Woodson Mountain (via Ramona)

Since I am again working on the Six-Pack of Peaks challenge, I figured I would summit Mt. Woodson in the early evening to avoid most of the crowds. There were some cars along the side of the 67, but nothing like I have seen on the weekends. I grabbed my gear and set off up the service road.

As I made my way to the summit, I passed a few hikers heading back down. Since the route uses the service road, there is plenty of room to safely pass. Nearing the summit, I watched two climbers tackle an impressive crack.

Cresting the summit, I headed the short distance to the famous Potato Chip. I had no interest in scrambling out on it again. What I wanted to try was ascending the real summit block.

Looking up at the summit block

Just to the east of the towers is the summit block. Old trip reports spoke of a ladder, but that aid is long gone. Instead, a small rock pile serves as the only help now. I tried several times, but could not quite get myself up. I looked to see if there might be other rocks I could add, but there were none to be found. Instead, I decided to rotate the main rock and it gave me just enough to hoist myself up. With that little extra help, I was scrambling up the summit block! There I snapped the three reference marks and the benchmark itself! I had truly summited Mt. Woodson.

I headed back down, watching the evening glow spread across Ramona and the hills beyond.

Hopefully, I will be climbing Hot Springs Mountain on Friday for #5!


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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