Ascent of Sanford Hill on 2017-05-12

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, May 12, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sanford Hill
    Elevation:680 ft / 207 m

Ascent Trip Report

It is probably possible to drive to the top of Sanford Hill, but when I visited the access gate was closed, so I was forced to hike and bushwhack from a primitive road northwest of the summit, directly east of a private residence there. To reach this area you need to drive up a road located at 39.35224 N 87.36392 W with an entrance sign reading Camp Wabashi. If the gate is open you can probably drive up and get permission. Due to the closed gate I tried to obtain permission from the only residence there before the gate, but no one was home. I discovered this privative road east of the house that was protected from view because of a large metal shed. The road did not look well traveled, so I felt fairly comfortable leaving my car and starting my climb a few hundred feet down this road where my GPS indicated I was only .24 air miles from the summit. Be warned, however, it is impossible to hike a straight line directly to the summit. The entire area is covered with a maze of deep gullies from the old strip mining operation. The bottom of each gully is full of water, but the walls are too steep to climb down them anyway. Fortunately, after an unpleasant, thorny bushwhack from my car, I encountered a very good trail. This trail weaved back and forth around the numerous gullies, so I was glad of that, but I had to cover much more than the .24 mile distance my GPS told me I had to cover from my car. By the time I actually reached the summit, I had hiked nearly 1 mile, which included a moderate bushwhack the last .1 mile, since the trail seemed to be passing the highpoint. During this bushwhack I did pass a "No Trespassing" sign, so I was glad no one was in the camp when I arrived after hiking for 23 minutes. The highest point was near a cabin in an area that appeared to have been leveled for its construction and there is no view due to the trees. I only stayed a few minutes and hiked back to my car in 22 minutes. The route I used was definitely not the easiest for this highpoint, but it was my only option and I don't know how the single homeowner before the gate would respond to someone asking permission. Good Luck!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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