Ascent of Kettle Benchmark on 2012-08-19

Climber: Dan Baxter

Others in Party:Vicky & Samantha
Date:Sunday, August 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Kettle Benchmark
    Elevation:7840 ft / 2389 m

Ascent Trip Report

The forestry dirt road approach to this mountain began directly off of and near mile 12 of the Running With the Bears Half Marathon, which I had ran the previous day. My time, incidentally, was 2 hr 19 min 8.6 sec, which wasn't bad considering I still had heel blisters from Mt Williamson 6 days previously, the altitude, the thunder & lightning miles 2-5, the rains and hamstring cramps mile 8, "Bear Bait Hill", and most importantly, the heavy smoke from the huge (19 x 11 mile, 63,000 acre) Chips Fire only 15 miles upwind!

This peak is a near drive-up, at least for my Jeep. It begins east of Greenville and highway 89, on North arm Road. Take 27N10, an excellent and recently graded forestry road east. Note you should print a topo or at least bring the national forest map, as most of the roads in Plumas National Forest appear to be unsigned.I took the approach from the north and never saw Dennis Poulin's route back to the south. The route seemed fine for most cars to within 1 1/2 mile of the summit, the rest of which a 4WD or walking is necessary.

N Arm Rd
R (east) on 27N10, which has excellent recent grading. Set odometer
At 7.2 mile turn left at signage "Lucky's Mine"
Keep right at fork at 8.6 miles
Sharp right at 10.9 miles. You can probably reach here in a standard car. past here its walking or 4WD only
Park around 12.2 miles which is the saddle area between the HP/abandoned lookout tower and Kettle Rock. Note the short walk up only road to the tower begins a little more east than the topos show. It begins at the true saddle. Walk this to the HP

Like Dennis, I recommend the short excursion to Kettle Rock.
The roads appear to have been recently graded for some logging activity including near the HP. Probably related to salvage from a recent wildfire

The lookout tower is abandoned and closed up, but you can still walk around the decaying lower deck. I saw no register. Consider bringing one.
Two BM discs, or whatever you call them.
Good views of Taylor Lake below.

Dan Baxter
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Grade/Class:Class I
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Smoke from Chips Fire
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Route:Spur road
    Start Trailhead:Saddle between HP & Kettle Rock  7640 ft / 2328 m
    Time:10 Minutes
Descent Statistics

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