I led a small group of hikers to one of my favorite destinations, Battleship Mountain. I enjoy helping people experience something that otherwise, they probably would not do on their own. May as well lend the expertise I have gained from my trips to this and other very cool destinations. We depart First Water trailhead hiking the Second Water trail and after about a mile, gain.....
….the unusual Garden Valley. So odd to hike a trail where you do not have to have your eyes glued down to avoid obstacles. After about another mile, hills begin.....
….to creep in and note the black rocks populating the slopes. We enter a gentle slope that is covered with the rocks so now our eyes are focused as we carefully step from rock to rock. At last.....
….the yellow, lichen covered rock walls that form the Battleship comes into view. We descend a medium steep but again, rocky slope, reach a.....
….stream, cross it and then.....
….hang a right on the Boulder Canyon trail. This is aptly named and the multiple stream crossings, again hopping from large rock to large rock becomes a bit tedious. It is so well worth it because eventually, at mile 5, I reached a point where I knew to go off trail and ascend a steep slope where.....
...we were confronted with another steep slope that took us to the stern of the "ship".
There we off loaded items we would not need and first climbed a fairly steep wall that fortunately had just enough hand and foot holds. Boarding the ship we....
….were awed by the views. Above, the entrance to Lower LaBarge Box Canyon. Looks like something out of the "Lord of the Rings" movie.
Above, we slowly make our way through the somewhat challenging first half of the ship and then enter the very challenging second half that includes....
….the famous rock bridge. Going down, I have to butt hike some of it. The fall would kill me so why risk skipping along and tripping although I can stay upright on the return.
We circle clockwise to the back of the peak and then ascend to the top and again, amazing views including that of Canyon Lake. We refuel and my two companions are a bit apprehensive about some of the walls that must be down climbed but....
…..they did a great job. Not all of the challenges are climb/descending walls because....
…...there are other challenges, like "Fat Man's Pass". Note Weaver's Needle in the background. To give some perspective on how narrow is the Pass.....
….true, I've gained 4 pounds this winter, nothing odd about that but still, it was a tight squeeze for me. I'm wearing "Treksta" brand trail running shoes and this is my second pair, I like them! Once off the ship, it is largely an unremarkable return until.....
….it wasn't when I almost stepped on what is by far, the largest tarantula I have seen, out of the 5-6 I have encountered. I should have putt my hand next to it to give you...… yeah, right. Finished with a little over 12 miles and 2000' of climbing. Always an adventure.
1/31/2019 04:26:04 pm
Glad the first half of the Battleship was only "somewhat" challenging! Love the blog!
1/31/2019 09:24:00 pm
Mark, I very much enjoy your blogs, great job! Question, is the Fat Mans Pass a different entrance/exit to the Battleship? I’ve been inspired to hike this for a long time and am trying to gather some info on the climb up Battleship. Thanks
1/31/2019 10:54:59 pm
The Fat Man's Pass is roughly 60% of the way up the Battleship. I was with a guy who would not fit through and he climbed over one of the boulders that frames the pass. I looked at doing that but it was easier to squeeze through.
2/1/2019 08:19:22 pm
Okay thank you very much for the insight. I look forward to hiking the Battleship soon
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