Martinez Mountain, Sheep Mountain, Asbestos Mountain, Santa Rosa Mountain
25 March 1989
By: David Eisenberg
Leaders: David Eisenberg, Luella Martin
Saturday, eleven of us who foolishly believed the US Weather Service prediction of "No rain" backpacked 3 miles, 400 feet of gain with 800 feet of loss to Horsethief Creek. David Jensen made our day by taking his truck (and our packs) to the trailhead making the backpack part of the trip only 2 miles. We took about 1/2 hour to purify water, load our day packs, and set up camp. We then dayhiked to Martinez where we had lunch. We took an alternate route up the ridge. The alternate route for Martinez was a vast improvement. Not only does it avoid the steep gully ascent (we saw just how bad it was when we came down) but it avoids most of the difficulty with navigation. The time is equivalent. It took us five hours to the summit from the trailhead - contrasted with the 5-6 hours predicted with the standard route. Not counting the 1/2 hour at the campsite, this route adds 1/2 mile to the route making a total of 8 1/2 miles.
CLIMBING INSTRUCTIONS (Alternate Route): From the Cactus Springs Trail approximatately 2 miles to the saddle labeled BM 5168 on the Martinez Topo. Go up the ridge to your left to summit of Martinez. Go around obstacles to the right.
From Martinez, we descended a steep gully with the intention of traversing to Sheep. Unfortunately, it began to rain, and we were forced to return to camp since Sheep was fogged in. Two participants "forgot" their tents and returned to their cars along with another who "wanted more peaks".
Sunday, the rain finally stopped leaving us with a beautiful sunrise and clear sky. After 12 hours in wet tents, we got an early start and we were back at the cars by 8:00AM.
Participants on Martinez also included Bob Field, Al Craun, Mickey Sharpsteen, Roger Linfield, Georgina Burns, Sylvia Sur, and Ray Wolfe.
Four hardy souls remained to do Asbestos Mountain. We took an hour to warm up and dry off, and then polished off Asbestos before lunch. The sky was clear allowing good views of Rabbit, Palm Springs, San Jacinto and others. Erich Fickle joined David, Georgina, Luella and myself for the peak.
Santa Rosa was unobtainable on account of the recent snowfall covering the peak so we got an early start home.
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