Granite Mountain #2, Whale Peak, Boucher Hill
By: Patty Kline
Leaders: Patty Mine, Frank Goodykoontz
We met at 8:00 am on Saturday morning at Scissors Crossing in San Diego County. There were 12 of us on this crisp, clear winter day.
We then drove to the Granite roadhead. Frank led the way while I swept. Half way up the ridge to Granite we were buzzed by a military sleek, black bomber. I heard air rushing over the wings, then the deafening roar of the jets as I instinctively hugged the ground. It scared me and everyone else on the hike. After one plenty heavy duty bushwhack. we reached the summit area. It had some high second class rock scrambling on it. We all had lunch on top at 5633 feet. We made it out to the cars about 4:00 pm.
Two people went home, leaving us a group of 10. We decided to camp at the Whale roadhead. A great happy hour with the usual chips, dips, beer and wine was there. Some fantastic goodies were provided by Frank Goodykoontz via his wife, -Hazel. She made great meat and tortilla rolls, even though she didn't attend this outing. After all this I didn't need dinner.
Whale is one of the most navigationally difficult peaks on the list. Frank led us effortlessly to the top as usual. This was his 9th ascent He became the first person to finish the list 8 times on Whale December 19, 1993. Carleton Shay became the 7th person to finish the list on this peak on December 22, 1993. We enjoyed reading their names in the register. Lunch was an the 5349 foot summit.
Next on the agenda was Hot Springs Mountain. We found out ahead of time by a phone call to the man in charge that private access was not being granted the month of January. Boucher Hill at 5438 feet was substituted. It took about an hour to drive over there. This is a very scenic drive ending in a fragrant forest. You can no longer drive to the top of Boucher Hill. Either walk down the gated road or take the "Foot Trail". We took the trail. It was great hiking the 3 miles round trip through the forest. There was 3000 feet of gain. One of the towers on the partially paved summit emitted a piercing noise. This effectively kept people a fair distance from the towers.
Thank you Frank for leading another excellent weekend with me. Those participating were Lihu Chiu, George Schroedter, Bob Emerick, Don Board, John Connelly, Cyndi Runyan, Mike Runyan, Bernhard Mayer, Peter Doggett and Wayne Norman. Bart Bartlow joined us for day 2.
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