As part of my 100 Peaks Challenge Reboot, I am hiking these peaks again. Since my planned peak had a forecast of 25-35 mph winds, with possible gusts to 50 mph, it decided to look for other options. So, a set of peaks in the Laguna Mountains fit the bill. In gathering my route information, I looked a bit closer at what Ben and I hiked. Now that I am a bit more seasoned in map reading, I realized that while we had hiked a loop along the Pine Mountain Trail, we actually did not approach the actual mountain.
It turns out that when the Pine Mountain Trail intersects with the dirt road, instead of going straight, you should hang a right onto the road.
The road had been recently graded, as there were no ruts to be found. The road headed north, then turn west as it gently climbed upward. Once I passed enough of the brush, I left the road and began heading south across the open forest floor.
The crunch of the leaves under my feet was a sound I had not heard in a while, as for the past few months I had been hiking in Anza-Borrego. I soon found myself at the top of this gentle summit, sat on a log, and enjoyed a short snack. While the pine trees gave me some nice shade, there really is not any view. I knew this summit would be both benchmark and register-free, so I retraced my steps and returned to the car.
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.