Ascent of Potter County High Point on 2016-02-16

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Potter County High Point
    Elevation:3910 ft / 1191 m

Ascent Trip Report

An easy road/xcountry walk eastbound to 3 Areas .... 5 mile, 2:00 hours RT.

This county has 3 candidate high point areas all on a E-W line. I've numbered them a la PB and visited them as listed here.
We came here armed with B Martin/Surgent TRs, only to be confused. I found a posted locked gate just north of I-40 with the HP Areas being 1 1/2 mile to the north, so I went with my previously-researched Plan-B .... an approach from the west side, turning-out to be a good route, all as described here.

From Amarillo we drove I-40 west to exit 54, where we took the north-side Frontage Road west for 2.1 miles to West Line Road on the right .....this road is locked at .2 miles and posted "No Trespassing", the 3 Areas are 1 1/2 mile to the north. I believe this is Martin/Surgent's route, didn't like this scene so I opted with my Plan-B.

We continued west on Frontage Road (passing the county line on-route) for 2 miles to a right turn on CR50, 1.3 miles north turned into the gated entrance on the right (east), unposted with the only sign "GS PWR Panhandle Wind Ranch". This was my TH in Oldham County, the furthest east HP Area is to the east at abt. 2 miles.
Just south of this entrance is a Service Building and a Substation.

I hopped the locked gate and walked the gravel service road east (passing 4 Turbines on-route) for 1+ mile to a gated N-S fence line at a fence corner (35.22665,-102.16711). This is the N-S Oldham/Potter Co Line. There are 3 tall wooden posts at this corner, which I could see from a good distance as I approached. The service road continues into Potter County.

AREA 2 (35.22641,-102.16656) is just inside (east) of the Co Line.

I continued/walked xcountry southeast (heading for the Wind Mill in the distance), shortly after picking-up a 2 track grass road also going southeast, then turns east to AREA 3 (35.22315,-102.15469) at the Wind Mill .... less than a mile from Area 2, this grass track is nicely shown on the topo, parallel to its south is a Pipe Line.
I stayed with the grass track as it headed northeast for abt 1/4 mile, then turned east xcountry another 1/4 mile to AREA 1(35.22504,-102.14629). Walked around the large contour and I believe "the" HP.

This route is an easy walk to all 3 areas, no obvious spots, flat, had to stomp-around-some.

Warning to Highpointers:
This is all pasture land with possible obstacles. There were a number of groups of cattle in the distance and not a problem on this hike. However as all know, cattle is a weird/curious animal, reacting in different ways ... I've had them follow me like a pied-piper, runaway, stare me down, etc., what one does they all do.
If on-route ??? one needs to take a big detour ???.

Rose had a quiet wait, One truck went by without stopping. We had a beautiful clear/sunny day but with a good wind, pretty noisy Turbines, my least favorite source of energy.
Talking about energy, I saw for the first time today (in Amarillo), something I've been saying for years ..... the roofs of all new buildings should be a solar panel. Today we saw huge long car canopies (to shade cars from the elements) with all solar roofs ... beautiful, not like these "solar panel fields" taking from the land or the destructive Wind Turbines.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Extra Gain:20 ft / 6 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:visit to 3 areas eb from CR50.
    Trailhead:CR50 entrance  3900 ft / 1188 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country

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