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Ascent of Graham Benchmark on 2013-07-31

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Artski
Date:Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Motorcycle
Peak:Graham Benchmark
    Location:USA-Michigan
    Elevation:1330 ft / 405 m

Ascent Trip Report

After hiking Nub's Nob we drove over to the parking lot of Boyne Highlands. They are only five minutes apart. Boyne definitely had the rich and snooty feel to it, and we weren't sure which way to hike up since there were putting, chipping, and driving ranges going up the base of most of the ski trails. We found some friendly workers that told us that we could hike up anywhere. We hiked up a blue trail called Heather, which had a decent pitch all of the way up. The Heather Express was running because the lifties were testing the load capacity after they had completed an electrical upgrade to the lift. They used the snowmaking system to pump water into trash barrels on the chairs, which had the side effect of making some of the snow machines sound like their were winding up to make snow. It was a cool feeling, and made us wish it was November. At the top we talked to a lifty for a little bit and then followed the sign to Graham Chapel. There were raspberries lining the trail which was a treat. The chapel was only a three minute's walk from the ski lift, and the bell tower was on the highest ground. The chapel was a neat A frame with the south side all windows looking out a gap in the trees to the lake. We wandered around between the building and the radio tower, but we couldn't find BM Graham. Either way, it was clear where the high ground was. It was getting hot on the way down as we hiked down Mac Gully and Olympic. Artski found a flask left over from the winter and a Canadian quarter. At the bottom we wandered around looking for trail maps, and ended up getting them from a grumpy employee at the hotel desk in the biggest lodge. This concluded our Emmet County highpoint ascents!
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Nubs Nob viewed from Boyne Highlands ski area (2013-07-31). Photo by Gustav Sexauer.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:580 ft / 176 m
    Total Elevation Loss:580 ft / 176 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:560 ft / 170 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:Heather
    Start Trailhead:Parking Lot  770 ft / 234 m
    Time:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:580 ft / 176 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 560 ft / 171 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:1.3 mi / 2.1 km
    Route:Olympic
    End Trailhead:Parking Lot  770 ft / 234 m
    Time:45 Minutes



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