Ascent of San Saba County High Point on 2016-01-28

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose

Gary Kasprzyk
Date:Thursday, January 28, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:San Saba County High Point
    Elevation:1981 ft / 603 m

Ascent Trip Report

This TR covers today's 2 successful trips to the San Saba COHP and Bee Benchmark (Llano COHP) ..... all thanks to luck and the rancher we met.

Driving Directions to the access roads to the 2 COHPs.
From the town of Llano we drove north on #16 to Cherokee, Jct 16/R501 and zeroed our odo.
00.0M ... we left Cherokee westbound on R501.
10.8M ... 4-way crossing with CR310, left turn (south) leads to Bee Benchmark and a few other peaks beyond.
14.0M ... CR353 on the left leads to San Saba COHP.
16.2M ... crest of the road, Communication tower on the right. A farm track inside the fence on the left is an alternate xcountry route to San Saba COHP.

SAN SABA COHP .... successful visit to 2 areas, spent 70 minutes inside the ranch.
This county has 2 candidate high point areas.
From R501 (above) we drove CR353 dirt road south .6 miles to a nice/locked gated entrance on the right, signed "Rocking K Ranch #576", "No Trespassing", "Hill Country Cattle Women". We decided not to hop the gate and walk the road to the house for permission, and as luck would have it, we were backing out as Gary Kasprzyk drove-up in his white pick-up truck, he had just finished feeding his bulls.
I provide his contact information below.
He answered my request with, "Where you here 15 years ago?"
I smiled, "Must have been someone else."
"Ya sure, I'll take you there."
We followed him west .6 miles, where he left his driveway to the left, and drove on the lesser road .25 miles to the AREA 1 obvious summit, capped with 4 benchmarks embedded in concrete "USGS SURVEY NOTCH 1935". He has documentation that puts the elevation at 2003'.
He cleared the summit of all woods, it offers a super panorama of the area. Took a photo of Rose with Gary.

His house is another .8 miles west up the driveway, from where a small track heads west .4 miles to the AREA 2 summit with nothing obvious. I walked there alone while Rose stayed back to socialize.

Gary bought this 700 acre property in 1990, at the time a goat farm. He dislikes the smell of goats so he now has cattle. Mountain lions in the area have killed Does.
Gary is a very warm/friendly type, told us of his visit to Canada's Calgary Stampede and the nice people he met there, he shares Rose's Polish roots and told us of his ancestors pioneering days in the early eighteen hundreds.
I am of the opinion he'll grant access if asked.

Gary gave us his business card.
Concealed Handgun License Instructor
Gary W Kasprzyk
Vietnam Veteran
NRA Life Member
DPS Registered Range
PO Box 44
Pontotoc, Texas 76869
512 751 9066

A big thank you to Gary.

BEE BENCHMARK/LONE OAK MOUNTAIN ... On this trip I visited 3 peaks ... road/wack/xcountry for a total of 3.8 miles, 400' gain, 1:40 hours RT.

BEE BENCHMARK ... track southbound, 1 mile one way, 20' gain.
From R501 we drove south on CR310 for 3.2 miles to a left on a smaller road, then .9 miles southeast where we parked just before the open gate. This last road was full of cows, had to sit and wait for them to move over. The BEE BENCHMARK is to the south at 1 mile, with only a 20' gain.
I walked the farm track south (on a flat plateau) directly to the summit area, on-route had to go through two unlocked gates, hop one gate and crawl under a fence line. A huge/tall hunters stand is 150 yards before the summit (Lookout Platform-like). There is nothing obvious.
Decided to continue south to visit a few peaks.

LONE OAK MOUNTAIN .... .6 miles one way, 70' gain, southwest of Bee Benchmark.
I walked the track southwest to a small saddle where I hopped a gate and wacked/xcountry to the summit.

LONE OAK MOUNTAIN-WEST PEAK .... .3 miles one way, 80' gain.
I dropped xcountry west to a small saddle and climbed to the open summit.

I backtracked over the 3 summits to the TH (1.9 miles, 230' gain).

Rose had a quiet wait, a pickup truck drove-by without stopping.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:181 ft / 55 m
    Total Elevation Loss:181 ft / 54 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:181 ft / 55 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 101 ft / 30 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Loss on way in:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:visit to 2 areas
    Start Trailhead:CR353  1880 ft / 573 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:101 ft / 30 m
    Route:visit to 2 areas
    End Trailhead:CR353  1880 ft / 573 m

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