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Ascent of Kennedy Benchmark on 2016-05-31

Climber: Dave Covill

Date:Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kennedy Benchmark
    Location:USA-Nebraska
    Elevation:5255 ft / 1601 m

Ascent Trip Report

A few things have changed since the Mitchler-01 and Surgent-04 Trip Reports.

I drove to the house purported to be occupied by Jim Koch, west of the road and slightly south of the access lane at MM 8.9. Turns out he never lived there. It is occupied, for two decades plus, by Terry and Phyllis Gillett ( no "e", pronounced like the razor ).

They were super, called up Jim Dunn on Jim's cell. Jim said I could go on up anywhere I wished. Terry ( age 77 ) drove me in his 4WD, and we went up and over most of the candidates east of the main one with the two buildings. I agree with all findings; this main area is highest. I used my trusty 5X level, and the ones to the S and SW were noticeably lower. The ones back to the E were close. We drove back over them again on the way out, even the larger one with the small cairn. Andy would be proud, old Terry did a perfect Martinization of the main contour.

Jim Dunn bought the land that contains the highpoints form Georginne LaBarr. In 2004 or so, her husband had passed away, and Jim Koch was the "caretaker" of it for her. She put it all up for sale, and Jim Dunn outbid Terry and took it all over, to extend his pastures westward. He now owns all 27 candidates. You can drive in to the Dunn or Gillett ranches, or call ahead.

I would not have driven my Suzuki SX4 into there. It turned to just grass immediately. Terry had a large 4WD truck, and he motored slowly over the grass. Ditches were tiny for it, but still 6"+ deep for a car. I think I could have walked out to the main point, and across the ones E of it, and back in about 45 minutes.

Call Jim Dunn at 308-665-5707-cell
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