Ascent of Jack Benchmark Southwest on 2022-11-06
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
|Date:||Sunday, November 6, 2022|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
|Peak:||Jack Benchmark Southwest|
| Elevation:||2600 ft / 792 m|
Ascent Trip ReportHiking on the Tohono O'odham Nation is always complicated by the fact that you're really not supposed to be out there, and tribal police don't mess around if they catch you. I wish there was a legit way to climb these peaks, but until there is I guess I'll have to slink around in full stealth mode, which is what I did on this hike. I parked south of the road behind a low hill where my truck would not be visible, and then made my way northwards, crossing beneath the road via a culvert and then headed north, following the wash where the vegetation offered concealment. The road is roughly paved, but appears to be infrequently traveled. I saw no one. Returned the way I came.
The hike itself is straightforward, and crosses rough volcanic ground. A bit of sidehilling involved before reaching the main ridge. Nothing major, and zero exposure unless you go looking for it. the summit ridge is cool, with a few sheer drop-offs to the west, but you don't need or want to climb any of that stuff.
I saw a single pile of fresh bighorn scat near the base of the climb. While I was resting on the summit, I saw a fine 3/4-curl ram pop out of the rocks about 100 feet from me. I expect he was the depositor of the aforementioned poop pile. This range is small, and is unlikely to support a permanent breeding population. This guy was likely just passing through.
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