Villager Peak, Rabbit Peak #2

6-7 December 1969

By: Les Stockton


Leaders: Les Stockton, Bernie Petitjean, Paul Lipsohn

Friday night the stalwarts began arriving at the Sandy Desert roadhead. Three unwary souls, amid the jeers of their peers proceeded to dig in their cars before bedding down.

At the 7:30 starting time, 33 zealots proceeded across the well-ducked washes with young Jones as scout. After mounting the primary ridge, the route is long, steady, and continually rising over rock, cactus, gravel, scree, and desert pavement. The route is easy to follow if you hold to the primary ridge and keep Clarke Lake in view at all times.

We split out the one-day group going to Villager, with Bernie Petitjean leading. These twelve moved out steadily and reached Villager about noon. The backpackers, eating lunch at 5400', bid the one-dayers "Bon Voyage" as they passed on their way down. We camped just below the summit on a level-gravely saddle.

Your leader had made a tactical mistake by mentioning the possibility that Rabbit could be climbed on Saturday if we reached the campsite before 2:00 p.m. Thirteen climbers took advantage of this offer and hastened to Rabbit, knowing they would be returning in the dark.

The week before the climb, I had packed up five gallons of water on the assumption that the climb would be warm. Not needing it, we transferred two gallons to Rabbit so that Fran Smith could utilize it on his one-day climb the following week.

Sunday morning the remainder of the group climbed Rabbit after making certain that the Saturday climbers were well awake.

The weather was wonderful, but the trip was long although everyone was back to the cars by 4:30 p.m. Paul Lipsohn scouted (with backpack) the peaks on the adjoining ridge for possible peak inclusion. He arrived back at the camp at dusk, after completing 8000' of gain.

A fun trip, tough in length, but the easy way for two peaks (one desert emblem).


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