Sunday, May 1, 2016

Army BM, Pike BM Summit, Pike BM

Hiked: 4/29/2016
Distance: 4.9 miles round trip cross country
Summit Elevation: 5491' (Army), 5640' (Pike BM Summit), 5571' (Pike BM)
Elevation Gain: 1700'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 1.36
Round trip time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Recommended water: 54 oz.
Parking/Fees: $10 Los Coyotes Reservation Day Hike Fee
Difficulty: Moderate

Pike BM was the one SDC peak we missed when hiking to the Palm Mesa high point. After visiting Ghost Mountain, I wanted to get Pike, which was sort of on the way home. I drove through the Los Coyotes Reservation back to the same starting point on Camino San Ignacio Road. This time, I went up the main wash until I reached what I call Burd's Pinnacle. [I checked with Bob to make sure he didn't object to the name.] The pinnacle stands at the high point of the wash before it descends into the North Fork of Borrego Palm Canyon. Bob Burd climbed it on his trip in 2010, and I thought I would give it a go, even though I hadn't planned on it. Looking at the route options, they all looked class 4 or higher to me. I went up along the right side, from the point of view of the camera, using a crack between two negative angle boulders. Spicy. The next challenge was to find Army BM (an unofficial peak) along the ridge leading to Pike BM Summit. There were at least three possible high points before Pike. The first one turned out to be Army BM, and involved some unexpected class 3. I didn't find a benchmark or register, so I continued to the next high point requiring more class 3, and more for the one after that. I figured my bases were covered and that one of the points I climbed was Army.

Main wash

Burd's Pinnacle

On Burd's Pinnacle

String of high points along the ridge to Pike, Army BM is the first one

Approaching Army BM

One of the other high points on the ridge to Pike

Pike BM Summit was more obvious and clearly the highest point. Eventually, I got there and found the register. There weren't very many signatures. Sadly, there was no pen or pencil in the register and I didn't have one with me so I couldn't add my own signature. I took some time to relax and enjoy the big views. I also emptied sand and pebbles out of my boots. As I started the descent toward Pike BM (a separate and lower point from the Pike BM Summit), I startled two mule deer who quickly bounced out of view. There was a wooden marker at the Pike BM, but I couldn't find the register or a benchmark. All the ridge scrambling had taken time, so I gave up on the idea of going back across the ridge to find Dry BM. Instead, I descended the gully down to Palm Canyon. I saw one of the deer I startled earlier heading up Cody BM across the canyon. They sure don't have any problems moving around in this terrain. I stayed in the canyon all the way out.

Pike BM Summit

Eric Su's entry

Deer below Pike BM

Pike BM marker

Descending the gully to the canyon, Cody BM ahead

Deer heading up Cody BM

Looking back up at Pike and Pike Summit

Returning along the main wash

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