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Ascent of Cass County High Point on 2010-12-31

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Friday, December 31, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cass County High Point
    Location:USA-Michigan
    Elevation:1150 ft / 350 m

Ascent Trip Report

CoHP – CASS COUNTY, MICHIGAN
1150+ ft.

Friday, 12/31/2010

This county is an easy two-fer with nearby St. Joseph County. The two HP contours are less than 10 miles apart as the crow flies. The Mike Schwartz directions are still valid. I followed Bald Hill Street west to Tower Road, turned right (north), and came to the gated road to the tower. Note that Tower is misspelled “Towner” on the topo map. I parked outside the gate and prepared for the short hike to the towers.

The road to the tower was sandy, and I would have been wise to park where I did regardless of the presence of the gate. It was soft to walk on and surely would have been challenging for my two-wheel drive vehicle. I came to the tower complex after a brief hike, a site consisting of a building and three towers – one tall, traditional red and white pyramid, and two shorter, cubical towers similar to those seen near the end of runways. Indeed, this site is part of the air traffic control sites and is US government property.

The topo shows the HP contour is near the towers, just to the east. I crossed a fence and investigate the nearby ground, and I wandered over the highest ground to be sure I stepped on the highest grains. Farther across the field, to the east, was another high spot; I crossed the field and stepped onto this high ground because I could not tell whether it was taller than the land near the towers. On my way back to the towers, I spied three deer enjoying field stubble some distance to the south. They stood still until they felt it safe to move; the three bounded off in unison once they calculated I was not a threat.

The field actually resembled the playground for some ATV and motocross enthusiasts. The field consisted of lots of back and forth, up and down wide dirt tracks. I could not help but be a bit envious of the folks who owned this playground.

On an unrelated note, I realized by the topo map and the nearby signs that this HP is near one of southern Michigan’s popular ski resorts, Swiss Valley. I have traveled to Swiss Valley as a child; indeed, this is the place where I first donned a pair of winter skis. The topo shows the Swiss Valley property lies just to the northeast, a short hike through the woods that lined the motocross field. Who knew? Trip statistics: Time = 25min up and back; Distance = 0.64mi for the round trip; Elevation gain = 73ft total gain.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:64 ft / 18 m
    Extra Gain:12 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:Road hike, then across fields
    Trailhead:Locked gate at road west of HP  1110 ft / 338 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Breezy, Overcast
not foggy but limited vision
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:15 Minutes



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