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My benchmark collection

My benchmark collection

My benchmark collection

Page Type: Album

Object Title: My benchmark collection


Page By: Dean

Created/Edited: Jan 26, 2010 / Aug 17, 2014

Object ID: 592313

Hits: 2325 

Page Score: 89.39% - 29 Votes 

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Benchmark mania

I really love finding a benchmark atop a peak and almost always make the effort to get a pic of it. I thought an album would be a nice way to keep them together hence, this album.

I've found them on peaks all over the west. They are a unique legacy to those who summit the mountains of the USA. As you can see they come in some differing forms and different colors. Some of the ones placed in the early part of the twentieth century are in good shape while some of the more recent ones have taken a beating. The metal used seems to have made a big difference in how well they stand up to the elements and abuse. In many cases the cenral benchmark is gone or under something but a witness marker with a name on it is
a nice find and many are submitted in this album.

This LINK has a lot of information about benchmarks and their significance. The following is from this link:

What is a benchmark?

"A benchmark is a point whose position is known to a high degree of accuracy and is normally marked in some way. The marker is often a metal disk made for this purpose, but it can also be a church spire, a radio tower, a mark chiseled into stone, or a metal rod driven into the ground. Over two centuries or so, many other objects of greater or lesser permanence have been used. Benchmarks can be found at various locations all over the United States. They are used by land surveyors, builders and engineers, map makers, and other professionals who need an accurate answer to the question, "Where?" Many of these markers are part of the geodetic control network (technically known as the National Spatial Reference System, or NSRS) created and maintained by NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS)."

From the same source, this about Witness benchmarks:

"Triangulation stations usually have two or more reference marks associated with them. Reference marks are for helping to keep the location of triangulation stations from being lost and are not actually geodetic control marks. The triangulation station's description has accurate azimuth and horizontal (not slope) distance to each of its reference marks so that it can be re-set from them if necessary. These marks also have arrows in their centers that are supposed to point toward the triangulation station. A few reference marks are surveyed with adjusted coordinates and have their own PID in the database."

Note: I have attached several pics taken by Dennis Poulin of benchmarks that were on peaks we did. Sometimes my pics were too blurry to use or I forgot to get a picture (yes, that does happen) and it was great to fall back on pics that he had taken.  I've got a few peaks that include both the main benchmark picture as well as a witness marker.  Often that is because one or the other has the name of the mountain stamped on it.  Some central benchmarks do not and that is generally why I included  the witness marker.


Benchmark hunting
About Benchmarks by Richard Carey
Benchmark elevation information
SP Benchmark album



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Viewing: 1-5 of 5    



Voted 10/10

This is alot of history you have documented! I find it interesting how they all look a little different. Some have names of peaks and elevations, others don't. Love the album!
Posted Feb 22, 2014 7:52 pm

DeanRe: Wow!


Hasn't voted

I'm addicted to the benchmarks found on summits. I'm always sad when I find the central one missing or I've climbed a peak that doesn't have one at all. Registers are next on what I look for when I hit a summit, especially on mountains that see few visitors. Another SP member and I found a register on a peak in Idaho that went back into the 1940's. That was cool. Thanks for checking out the album, I'm glad you liked it.
Posted Feb 22, 2014 11:54 pm

KlenkeBenchmarks in every direction


Voted 10/10

Hey Dean, I just saw this page. Pretty cool. I'm sure the USGS also appreciates the "visual record."

I have a goal to visit the westernmost, easternmost, southernmost, etc. benchmarks in WA. Some are fairly hard to get to.

Is this page just a personal collection or can others upload to it?
Posted Mar 8, 2014 11:45 am

DeanRe: Benchmarks in every direction


Hasn't voted

Paul, glad you like benchmarks too. I like putting the state abbreviation in parentheses as it helps in giving a feel for where the benchmark is located. Take care.
Posted Mar 8, 2014 11:55 am

KlenkeRe: Benchmarks in every direction


Voted 10/10

I uploaded one (upload #300, heh heh) for the Red Mountain west of downtown Las Vegas.

As an experiment I retrieved the datasheet from the USGS BM datasheet database. Unfortunately (for us), we can't link to a record in their database. So I pasted it into the caption.

To get the formatting correct and readable in the caption, the following HTML programming was done:

<div align="left"><font size="1" face="courier new"><sup><br /> Paste the Datasheet text here<br /> </sup></font></div>

Ignore the br tags (I can't seem to get them to disappear in this post).

The superscript tag decrease the size just enough to not force any lines to wrap to the next line.
Posted Mar 8, 2014 1:14 pm

Viewing: 1-5 of 5