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Ascent of Grant County High Point on 2004-05-20

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Thursday, May 20, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Grant County High Point
    Location:USA-Nebraska
    Elevation:4200 ft / 1280 m

Ascent Trip Report

I parked near a utility hut just a few feet off of NE-2, south of Ashby Hill, the highest point of Grant County. There are about 8 or 9 separate areas that reach 4,200 feet on top of this hill inside Grant County, but previous visitors suggested the hill with the short tower may be the highest. With that in mind, I chose to beeline toward that hill first and assess from there.

I crossed the highway, then shimmied under a fence, then ... carefully downclimed a steep sand bank that led to two pair of train tracks. These tracks see regular use, as they parallel the highway, and on my drive in this morning I'd seen some trains hauling coal ore rumbling along. As I descended I could hear a train whistle so they were close by. But it only took me a few seconds to cross both tracks. I climbed the other sand bank, shimmied under another fence, and began the relaxing portion of the hike.

The easiest route seemed to lead me up to a noticeable hill east of the tall radio tower and west of the short one. Once on top of this hill, it was plainly obvious I was higher than the hill with the tall tower but lower than the hill with the short tower. I followed a gravel road and walked to the short tower's hill, where I found the "Ashby" benchmark nearby. No doubt about it, I was higher than the other nearby hills. After a few minutes of looking at other hills, I walked down, retracing my steps. The round trip covered about 2 miles, gained about 250 feet and took less than an hour. From here I headed north and west to the Sheridan County highpoint.

Note: a later visitor repeating my route got himself in trouble by the local police. Crossing the railroad tracks is legally forbidden. The cop happened to see his vehicle and wondered what was going on. Hikers to this part of the state are rare, so he had some extra explaining to do. In any case, use your judgement.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:200 ft / 61 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Trailhead:4000 ft / 1219 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country



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