Turtle's Beak (or should it be "Masochism Point"?)

Joined: 9:35 AM - Feb 12, 2014

9:27 PM - Aug 07, 2016 #1

I ended up more or less following the route that Sean, Cecelia and Henry took on their previous expeditions, so this will sound familiar.

I took Barrett-Stoddard road to Cascade Canyon. Cascade canyon is steep and is full of colorful (and loose) rock. It is also full of gnats, poison oak, some sort of stinging nettle and sharp blackberry bushes.



There're a lot of ripe berries, which was nice.



At around 5200ft I wanted a change of pace, so I took a right turn to climb directly up to Turtle's Beak. It got significanly more steep and loose, so the brush and gnats mostly disappeared.



After much sketchy scrambling, I summitted.



Any guesses about how many parties signed the register since Sean's last trip in April?

The views from Turtle's Beak are nice. And you can see the climb to point 7792, which is coming up:



It is a brushfest. I brought gardening gloves to handle the whitethorn, but they weren't thick enough. I also neglected to bring long pants, which is a tough lesson to repeatedly learn for some reason. While pushing through the whiterhorn I sought out the rocky islands, and nothing wakes you up quite like exposed 3rd class moves on unstable rock where you have to fight with sharp plants for holds.

From point 7792 the beak and the brush look like this:



In any case, at point 7729, everything changes immediately and dramatically. The brush is gone. The loose rock is gone. Instead you're now in the open pine forest of Ontario Ridge.



The going at this point is easy and pleasant. The views are nice





And there are cool rock formations







Scrambling across some of these rocks I set off a rattlesnake that must have been hanging out in a crevice in the boulders. It sounded pissed, but I never saw it.

The ridge is mostly wild, but there're a few signs of human activity. Most notably, a few of the pines were cut down:





This wasn't done systematically-enough to make for an effective firebreak, so I don't know what it is.

There was also an area with lots of unidentifiable rusted-out metal chunks. And this:



There's some more brush right before Ontario, much of it blooming chinquapin full of bees working on the flowers. That wasn't thick enough to present much of a problem. At the start of the day I had grand plans of descending a different canyon, maybe checking out the old Lapis Lazuli mine. But I had enough of unstable rock and sharp, stinging, biting things. So I made a beeline for the Icehouse Canyon trailhead by descending the Falling Rock Canyon ridge. It's easy going, is open-enough and has a use trail for much of the way. Soon I was at Sugarloaf saddle looking at 3 bighorn sheep on the scree a bit below. I bagged Sugarloaf, slid down the scree to the canyon floor, and was home free.

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Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Uncle Rico
Can Throw A Football Over Them Mountains
Joined: 1:48 AM - Mar 21, 2008

3:17 AM - Aug 08, 2016 #2

Very nice. This made me laugh.
The going at this point is easy and pleasant.
The whole ridge looks tough to this old man.  :shock:
http://wildsouthland.blogspot.com
Instagram: @wildsouthland
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Joined: 6:33 PM - Sep 30, 2007

4:20 PM - Aug 08, 2016 #3

I never knew blackberries grew in the mountains. Nice pictures - thanks!
"It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours."

President John F. Kennedy
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Sean
Cucamonga Man
Sean
Cucamonga Man
Joined: 6:32 PM - Jul 27, 2011

4:47 PM - Aug 08, 2016 #4

The ridge is mostly wild, but there're a few signs of human activity. Most notably, a few of the pines were cut down:



This wasn't done systematically-enough to make for an effective firebreak, so I don't know what it is.
I have some theories:

On ridges with trees, crews sometimes thin the forest in order to prevent a more devastating wildfire. Those felled trees might be from a thinning operation many decades ago, even before the Cucamonga Wilderness zone was created in the 1960s. The metal signs on the ridge could be firebreak designators from that original thinning operation.

Perhaps these trees were struck by lightning and cut down.

Or: they were victims of the Padua/Grand Prix Fire in 2003 and felled to promote new growth or some other reason.
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tekewin
Resident Trailcam Guy
tekewin
Resident Trailcam Guy
Joined: 11:07 PM - Apr 11, 2013

11:32 PM - Aug 08, 2016 #5

Looks tough, especially above Turtle. Masochism for sure. Great photos, though. A pretty good collection of beta is building up for this remote ridge.
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Girl Hiker
Rock Scrambler
Girl Hiker
Rock Scrambler
Joined: 1:46 PM - Apr 04, 2014

12:18 AM - Aug 09, 2016 #6

Nice TR and pics. When we went up there cascade canyon was one big mess! Sounds like it still is but I didn't see any berries! Glad you made it to Turtles Beak.
Cecelia
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Joined: 2:42 AM - Aug 09, 2016

2:46 AM - Aug 09, 2016 #7

I really enjoyed your trip report.  I think wearing pants is a good idea!   :D
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Joined: 7:35 PM - Jan 27, 2010

11:41 PM - Aug 23, 2016 #8

dima:53968 wrote: It is a brushfest. ... While pushing through the whiterhorn I sought out the rocky islands, and nothing wakes you up quite like exposed 3rd class moves on unstable rock where you have to fight with sharp plants for holds.
Ahhh... memories.  :D

My Thermarest (strapped on the outside of my pack) did not survive the passage through that segment.

Thanks for a really nice trip report!
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