Ascent of Hyko Benchmark on 2016-04-29

Climber: Tom Gathright

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, April 29, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Hyko Benchmark
    Elevation:7950 ft / 2423 m

Ascent Trip Report

I’ve been looking at Hyko for a long time. So the day started with a 4:00 AM alarm clock, breakfast, check work emails since it is a Friday and on the road at 5:30 AM.

Hyko Benchmark is located in the South Pahroc Range, a unique area strewn with large rounded boulders that could be thought of as marbles for the gods. After passing the intersection with NV318, staying on US93 continue until you cross the Pahroc Summit, then in about ½ mile turn south onto a very good dirt road. Follow the main dirt road, making one slight detour around a cattle pen, for about 10 miles. Then take the right fork when the road splits and go through a split in a fence line, this road is more typical of desert roads, but it too was in good shape. At another fork take the right again and this will take you to a small watering trough, go around the trough and follow the two-tire track until you want to park. That was my TH.

Lola and I started hiking around 8:30 AM and since there are no trails, I selected a minor saddle west and slightly north of our TH position. I went around a couple rock out croppings and then followed, only for a little while, a wash up to some white sandstone. Once I was above the sandstone I headed northward and westward finding a small chute.

When I reached the ridge, I was surprised on how it looked. There is no true ridge, rather the top of the mountain spreads wide and is a large meadow with tons of boulders strewn throughout the meadows. I headed north and worked our way around boulders, some as big as cars and others as big as houses. I walked through an area that had burned several years ago I spotted random cairns; the randomness seemed to be a theme as the cairns never really connected. Nonetheless I continued to navigate up and through the boulders until I reached the summit block. I had Lola stay below the summit block on a nice flat spot, then I climbed the chute to the top.

I made it to the summit at 10:15 AM, took photos and signed the register. The register was placed by Gordon MacLeod and Barbara Lilley of the Desert Peaks Section of the Angles Chapter. The views from the top are great especially with the landscape full of boulders, not typical of other peaks I’ve summited. I climbed off the summit at 10:30 AM.

The return was from a slightly different route, again seeing cairns that never connected. I found the small saddle I targeted on the ascent and started the descent. I could see the truck so I just headed that direction. I was back at the truck at 11:15 AM. Nothing special for the return and I was home at 4:00 PM.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack

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