Ascent of Groan Benchmark on 2016-01-15

Climber: Jim Wick

Others in Party:Larry Edmonds
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, January 15, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Groan Benchmark
    Elevation:2732 ft / 832 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove down Carrizo Creek in 4WD vehicle. There are long stretches of 4WD is required; especially after the heavy rains from the previous week. obvious turnaround/trailhead is about 7 miles in. ample parking for at least half dozen vehicles. Started up the damp wash at 9:17a. good trail to follow in most places. after 1.3 miles in, we took a side wash up to the right. this was a short-cut of over a mile if we continued to follow the main wash. The side wash was cleared not too long ago (within a year); looked like non native plants such as tamarisk were cut down. Thus the wash was a nice route. We left the wash to go over a intermediate saddle which had a cholla forest on the south side. We descended back down to the main wash (about 1.5 miles upstream). There is lots of overgrowth in the narrow wash; especially cat-claw. We started up a ravine taking us to the saddle just SW of Groan BM. The ravine quickly became a time and energy boulder exercise. We ascended to the east (left) side of this ravine. This also a time consuming footing then we started getting hit with winds. The constant wind speed increased along with the gusts as we reached the saddle and above. At times the wind would have easily knocked us over if we didn't have trekking poles. Definitely don't want to get pushed into Cholla or any of the other sharp prickly plants. At times we had to stop, hug a few rocks, to wait for the gusts to subside. I'm a large heavy hiker, so when wind knocks me over with trekking poles...wind speed must be over 70 mph. The wind easily added over an hour to the summit. Signed the register. Found the benchmark and two reference marks. We descended back to the SW saddle. We choose the west side of the ravine (the other side of the ascent) which was much better route; both for speed and footing. Reached the vehicles at 3:13p (which included some side trips looking for pictographs). On the drive out, had 3 big horned sheep silhouetted in the sky above us. Got great photos. Great way to finish a hike.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2020 ft / 615 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2020 ft / 615 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.6 mi / 10.6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Extremely Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1900 ft / 579 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1780 ft / 542 m; Extra: 120 ft / 36m
    Loss on way in:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:Carrizo Gorge
    Start Trailhead:Carrizo Gorge TH  952 ft / 290 m
    Time:3 Hours 9 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1900 ft / 579 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1780 ft / 542 m; Extra: 120 ft / 36m
    Gain on way out:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Carrizo Gorge
    End Trailhead:Carrizo Gorge TH  952 ft / 290 m
    Time:2 Hours 45 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jim Wick
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.

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