Bruce, Sooz and Joe(me) at the start of our hike at 3,040 feet. There are a couple of ways to hike to Whale Peak. We decided to used the longer route with more gain starting out of Little Blair Valley.
Looking out of a rock cave that was right at the trailhead.
On the sandy trail that leads to the pictographs.
Bruce and Sooz at the pictographs.
Close up of some the pictographs.
Approaching the start of Smuggler Canyon.
This is where the trail ended and the climbing started.
Sooz on the rocks.
Bruce had a little slip on the rocks, he lived.
Hiking up this canyon was a series of short climbs on rocks, followed by short stretches of sand.
Looking back down the canyon.
Here we are climbing out of the canyon and heading towards Whale Peak.
Our campsite west of the peak.
A view from our campsite.
There were a lot of cactus in the area.
When the sun went down, it got cold fast. We had a small fire going to stay warm. We got lucky in that the Geminids meteor shower was happening this night. We saw a lot of them, some were really bright and even left trails.
Next morning, packed up and ready to climb to the summit.
A view of the peak from about 400 feet below. We dropped our packs here for the climb to the summit.
A view from a flat area just before the last climb to the peak.
This last section was steep.
Looking out from the steep section.
Group shot on the summit of Whale Peak at 5,349 feet.
The Whale Peak sign.
We found our entrees to the register from the last time we were here on 1/6/02. Mine was on the next page.
Rabbit and Villager Peaks to the east.
San Jacinto Peak to the north.
It was hazy, but it made for a nice effect.
We watched as clouds covered the Palomar Mountains.
Sooz with the summit's Geocache.
A look inside.
Found SanDiegoHiker Aka Billy Goat's entree in the logbook.
Another look at the hazy ridges before heading down.
Climbing down from the peak.
Back in Smuggler Canyon.
Out of the tight canyon and into the wash. Nearing the end to another fun weekend.