Ascent of Gem Benchmark on 2015-06-12

Climber: David Comerzan

Date:Friday, June 12, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gem Benchmark
    Elevation:715 ft / 217 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a private hike with George Christiansen, Winnette Butler, Pat Arredondo and Bruce Craig. Our goal was to Borrego Mtn. and Borrego Mtn. East. We made a mistake in trying to do peaks in Anza-Borrego State Park in June. We did Borrego Mtn East then 1057. The temperature was 104 degrees. Consequently, we were only able to Borrego East, 1057 and some benchmarks we could drive to.
The trailhead to Borrego Mtn. East starts behind the Ocotillo Wells Ranger Station off of Highway 78 in the park. We headed due north crossing the desert floor about a ½ mile and started up a rocky gully going north to the summit. There was a trail initially at the start of the gully, but it quickly petered out. From that point, it was just a matter of route finding around the boulders. There was a register on the summit.
From Borrego Mtn. East, George, Pat and I headed towards Peak 1057. Bruce and Winnette went back to the car. We backtracked to a saddle then traversed the first bump staying at the 1000’ contour line to the summit. This involved a lot of boulder hopping. The summit is a plateau. There was no register but a lot of messages made out of rocks. From the summit, we again traversed back to the gully we came up.
After this, we did four benchmarks. The first is Q579. It is at the intersection 78 and the road to the Ranger Station. It is right off the south side of the road and there is a short wooden post behind it.
The next one was Ensign BM. We had some problem with this one. On the Peakbagger map, it shows it south of Palm Canyon Drive on DI Giorgio Rd. Actually, it was about 1 mile north of Palm Canyon (S22) on the west side of the road. It is in front of a metal fence post. It is flat in the ground.
Next was Gem BM. This is on a private residence in Borrego Springs. We headed back through Borrego Springs to Ocotillo Dr, turned right (north). Went about 1 block to Verbena, turned left (west) to 345 Verbena. We quietly went around a basketball court towards the residence to the BM. It was on a cement block. We walked out their driveway. Nobody appear home. At least they were not outside.
From there, we went back to S22 and out to S2 and home. On the way, we stopped at Yap BM which is just before the intersection of Wilson Rd and S22. It is raised on a cement block on the north side of the road.
The one good thing I can say about hiking in this kind of heat is that I lost 4 pounds in one day. This is not a recommend way to lose weight.
7:25 am Depart. 400’
8:45 am Borrego Mtn. Butte East summit. 1196’
10:15 am Peak 1057’
11:50 am Car. 3.5 miles rt, 954’ gain, 4 hours, 25 minutes.
Drive ups: Q579, Ensign, Gem, Yap

Summary Total Data

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