Ascent of White Butte on 2015-07-24

Climber: Alan Barber

Others in Party:Mike Duggins
Date:Friday, July 24, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:White Butte
    Location:USA-North Dakota
    Elevation:3506 ft / 1068 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Rapid City South Dakota we drove north on I-90 until we reached Sturgis. It was interesting driving through this town which celebrates Harley Davidson motorcycles. From There we drove due North until we reached Amidon ND. Using Apple Maps on the I-phone worked better than our Garmin GPS and directed us accurately to the trailhead.

After parking at the end of the tractor road near a "road closed" sign, we put our $20 in the locked mailbox and prepared for the trip. Spraying with insect repellant was a good idea as the recently harvested and bailed hay and the field was filled with flying things.

We started out from the trailhead at 9:50 am and followed the tractor road for about 1 mile. The hot dry area was suitable for the rattlesnakes several trip reports mention, but we did not encounter any. After passing an abandoned farm building, after about 1 mile we reached the gate in the fence and reached the trail starting our hike to the butte. The trail to the butte was well marked in the green grass. It evidently had seen a fair amount of traffic. We later learned that Michael J. Fox had hiked the trail with about one dozen others on July 12. This was part of a Parkinson's Disease research fund raising event.

A very white butte was seen off to the trail's right (West) which initially seemed to be the highpoint but it actual high point (which one at its summit was clearly higher) was covered with grass and some trees. We followed a newly broken trail through the tall grass and a stand of trees to the final ascent up the slope. At the top were great views of the surrounding plains. The high point marker is on top of a metal stake. There is a small plaque on another stake commemorating Lawrence P. Buzalsky (1935-1990) who evidently at one time owned this land and the high point register in a chained ammo box. We signed the register, ate an energy bar, and hydrated.

The trip back went smoothly and we returned to the trailhead at 11:40 am (a total round trip time of just under 2 hours).
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear

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