Today’s summit was Bell Bluff, just south of Alpine. I did this peak back in early January of 2018 with Ted. I wanted to beat the heat, so I set out early, just after sunrise. The rope down to the riverbed is still holding strong. The marine layer hid the summit as I crossed the dry Sweetwater River and onto the single track that led off to the southwest.
I made great time along the trail as it gently worked its way toward the peak. The sun finally broke through as the marine layer began to retreat.
I missed the double cairns which mark the turn-off to the peak, but the detour was just a few minutes. The trail had some overgrowth, but it was still passable. Now the hard work would begin, as the trail would get incredibly steep.
After about a half-mile, I reached the summit again. I signed the register and took my photos. I tended to a hot spot on my heel before heading down. I briefly lost the path a few times but found it after some review of my ascent route.
I cruised back down the trail to the car, the day was starting to warm up, so my choice for the early start was a wise one. That was my 57th peak of my 100 Peak Challenge!
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.