The hope was to summit four different peaks today; Mt. Tule, Red Hill, Mine Benchmark, and Ghost Mountain. With the recent storm, the surrounding mountains were covered in snow, and I knew I might have issues along the 8. So, I actually left a little later than usual to allow the roads to be clear. Even so, I still saw a car on its side, most probably due to the road conditions.
First up was Mt. Tule out by McCain Valley, near Boulevard. Instead of parking where I did last time, I turned onto MV052 and continued a bit further. I figured 15 minutes couldn’t hurt since I had a full dance card. It was cold enough for ice to form a thin layer on the puddles in the road. A light dusting of snow appeared to be atop Mt. Tule as well. Grabbing my warmer gear, I set off. At the road’s end, I spotted a use trail to the southern edge of the turnaround. This trail quickly led me up to the northern peaklet. As I got closer, more and more snow was on the ground. A familiar crunch sounded under my boots as I began working to the southernmost peak.
What a wonderful way to start the day, atop a snow-capped peak and some incredible views. I signed the register and found the two reference marks, but had no luck finding the main mark.
With three more peaks to attempt, I did not have time to dawdle. Retracing my snowprints, I found the use trail again and made my way down. #91 was in the bag!
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.