By: Fran Smith
Fifth year for Fran's Frolic up Rabbit Peak. Probably due to the gasoline situation, there were on-half the usual number of interested participants, and one-half the usual number of climbers that showed up. Meeting place was AVE 74 which made it an easy matter of caravaning in to the roadhead. Easy, that is, except for where the "used-to-be" road leaves the levee to go one-half mile to the parking area. Only three cars were used to get in this year, because the road has really deteriorated.
Shortly after dawn (still a dawn to dusk climb), twelve starters headed up the alluvial fan trail, into and up the large canyon to the left, over a headwall, up fairly steep slopes not via trail, but back onto a trail up a steeper slope, and out onto a plateau where the two-day trips used to sleep overnight. Then the real Rabbit starts with the hardest elevation gain to an outcrop at the southeast end of Rabbit's ridge, and on up the ridge for the final thousand feet of gain to the summit. Two climbers failed to make the peak, but might return next year for another try. One had successfully made the climb three of the previous four years with me but had leg problems this year. Two hours on the ridge were in clouds which came up the west slope driven by a cold wind. Ten signed the register and no time was wasted in starting back down to warmer and less breezy weather conditions. A new route was followed from the ridge outcrop straight down a steep rocky chute to the plateau. From the plateau, this route looks as though it would not go, but now we know it does with a few easy class three spots. Routine trail finished up the outing and all twelve people were back before dusk, but barely.
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