Ascent of Salt Benchmark on 2021-05-25

Climber: Brandon Rasmussen

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Salt Benchmark
    Elevation:9997 ft / 3047 m

Ascent Trip Report

I used Trail 146 shown on the Forest Service 2016 Topo as the framework for my hike. The route isn't shown on the current visitor's map, and on the ground it's pretty much just a ghost of a trail—beyond the switchbacks even less than that. It was useful as a way of letting me know I was still on the right line, though. For a day with so much off trail travel everything was surprisingly hikeable. There's minimal underbrush, and I never felt like I was having to bust through it. There were sections of downed aspen trees where the 2007 Salt Creek fire had gotten up onto the top of the ridge, but I was able to navigate over them without having to think or work too hard.

The views of the Red Cliffs and the south aspect of Nebo I had throughout the day were spectacularly beautiful, and it felt like I was in a place very few people move through. The most recent aspen carving I saw crossing along the forested part of the ridge was made in 1980. I saw others from the 60s and 70s and, in one aspen grove, three carvings from the 20s and 30s. This route was an awesome way to experience the mountain.

I opted to tack an extra 2.5 or so RT miles on to avoid having to drive through the stream crossing at the reservoir's spillway. I had planned on hiking this last June, but after driving down into deeper than expected water in the dark I noped straight back out in reverse. Today the water was midcalf deep when I crossed (13 cfs versus something like 20cfs last June). Not having the thought of driving back through the water in the back of my mind all day was worth it for me, but driving farther up the road would save some distance. It wouldn't cut off much of the elevation gain though.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5168 ft / 1575 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5168 ft / 1575 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4774 ft / 1455 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4354 ft / 1328 m; Extra: 420 ft / 128m
    Loss on way in:420 ft / 128 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Route:Rocky Ridge - Red Cliffs
    Start Trailhead:5643 ft / 1719 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4748 ft / 1447 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4354 ft / 1328 m; Extra: 394 ft / 120m
    Gain on way out:394 ft / 120 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    End Trailhead:5643 ft / 1719 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Brandon Rasmussen
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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