Ascent of Prospect Hill on 2017-10-28

Climber: John Hasch

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, October 28, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Prospect Hill
    Elevation:1227 ft / 373 m

Ascent Trip Report

1027ft SPOT ELEVATION, 1020+ ft.

Saturday, 10/28/2017


GMTA – Great Minds Think Alike
After realizing it’s been a decade since I first arrived here, I have been getting the urge to get this one done. It is one of the undone counties nearest my home, so it is pinching my home glob radius. So I picked up a map and made a plan.

I reviewed all angles. Perhaps I could come in from the camp/retreat center to the northwest near Pickerel Lake. I considered the traditional route. And I spied a new route from the east, north of the large house that is north of the bend in Prospect Hill Highway. This last option seemed appealing because zooming in satellite mode revealed what appeared to be woods roads that went to the summit.

I printed off copies and intended to give this route a try. I was to be in the area on Saturday, October 21, 2017, attending a football game in nearby Adrian, MI.

Before I drove to Adrian, something caused me to check the Peakbagger website. Imagine my surprise when I found two recent ascents, and both hikers had left trip reports. Imagine my further surprise when both hikers reported using the same trailhead and route to the summit!

I did not arrive in the area in time to try the hike that Saturday. But my next Saturday also had some free time, so I headed off to Michigan on the 28th around 3:00pm.

I arrived at the trailhead and noted the yellow rope crossing the dirt road as a gate. The GPS coordinates for this trailhead are N42.03298 W84.25220. I drove just past the rope and parked my car off the side of the road.

I quickly gathered my trip planning, GPS and compass just to be fully prepared. The GPS was pointing west in the direction of the road, so I headed down the road as the dirt quickly turned to a wide grassy woods lane.

I followed this road west until it turned to the south (left). At this point, I noticed some orange blazed trees that marked a path that continued east in the direction of the GPS. So I left the road and moved to the blazed orange trail. The blazing was easy to follow; it was a kind of bright duct tape that was wrapped entirely around the trunk of each tree, so you could see the tape from any direction when seeing the marked trees. The blazing was applied a reasonable distance from tree to tree, so it was not hard to follow.

Eventually, I reached the top of the blazes and noted a grassy field area to my left that continued uphill. I hiked through this field a short distance before I noticed a hunter’s stand in front of me. The large stand had a blue roof. In front of me was another woods lane, and it continued uphill to my right. I hiked this road to the top, and my GPS reported that I was standing in the middle of contour 1, the 1220+ contour that was an open area.

There were views to the northwest of Pickerel Lake down the hill. No other views existed unless you consider the view back down the road I had just climbed. I wandered around a quick bit, and the GPS zeroed out the feet to the highpoint. I then turned my attention to the other contour, located in the woods to the south. The second hill is visible in the woods from contour 1, across a small ravine that drops and then climbs about the same elevations. I bushwhacked up the hill to reach the broad area 2 that contains the spot elevation 1227. As I trended east, I spied a wooden hunter’s platform to my left. Further ahead, to the right, I saw the large open field that is shown on the satellite view of the area. And to my left, I once again saw the blue-roofed hunter’s stand. I wandered the area and then headed toward the blue roof. I returned through the grassy field and found the blazed trail once again. I followed the blazes and grassy lane back to my car with no noted difficulty.

I made the hike as quickly as I could because I heard gunshots firing in the distance. I did not encounter anyone the entire hike, and I was relaxed when I got back to the car!

Trip Stats: .94miles round trip. About 22 minutes total time. GPS recorded 1120ft at the car, 1223ft maximum elevation, total gain 162ft: implying 103ft gain to summit, 59ft extra gain mostly attributed to climbing the ravine to area 2. Weather: Extremely overcast, temp around 40 degrees. No precipitation.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:163 ft / 49 m
    Extra Gain:34 ft / 10 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:Grassy lane and orange blazes
    Trailhead:Yellow Rope on Prospect Hill Hwy  1132 ft / 345 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Calm
Severely overcast, but no precip
Ascent Statistics
    Time:11 Minutes

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