Ascent of Winkler County High Point on 2001-03-11

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Andy Martin
Bob Martin
Date:Sunday, March 11, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Winkler County High Point
    Elevation:3400 ft / 1036 m

Ascent Trip Report

From our car-camp near the Ector County highpoint, Andy, Bob and I egressed back to the Y-junction near the highway, and went right, now aiming for Winkler County's highest point, a couple of points way off on a long mesa called Blue Mountain. Like yesterday, Andy stashed his car at an oil-pump along the way and rode with Bob, and I followed.

We went north on this road for about 3 miles, coming to an open gate but with a clear "No Trespassing" sign ... which we just went through anyway (I wasn't too comfortable about doing this but I figured if we got caught, it'd be better to have partners in this crime instead of just me). Following this same road about another three miles, we came to yet another gate with tons of "No Trespassing" signs, but this gate was locked, so we backtracked south about a mile, found a pipeline road, and followed it northwest about 2 miles until it petered out at the corner of two fences. Here, we parked, and set out on our hike.

On the north side of this fence was a fine dirt road that led to the highpoint areas. This was the same dirt road that had been gated and locked, denying us vehicle access. We hopped the fence and walked along this road. About an hour's walk later, we were now out on the promontory containing the two closed 3,400-foot contours that mark the Winkler County highpoints. For the northern of the two areas, we walked about 15 minutes in the brush to a somewhat obvious rise. Once reaching this rise, Bob and Andy sighted to nearby areas to ensure we were higher than the others, while I noted our position on my GPS.

The southern region was about 1 mile south of the northern region. We walked out to it, built a rock cairn and sighted north to the first area. Both Andy and Bob felt the northern area was slightly higher. Since we had both, we were satisfied we had successfully "conquered" Winkler County, and headed back to our vehicles. Total hiking round-trip was about 7 miles and about 3 hours.

While driving out, we came out to near the main entrance to these roads along the main highway in Notrees. Bob dropped Andy off so Andy could go run to his car and drive it out. As Bob and I drove out, an Oil company truck and an Ector County Sheriff's cruiser were driving in, no doubt to check on Andy's car. Bob and I waited briefly out at the main highway but then decided to get moving. As it turned out, there was no problem, and Andy got his car out fine.

There is a historical marker along TX-302 about 5 miles west of Notrees that refers to the Winkler County highpoint (see photo). The highpoint is apparently named "Blue Mountain", although from the highway it's just a bluff with a flat top. The marker gets the elevation wrong, but does offer information about the settlers and Indians in the area. Apparently there are caves and pictographs on Blue Mountain. From the highway it would be a 4.5-mile one-way walk to the highpoint.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Trailhead:3350 ft / 1021 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country

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