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Ascent of Malone Benchmark on 2010-10-09

Climber: Michael Schwartz

Date:Saturday, October 9, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Malone Benchmark
    Location:USA-Mississippi
    Elevation:771 ft / 235 m

Ascent Trip Report

Thanks to Tom Layton for catching errors in my longitude coordinates as posted on cohp.org. The whole degrees of longitude should in all cases be 89 degrees, not 84 degrees, as Tom indicated. Report follows:

Aerial photos for this county allowed me to find a route to both areas that involved almost no bushwhacking. This is in contrast to the vegetation reported by Bob Packard in 2003 and by another county highpointer who visited this county a few days prior without benefit of photos. I only printed copies of the photos and did not carry or need any topos. Fields, fence lines, and sand roads referenced in this report are all shown on the photos and with the exception of the stub gravel road are not shown on the topo. Datum WGS-84.

From the Benton-Tippah County line, go west 2.3 miles on US-72 and turn right(north) onto the signed Hopewell Road. Stay on the main road for 3.1 miles and turn left(west) onto the unsigned, paved, Whippoorwill Road. This is the same route described by Bob.
Go 0.9 mile west on Whippoorwill and see a gated good-quality gravel road (N34.99021 W89.08558) heading south opposite a house and which is the short stub two-track road shown on the topo. The gate is not posted but was locked. I knocked at the house north of the road but no one was home so I parked on the north side of the road and left my usual, "Hiking, not hunting. Thank you!" sign on the dashboard. I hiked the gravel road a quick mile or so south to the northwest end (N34.98182 W89.08421) of the string of fields that led southwest to BM Malone, then left the road, walked the fields and climbed steadily to BM Malone in the center of a large field. I saw what might have been a witness post but could not find the BM in the thick grass.

From the BM, walk south across the field to (N34.97923 W89.08076), walk a few feet south on a woods road faintly visible on the photo, and go left(east) on a better woods road clearly visible on the photo. After a short distance, cross a stile to the south side of a fence line paralleling the road, and follow the fence line east through generally open woods and along use paths. As the road and fence begin to climb, see a not-very obvious open path angling downhill and more than 90 degrees back to the right. This is the open north-south linear feature shown on the photo. If you climb the hill and see a much larger opening angling to your right, you have gone too far (as did I). Follow the opening, which also parallels a fence line at some point, over rolling terrain south to (N34.97574 W89.07883), the western end of the large east-west clearing on the photo. Continue south to (N34.97278 W89.07900) at which point the southern area is only about 450 feet to your right(east) through open woods. Crawl under the barbed wire fence and head uphill to the summit, which is also the probable Holly Springs National Forest HP, since BM Malone is not in the NF.

I saw many hunting stands along the way.
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