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Ascent of Charles Mound on 2007-01-13

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Saturday, January 13, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Charles Mound
    Location:USA-Illinois
    Elevation:1235 ft / 376 m

Ascent Trip Report

CHARLES MOUND, ILLINOIS

Saturday, 1/12/2007

NARRATIVE:
I left home this evening with an ambitious agenda of wanting to see the following 9 high points:

Charles Mound (IL)
Rib Mountain (Marathon County, WI)
James Lake Ski Lift (Taylor County, WI)
Timms Hill (WI)
Pearson Hill (a mere inches below Timms Hill, also in Price County, WI)
Mount Whistlesey (Ashland County, WI)
Lookout Mountain (Lincoln County, WI)
Sugarbush Hill (Forest County, WI)
Kent Lookout Tower (Langlade County, WI)

I left somewhat spontaneously because most factors were right. I had a 3 day weekend with Martin Luther King Day, I soon would be buried in CPA tax work, I had planned the trip to my satisfaction, and my wife was accepting of the trip. I had put off traveling to northern Wisconsin for most of my life. I had wanted to return ever since I went there on a church youth choir trip years ago. The weather had previously been clear, and little snow was on the roads and ground, and no snow was expected. Why NOT go?

So, I threw together a lot of contingent supplies in case my car broke down somewhere in the wilderness. I was not expecting long hikes from the car; destinations were selected based on short expected hikes or direct drive-ups. But I was still going into the Wisconsin wilderness, so I had better be prepared in case I found myself in need. Cars and people would probably be few and far between.

I left at 10:16pm. I intended to drive through the night to get to the Charles Mound area at sunrise. I could rest when I got to the area.

Well, I arrived at Charles Mound just after sunrise at 8:10am. I had been in the area for a couple hours before then, but I had a difficult time finding some of the roads in the dark. I had good directions, I thought, but the roads in this very rural part of Illinois are winding and not well-marked. I subsequently found that my driving instructions were faulty, and they had me going in the wrong direction at one point in the Charles Mound/N Carr Road area. I finally found Charles Mound Road, traveled to the western end in Scales Mound, and back-tracked 1.3 miles to the main gate.

The sun rose around 7:55am, and when I got to 688 W. Charles Mound Road, I could see I was obviously at the right place. Shortly beyond the gate was a sign that read “Charles Mound Closed Today”. So I parked in front of the gate, determined to hike to the highpoint Mound and back as quickly as possible since I had not sought permission to enter this private property.

In a short time, I was on my way. In spite of being a winter day, the road was clear, and the ground was firm. Hiking was easy. In a little over 20 minutes, I had followed this road to the barns and the highpoint on the high ground behind. At 8:35am, I saw the sign marking the summit.

I took a few pictures and noted the presence of 3 different USGS survey markers. A trip register was also located, so I signed to register my presence. I thanked the owners for making this land available to us highpointers.

I didn’t stay long. A mere 13 minutes later, I was on my way back to the car. This time I chose a slightly different route as I descended down the southern slope of the mound into the woods where multiple trails had obviously been cut. I cut through the woods and took the northwest route around the pond that had previously been passed on the south.

Another 20 minutes or so brought me back to my car. As I was walking on the long straight last section of the hike, I saw a vehicle leave the adjoining property. It turned toward Scales Mound and stopped briefly as it passed my car. The car drove away without waiting for me to arrive. A short time later, another vehicle left the property. I was relieved as it also sped away without stopping.

I got in the car, made a couple notes, and drove away. In Scales Mound, I stopped for about 20 minutes of rest and map reading. Then I was back on the road. One down (State HP #3), and 8 to go. On to Wisconsin and Rib Mountain.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:275 ft / 84 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:Road from front gate
    Trailhead:Gate at 688 W Charles Mound Road  960 ft / 292 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:23 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:24 Minutes



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