immediately began the important task of dinner. A community salad was enjoyed by all. Although we had a campfire ring, no one seemed interested in starting one. Once dinner was over, everyone welcomed a good nights sleep.
Sunday morning, we met at 7 am on the new time with 3 fewer participants. Keith, Paula and Paul left Saturday evening. Using Bob and Erik's 4WD's, we managed to get within 1/2 mile of White. This is a rough road for even them and 2 WD vehicles should not drive more than 1.4 miles past Big Pine Flat. The register on top of White has been vandalized by off-roaders, but it is probably pointless to replace it.
We returned to the campground and drove all the vehicles for the remaining peaks which were Little Bear, Delemar, and Arctic Point. With the warm weather and the rich fall colors of Black Oaks, it was decided to do these peaks instead o the lower desert summits of Round, Luna and Rattlesnake. Arctic was a nice summit, cool and remote and seemed an appropriate place to end the weekend.
Many thanks to all participants: Janet Phun, Hoda Shalaby, Erik Siering, Bob Michael, Keith Martin, Paula Peterson, Deloris Holladay, and Paul Freiman, and to Martin for making it a good trip.
Directions for Deer: Follow the peak guide to where you leave the trail. Follow the gully west to where it prominently turns south in 1/4 mile. Leave the streambed and go up and over the shallow saddle SE of 5805'. Contour west towards the small saddle at 55W and follow the ridge. Stay on deer trails on the south facing side down to elevation 53W Avoid the large rocks in the saddle here by going right about 100' and following a good path through a grassy area. Rejoin the ridge at the base of Deer and follow it to the summit. About 45 minutes from the trail.
Note: The Muddy Spring Trail (2W02) is now closed to motorcycles. A New fence and barricade have been constructed by the forest service.
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