Bighorn Peak, Dragons Head
By: Joe Young
Leaders: Bob Thompson, Joe Young
Four hikers, including the leaders and Asher Waxman and David Reneric met at Baker's Square of Claremont at 6:00 am for a pre-hike breakfast. We had expected more hikers but there were several cancellations. It was at breakfast that we decided to add some peaks to the day's agenda, at least Ten K Ridge and Lake (via Pathfinder routes) and perhaps the unlisted Zahniser Pk. We all piled into Bob's Isuzu and drove out to the Fish Creek road head where met David Eisenberg at about 9:00 am. We again looked at maps and determined a route directly up Ten K ridge, and began our hike at 9:15 am under blue skies and cool breezes.
We hiked the Fish Creek trail for 45 minutes, then headed southwest up a ridge directly to the summit of Ten K Ridge. We arrived on its summit at 11:00, and stayed there only a short time. We then headed directly to Lake Pk, arriving there at noon, where we enjoyed our first brief lunch. From the summit of Lake we headed cross-country westerly, soon meeting the Sky High trail. We followed this trail over Mineshaft saddle, then up around the east and south face of San Gorgonio until we were even with the eastern boundary of Tosh's Tam, a flat, oval shaped and almost vegetationless sandy area perhaps a half mile long and a quarter mile wide. We dropped down 400 feet to the Tarn, then traversed the length of the Tam westerly and headed to the saddle just north of Dragon's Head. By 3:00 pm we had scramblec to the rocky summit of Dragon's Head and enjoyed a second lunch, and enjoyed views of the Yucaipa Ridge, Snow, Kitching, San Jacinto, San Gabriel and neighboring peaks, and Baldy and its nearby peaks. We also perused the register which recorded entries back to June 14, 1975, the exploratory hike led by Jim Cervenka and Walter Rossington.
After enjoying Dragon's Head we headed back across the Tam and then up to Bighorn, where similar spectacular views awaited us. A register similarly full of HPS names dating back to 1975 also awaited us. These peaks have been bagged many times over the past sixteen years by HPS members on both scheduled and unscheduled outings.
Now nearing 5:00 we headed down to the Tam and up 400' again to rejoin the Sky High trail. We retraced our steps back to Mineshaft saddle, then left the trail to bag Zahniser Pk. From its summit we headed easterly and rejoined the Fish Creek trail, and followed it to the Lake/Grinnell saddle. We then headed east down the Fish Creek trail to the Fish Creek roadhead, arriving at our vehicles at about 7:50 pm.
Four of us stopped at Uncle Howard's Pizza in Redlands, near Church and Lugonia (Highway 38) for a fine pizza and a pitcher of Moosehead beer. We scarfed heartily after a day which involved 18-20 miles and 5,000' of gain.
This had been a great day of peakbagging high Alpine peaks, bagging five peaks, not just the two advertised, and revisiting Bighorn and Dragon's Head, two of the best as-yet unlisted peaks in HPS territory.
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