By Tom Oberbauer, Vice President CNPS-San Diego
The Jamul Mountains are not as well recognized as some of their nearby neighbors. They are over-shadowed by Otay Mountain at 3,500 feet and San Miguel Mountain at 2,567 feet since they top out at 2,059 feet at the highest point. The Jamul Mountain stand between SR-94 as it passes through the southern part of Jamul, and Proctor Valley. Proctor Valley is notorious for the strange events that are purported to have occurred there: Proctor Valley monster and two headed cows; remnants of rumors from my youth growing up in the vicinity. Like San Miguel and Otay Mountains, the Jamul Mountains are composed of metavolcanic rock. This is volcanic rock that was deposited as part of a group of very tall mountains like the Andes, but in an island arc off the west coast of North America 106-108 million years ago (Kimbrough, 2014). Since I last climbed the Jamul Mountains in the late 1970’s, many things have changed including the fact that a large part of the surrounding land has been preserved, a steel barrier has been constructed to prevent OHV and trucks from driving cross-country over the slopes, and major fires have occurred.
I set out on an overcast morning, overcast where I live, but clear and sunny by the time I reached Proctor Valley. The temperature of the day was predicted to be in the mid 90’s. I drove down Proctor Valley Road and could see that some things have not changed, especially the washboard surface and the debris from target shooting along the side of the road. I parked my vehicle near a lone Eucalyptus tree and set off toward the peak.