Ascent of Spring Hill Benchmark on 2013-11-12

Climber: Tom Layton

Others in Party:Charles Zerphey
Date:Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Spring Hill Benchmark
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:440 ft / 134 m

Ascent Trip Report

The topos show five hilltops that reach 440 feet along a ridge running south from Spring Hill. We visited them all and concluded that four are contenders. numbers them north to south, so we'll follow that.

Spring Hill is Area 1. If my wishes were altitude, it would be the undisputed high point. Spring Hill used to be an orchard and ought to be a park. If the brushy trees were cleared, Lee County would have a panoramic view worth bragging about. You can glimpse the possibilities by looking west on Spring Hill Road—a 15-mile vista across the Wateree River valley.

The topo shows 440 contours on both sides of the road. The south side is several feet higher and must be close to 450. The benchmark datasheet says 447 feet. It does not sound like a conventional BM (described as an iron rod with a crimped tablet listed as "Spring Hill ET") and it has not been found by recent surveys, including one earlier this year.

For Area 2, head east on Springhill Road (S-31-7) and turn right on Rembert Church Road (S-31-37). We parked on the shoulder about a mile from Spring Hill and walked through mostly open pine woods. Area 2 is about a quarter mile east of the road. It’s a small contour but rises substantially. I'm convinced it's higher than Area 3 and my altimeter showed it virtually equal to Spring Hill.

Area 3 is part of a handsome horse ranch called Cedars and Pines that is fenced and gated. We parked at the intersection of Rembert Church Road and St. Phillips Road (S31-241), found an unlocked and unposted gate, and walked north to the cluster of 3 houses shown on the topo (one has burned and another is abandoned). The land within the contour is flat and certainly does not rise like Spring Hill. I would not object if someone omitted Area 3.

Area 4 is also noticeably higher than Area 3. It's where Rembert Church Road crests just southeast of the intersection with St. Phillips. The natural ground is no higher than the road.

Area 5 is another pine forest west of St. Phillips Road. The hilltop is fairly flat and rises only a few feet from the road.

If you've come this far, don't neglect the Sumter County HP, a liner that's just a couple of miles from Lee Area 5.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Total Elevation Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:1.4 mi / 2.2 km
    Route:stats are for all 5 points
    Start Trailhead:440 ft / 134 m
Descent Statistics

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