Stage Triangulation Point Trip Report

Stage TP (2,816 ft)

Date: January 1, 2004

Located in the Tierra Blanca Range at (32.9150° N, 116.2847° W), this summit on the San Diego County 1,000+ foot prominence list was the first target of Edward Earl and myself for calendar 2004.

As a low-elevation desert climb, Stage TP was an appropriate venue for New Year's Day. We drove east on highway 79, and Edward stopped at Santa Ysabel to purchase his standard treat - three eighteen ounce packages of Dudley's Fruit Bars. This time at my request he bought a fourth package for me at $2.85. Each package comes with six three-ounce raisin and spice fruit bars, and they go great with just about anything - chocolate bits, tea, peanut butter, you-name-it!!

Edward Earl may have been Dudley Bakery's first customer of the year since he made the purchase at 8:02 a.m. - just two minutes after they opened for business.

We descended into the desert and began the ascent at 9:21 a.m. under clear skies. Rather than head straight up the eastern ridge, Edward chose to walk up the gently-sloped gully on the north side, which then turned south by the time it curved around the northwest side of the peak. We then ascended the northwest slopes, under increasing (but unthreatening) high clouds that presaged the arrival of a frontal boundary.

The elevation gain was about 1,700 feet and we topped-out at 11:20 a.m. - 1 hour 59 minutes including one break a thousand feet below the summit.

I enjoyed sesame-date spread on wheat bread - an Israeli confection that I had been looking forward to trying for about one month since I received it as part of a large gift of food when visiting my parents at that time. A ruby red grapefruit was refreshing. I had forgotten to bring the hot vindaloo curry paste to have with my salted peanuts in-the-shell. So I winded up having them with garlic salt.

We descended the obvious eastern ridge, leaving the summit at 12:06 p.m. and arriving at Edward's blue pickup truck 1 hour 37 minutes later at 1:43 p.m. - including one "official" break perhaps two-thirds of the vertical distance down.

I rate this climb as high class 2 owing to some bouldering on the high slopes.

In the afternoon we scouted out a pair of 1,000+ foot prominence peaks for our future enjoyment, located near highway 76 on the way home - including Pala Mountain.

At Pala I enjoyed a sixteen ounce hot chocolate to go with a Dudley's Fruit Bar. It was a real treat - as much so (for my sake) as the summit. That evening, back at home, I enjoyed much wholesome food to compensate for a day of "just" sweets.