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Ascent of Black Hills-De Baca Benchmark on 2006-05-13

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Saturday, May 13, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Hills-De Baca Benchmark
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:5059 ft / 1541 m

Ascent Trip Report

As their name implies, the Black Hills are obviously a remnant of a lava flow. They are situated near the intersection of paved NM-102 and unpaved NM-420 (shown incorrectly on the 24K topo as NM-65). NM-102 is elevated above its surroundings and has no shoulder, making parking difficult. NM-420 is unpaved and affords easy parking anywhere, so I opted to park about 1/3 mile E of the junction with NM-102.

From the car I headed NE across open range toward the peak. I crossed a dry stream gully and an abandoned jeep road, then climbed upslope on grass-covered black rocks. Although the topo map makes it appear convoluted, any cliffs are scattered and navigating around them is not an issue. I gained the summit ridge about ¼ mile S of the summit. Upon reaching the summit I built a small cairn on the probable highest rock.

Total trip time was 45 minutes each way and 500' gain. Access is not an issue: there were no fences, signs, or human activity.
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