Ascent of Jade Benchmark on 2020-02-18

Climber: Jeffrey Swain

Date:Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Jade Benchmark
    Elevation:3587 ft / 1093 m

Ascent Trip Report

Trailhead is a few miles east of Jacumba Hot Springs, past the gliderport. There is a shade structure on the right-hand, south side of Old Highway 80. On the left, or north side is a turnout that leads to a dirt frontage road. Some heavy-duty work lights are parked there. Down below you can see a break check operation and Interstate 8 beyond that. According to the Basemap app, the property belongs to a restaurant company and is technically private land.

The mountain is a cone-shaped with a rock pile on top. There is an ancient road that leads about halfway up the peak. The path is pretty benign as the chollas, beavertails, and Spanish bayonets are spread out enough to climb unmolested. The peak itself is an interesting little scramble with a 360-degree view of the flat desert, solar farm, power substation, flats, roads, and nearby mountains. The obvious high point is, indeed the peak. Facing south, there is a crevice with a register lodged between two interlocking tin cans. I may have been a little zealous in covering the register for safety, but you can find it if you lift the rocks.

The benchmark was a bit of a challenge. I tried matching the blue dot with the brown dot and found myself wandering all over the mountain. I eventually found it, quite battered and looking like someone had tried to steal it. It is a bit down from the peak if you orient yourself toward the microwave towers on the next mountain.

Trip down was easy. You can see your car from the peak and meander through the bushes until you hit bottom.

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Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The trailhead is past Jacumba Hot Springs and the Jacumba Gliderport, east on Old Highway 80. To the left of the shade structure is a road that will take you halfway up (2020-02-18). Photo by Jeffrey Swain.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:363 ft / 110 m
    Total Elevation Loss:363 ft / 110 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Clear sky hazy horizon
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:363 ft / 110 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.9 km
    Route:Ancient road and cross country
    Start Trailhead:Turnout above truck stop  3224 ft / 982 m
    Time:1 Hours 23 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:363 ft / 110 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.9 km
    Route:Cross country and ancient road
    End Trailhead:Turnout above truck stop  3224 ft / 982 m
    Time:1 Hours 23 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jeffrey Swain
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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