The Thimble (attempts)

Peak Name: The Thimble
Distance: 4.2 miles (including San Ysidro)
Date: March 9, 2019
Summit: 5,779 feet

Update: I successfully summited The Thimble! See this post for the full details.

After summiting San Ysidro, we could see The Thimble below us. Clouds drifted in and out, hiding its rocky face. We looked at various route options and discussed the conditions and risks. We are both experienced hikers, but we took careful stock of options. What if the conditions turn into a whiteout, can we navigate out? Will we be able to scale the rocks at the base of The Thimble? What about the actual route to the top?

In the end, we decided to work our way toward it, and honestly look at it and decided then if we would actually try to reach the top. We headed back down toward the gully, all the while looking at the conditions in the sky and on the peak. We cut across toward the northwest side. Eventually, our route was blocked by car-plus size boulders that were too icy to deal with. We looped around to the east side to see what we might find.

I had no problem saying “Not today”, as did Susie. We poked around the base of The Thimble, as we did not have the full route information for it (turnout we sort of did). But as we looked at it closer, we both decided that attempting the final push to the top would not be wise. The conditions on the top were going to be dangerous and not worth the risk. So, with that, we dropped back down to the gully. Along the way, a massive fly-by of Painted Ladies passed us. We stopped and just watched them flutter past.

As we worked our way back to the car, we noticed all the trash we missed when we had started. Next time, I will pack a large trash bag to do some cleanup.

For me, both peaks are now crossed off my list, although I might be able to attempt The Thimble again soon with another 100 Peak Challenger who loves that summit.


Gail Welch, another 100 Peak Challenger, loves this summit, so we swapped me driving her out to do Pinyon Mountain, and then out to Ranchita to try The Thimble.

Sadly, just as we approached the final rocky summit, we got hit with rain and sleet, so we waved off the attempt.

I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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