Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bentrim Hill 8.25.09

I have never viewed life as a race and as such I am not in a big hurry to finish the Back Court 100. I do however like to take the time to savor a meaningful summit. Bentrim Hill is nothing special and if wasn't such long ways to reach in Winter I would have saved it for some wintery day. I had hoped to stay West of the crest but when I awoke to a drizzly marine layer I knew a change was in order.

I had read R&R's great trip report but I didn't do a good job of transcribing the directions on to my used envelope. I parked where I thought I should but to be sure I took a reading with my GPS and was too far from my intended target. Unable to make much sense of the maze of roads on my map I was most confused. I decided to keep driving in the direction I needed to go and hope for the best. I soon came into some recognizable territory and in fact I ended up at the trailhead I had planned on using before reading R&R's report. I parked and didn't even bother in changing into my regular footwear on clothing. I put some liquid in my daypack and hit the Old Ellensburgh Trail. The trail is in good shape and is heavily used by horsemen so the going is quite dusty. I soon crested beneath Mount Lillian and began the descent to the Howard Creek Trail. As dry as it has been there is running water everywhere, which is a product of the many springs that dot the area. After reaching the intersection with the Grouse Springs Trail I resumed climbing. Soon I was in a nice meadowy area beneath the summit where I left the trail and made my way easily to Bentrim's summit. The views were nice to the West and East but there isn't much to see to the South and North is blocked by trees. There is an immense summit cairn where I wasn't able to find a register. For the descent I chose to drop in a much more direct line to my trail below. I tried to head in Southern direction to make sure I didn't over run my trail. There were numerous game trail that looked like they were manmade. I again reached a meadowy area and I felt like I was North of my trail I started to worry that I had come down too far offline. Thankfully the trail finally emerged right on a spot where I had seen some recent flagging. I thought it odd since it was the only flagging I had seen and coming out in that exact spot game me reason to chuckle. I soon recrossed Howard Creek and began climbing my way back up to the car. I am curious why there is so much deadfall just above Haney Meadows. There are no avalanche slopes to provide that level of destruction. I can only surmise that there was some huge wind event or that the forest was purposely thinned.

Approx 7 miles 2000ft of climb 3 hours car to car

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