Cottle County High Point Trip Report

Date: May 26, 2002
Author: David Olson

This was a "grudge" coHP. We had gone up there a year earlier and couldn't be sure we had been to the topmost bit up there. GPS readings we took lead us to believe that we missed the top by 0.1 mile.

We started from the same trailhead we had used last year and which Scott Surgent had used, county road 266 and the gated access road/trailhead 0.9 mile north of the road corner at spot elevation 2027 [Corner1].

We hiked up the road. At 1.2 miles the road turns northwest. This time we followed Scott's route description and continued straight on a very faint track. Going another 0.1 mile, the faint track encountered knee-high oak brush and turned 10 degrees to the right. The next 0.35 mile was a two-track path through the brush, paralleling a gully to the left. Then we came to an intersection with a slightly better road. We spent time with the map, compass and GPS figuring our situation. We concluded that the cross road goes "from" Ford Windmill 210 azimuth to the top of the big hill. A year earlier we probably missed it because it branched off sooner than we expected and we discounted it. Those are the errors of not pacing and measuring.

We hiked the cross road down across the gully and up. We neglected pacing this part. When it crested the top we re-read Scott's trip report and then hiked south 200 feet toward what looked highest. Actual distance by pacing was 300 feet. We came on another east-west road, hiked left (east) along it across the top, and found Scott's "bare area" with two boards nailed together at right angles. The "bare area" could also be described as a wide area in the road. We found two more boards nailed at right angles in the brush 8 feet south of the bare area.

We had used that east-west road a year earlier, both west of the HP and east of the HP, but I can not swear that we had used it OVER the HP. We may have been wandering among the brush instead.

From the HP we hiked at 145 azimuth looking for the BM. We found the south reference mark first, then the BM, located close against the east side of an oak "hummock". Both marks are set in 1-foot high concrete pillars.

What was our mistake a year ago? Besides not figuring the GPS location of our destination in advance? This time we had a map with latitude-longitude ticks on the margin and a map with UTM ticks on the margin. GPS reading matched the latitude-longitude map. We did not check against the latitude-longitude . printed on the US-CGS BM sheet. UTM easting matched the UTM map and the easting printed on the US- CGS BM sheet. UTM northing matched the northing printed on the US-CGS BM sheet; the UTM map was 200 meters smaller (more south). The number I had from Topozone was also 200 meters more south. Afterwards I compared this with the number I estimated from the printed 7.5 USGS topo a few years ago. My estimated number, noted only to the hundreds of meters, fell in-between the two numbers. Right now I would be suspicious of the UTM northing number reported by Topozone or any other web-source.