Arrowmaker Ridge

Peak Name: Middle Peak
Distance: 1.9 miles
Date: June 29, 2019
Summit: 4,740 feet

Update: Have been informed that this peak is now off-limits. It lies within the Pilcha (West Mesa) Cultural Preserve, and since there is no trail it should not be accessed. The replacement peak is now Paradise Mountain.

After completing my last hike for the 2018-2019 Coast to Crest Challenge earlier in the day, I decided to squeeze in summiting Arrowmaker Ridge. I had hoped to do it when I did my Cuyamaca loop, but time was running short and I had a 50th birthday to get to.

After refueling at Wynola Pizza, I drove down to the West Mesa trailhead and headed out. The trail initially follows the Japacha Fire Road and goes steady upward. At the intersection with the West Mesa Fire Loop Road, it was time to leave the trail and head cross country.

I had generated a route from Google Earth to guide me once I left the fire road. Rather than a direct approach to the summit, I crossed the meadow then kept to the southeast side of the ridge which had far less vegetation according to the satellite imagery.

For the most part, this route worked great. The summit is anti-climatic, there is no register nor Benchmark. But if you are working on this challenge, this summit is a perfect one to test out your cross-country navigation skills.

I found my way back down, with a few false starts, I crossed back through the meadow. Unfortunately, my boots and socks were covered in cattails. I picked out the worst of them, but really wished I wore my gaiters.

I hustled my way back to the car, as I realized I forgot to hang up my Adventure Pass. Thankful, no nasty gram was on windshield. I shed my boots and socks and drove home. This was peak #43!

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