Ascent of Independence Benchmark on 2013-06-13

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, June 13, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Independence Benchmark
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:1372 ft / 418 m

Ascent Trip Report

COHP.ORG gives 3 Candidate High Point Areas, I used M Schwartz TR of 2000, ground conditions have changed.

1 AREA WITH A TOWER NORTH OF WEST LIBERTY ..... 300 yards, 15 minutes RT.
I found my way on hwy #88 to the post office in West Liberty where I picked up Apple Pie Ridge Road at a sharp corner. I drove north for about 1 mile to a crest-in-the-road ..... the West Liberty BM (with a Communication Tower) is on the wooded bump to the left. No place to park here so I found a spot 150 yards before the road crest (very narrow with no shoulder, half of my van was on the road). I walked a grass track 150 yards northerly directly to the fenced-in Tower, with the tall grass I couldn't find the BM.

2 AREAS, 1 1/2 MILES SOUTH OF FRANKLIN AND 2 MILES WEST OF INDEPENDENCE, PA. ..... .7 miles, 45 minutes RT for both areas.
From the junction of Hwy 88/27 southeast of Franklin, I drove south on 88 for a mile to a right on McAdoo Ridge Road which I followed westerly for .8 miles to a new gated gravel road on the right, signed "#3911" and "Approved Access Road". This is just past the crest-of-the-road and further ahead at 100 yards McAdoo Ridge Road makes a sharp left turn.
From this spot the INDEPENDENCE BENCHMARK is due north at about .4 miles and the 1360+ SUMMIT is to the northeast at 300 yards. The gate was opened so I drove the gravel road north .3 miles to the ridge with 2 storage buildings. A number of workers were just finishing their work on a Power Line, "I don't own the place", came the reply from the foreman. I decided to go for it.
The INDEPENDENCE BENCHMARK HP is to the northwest of the buildings at 150 yards. A main Power Line Transmission Tower is just behind the buildings, so I walked 50 Yards to the Tower, stayed left to go through some nasty thorny brush, then north through a tall grass field, directly the obvious HP capped with to a huge cross. I couldn't find the BM.
1360+ SUMMIT is about 400 yards southwest of the buildings. The first bump to the southeast of the buildings has been completely cleared of vegetation. From the buildings I walked 200 yards to the other side of the bump (the very southwest side of the cleared area). Where an overgrown track led me directly to the obvious open/grass summit ... chose my spot at 40.24814,-80.53753.
*** my eye level told me that the 1360+ foot SUMMIT is not a contender.
When I descended I found the gate closed but not locked (??????), warning.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:132 ft / 40 m
    Total Elevation Loss:132 ft / 40 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:92 ft / 28 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 52 ft / 16 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Loss on way in:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.4 km
    Route:grass tracks to 3 areas
    Start Trailhead:Apple Pie Ridge Road & McAdoo Ridge Road  1320 ft / 402 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:92 ft / 28 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 52 ft / 16 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Gain on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Route:grass tracks to 3 areas
    End Trailhead:Apple Pie Ridge Road & McAdoo Ridge Road  1320 ft / 402 m

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