Ascent of Hickory Benchmark on 2015-09-27

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Sunday, September 27, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Hickory Benchmark
    Elevation:830 ft / 252 m

Ascent Trip Report

830+ ft.

Sunday, 9/27/2015

This single contour is large and extends across both sides of north-south Ridgeland Ave. but totally north of Bruns Road. In addition to the cemetery, there are two communication towers and some high ground in a field to the northwest. This year, the field was mature with corn.

I arrived in the area and drove into the cemetery between the two brick signs that demarked the entrance. I drove back near the building and parked. I immediately noted the rise in the lawn to the southwest. This was the highest ground as I scanned the area in all directions. I walked over to this high ground and claimed this rise.

I continued across the lawn to the road, and I turned south to search for BM Hickory. I was blessed with finding the reference BM first. It was found about 12 feet off the road, on the east side – the same side as the cemetery. The standard-looking marker was labeled “BM Reference 6”, and it was stamped with the dates “1959 1967 1975”. An arrow pointed generally south, and I continued my search in that direction for the actual BM.

BM Hickory is easy to find. It is about 15 feet south of the reference BM, about 10 feet off the road. It is next to a high white witness post sign, on a large, elevated concrete base. It is stamped with the years “1959 1967”. It is just outside the barbed wire fence that surrounds the tower complex.

I spent additional time looking for other reference BM’s – the one I found was #6? But I did not find any other reference BM. I also walked to the high fence surrounding the east tower, adjacent to the cemetery. Nothing remarkable was found there. Finally, I walked across the street to look at the west tower, but the land surrounding it was clearly lower.

The lone other area of interest was the corn in the field to the northwest. It appeared to be high ground. But then I rejected the area because: 1) the corn was 6-8ft tall, and it did not appear to be THAT much taller; and 2) I relied on the Mitchler report that ruled out the area after using a hand level.

I returned to the pet cemetery and spent a few minutes wandering around the gravesites. In general, I found the entire cemetery to be in disrepair. Many flat headstones were becoming completely covered by encroaching weeds and grasses. The community building itself also needed repairs, with siding seen peeling off over the entrance to the building. The most recent date I noted on ANY of the headstones was 2009. As I drove away, I thought this apparently was a concept that had died (pun intended).
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