On Tuesday, January 5, I climbed Greasewood Mountain and Grease Benchmark in the southern Pinaleno Mountains just north of Willcox, Arizona. Greasewood Mountain is the 101st most prominent peak in Arizona with 1751 feet of prominence. Grease Benchmark is the subsidiary southwestern summit of this double-summited peak. I had driving waypoints from the Southern Arizona Hiking Club and the relevant topographic maps.
I left Tucson early in the morning and drove east on I-10 to Willcox. Taking the Fort Grant exit I headed north towards the peak. The road soon turned to gravel but was in good condition. The route took a gas line road, a powerline road, and finally entered Wood Canyon where the road deteriorated.
High clearance was required and 4-wheel drive was helpful getting across some rocky washes. I tried to correctly judge the height of these rocks versus my Jeep’s clearance and choose a line to follow accordingly. But at least once I heard a rock bang against the Jeep’s under armor. Several times brush scraped the Jeep’s side. I watched the tire pressure readings in case of a puncture, but as usual none occurred.
My Jeep handled the road very well. We reached the end of the road at an empty spring-fed water tank with ample parking.
The climbing route started up a steep slope to a ridge. From the ridge I got my first view of Grease Benchmark. I followed the ridge up to the right to a saddle, then traversed up to the saddle between the two summits.
From the saddle I hiked the slope to the northeast to the broad summit of Greasewood Mountain. After searching for a while I found a summit registry partially buried in a rock cairn. I added my name to the others in the registry who had visited here. I enjoyed the views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
From the summit of Greasewood Mountain I descended back to the saddle and hiked and scrambled up the rocky southwest summit, Grease Benchmark. The GREASE benchmark, itself, was located on the summit block.
The day was sunny and warm and I had good views of the many surrounding mountain ranges. I enjoyed remembering the trips I had made with others to visit those ranges over the past 5 years and identifed a few more peaks I hope to visit.
The hike, itself, was short and I took my time descending back to my Jeep with camera handy. The return drive went well and I returned to Tucson by mid afternoon.