Harbinger Road Hill Trip Report

unnamed hill immediately adjacent to I-8 (1,958 ft)

Every time I drove west on Interstate 8 just past Alpine I saw this hill sitting straight in front of me - with a jeep road zigzagging its way to the top along the east face.

The opportunity to climb this unnamed hill came when I was slated to fly with Edward Earl at 9 AM on Sunday February 9, 2002 for a reconaissance of Pine Mtn near Ramona as part of the planning for a future hike. You see, I wanted a short-duration ascent so as to finish with allowance made for returning to Montgomery Field by the appointed time.

I arrived at the base around 5:45 AM just as first light was visible on the eastern horizon. Too dark to find the winding road, I began my hike at 6:03 AM and walked the paved road at the hill's base back-and-forth without success in finding a route that took me to the jeep road and yet did not require trespassing through somebody's property.

Thereby I simply headed up the slope in a straight line, noting that by simply geometry my route necessarily would intersect the jeep road at some point beyond where property access was a concern.

Having found the jeep road by this means, I continued up it until within some 150 horizontal feet of the summit ridge - whence a trivial walk to each of three boulders each being a contender for the tippy top.

Enjoyed the sunrise from my perch at 6:45 AM - with the interstate freeway due east and seemingly running into my location were it not for taking a sharp turn to the northwest so as to skirt around the hill.

Beautiful morning light. Spied a dirt road leading from the north to a 1,000+ ft prominence located perhaps a mile or two to the southwest. The road leads to the very top and would appear to be the ideal approach for a future ascent of said mountain.

Returned to car within 20 minutes of leaving the summit.

Later that morning Edward Earl and myself encounterd severe clear air turbulence while encircling (3 X) Pine Mountain for a future attempt. I took notes while Edward flew. It was an unsettling experience since the wind was in control of our plane rather than us.