Ascent of Pinta Benchmark on 2013-02-10

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Ken Jones -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Sunday, February 10, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pinta Benchmark
    Elevation:2950 ft / 899 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove in with Ken Jones the day before, 35 bumpy and sandy miles through remote desert, and camped at the site of a Border patrol beacon tower. Sub-freezing temps that night, plus a 2 a.m. visit by the BP to see what we were up to.

We were walking at 5 a.m. in darkness, following the road 8 miles across desert plain to get to the mouth of the ascent canyon. Took us 2 hours, 40 minutes to walk in. We had no moon, but enough starlight to allow us to see the road against the darker-colored brush lining it. We did not use flashlights... not necessarily wanting to attract attention to ourselves.

Ascent is straightforward and easier when compared to other peaks out this way. Scrambling was solid and generally low-Class 3 at worst. We went slow and deliberate. Topped out about 11 a.m. The views are wonderful. The remoteness of this peak is mind-blowing.

Descent went slow but with no mishaps. Then... eight miles of road to walk out back to our trucks, which were still there, no one apparently having come by to steal them. The BP runs this road all the time, so crossers are not as common in this part of the desert as they are closer to Tucson.

Day was chilly, highs in the high 50s, with puffy low clouds against blue skies. The clouds would scoot by quickly due to higher-level winds. The conditions were perfect. Had it been warmer, it would have been very uncomfortable.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2040 ft / 621 m
    Round-Trip Distance:18 mi / 29 km
    Trailhead:910 ft / 277 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles

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