Sunday, January 1, 2017

US State and County High Points

I'm starting to track the high points I've been to. Oddly it was going to Pennsylvania's high point that made me start doing this. Interested readers, should they exist, will no doubt want to point me to the online organizations that track country, state and county high points. I love reading about people that do this officially, but I'm not registered on those sites.

To further deflate the significance of the enterprise, it must also be said that it's silly to make a list of hills and mountains that is highly dependent on the territorial whims of the primates scrambling about their flanks at that moment. While the likes of Whitney and Elbert have some claim to being on any such list, Ebright is certainly on here only because of its good luck that on the day colonial Pennsylvania's Lower Counties asked the king for home-rule, he was in a good mood. Much more importantly, altitude is only very indirectly related to difficulty of climbing, difficulty of climate, mortality risk, and most critically, natural beauty and enjoyment of the experience, which is why we all do this in the first place. But read my list anyway.

National high points: I have none as yet, and will not be getting one for my own country's Denali (McKinley to Lower-48ers), because I've declared I will never attempt it. I did attempt Mexico's Orizaba but the altitude got me.

State high points I've been to:

CaliforniaMt. Whitney, 14,496' (highest in lower 48)
ColoradoMt. Elbert, 14,440' (second highest in lower 48)
OregonMt. Hood, 11,230'
South DakotaBlack Elk Peak (fmr. Harney), 7,244'
North CarolinaMt. Mitchell, 6,684'
New YorkMt. Marcy, 5,344'
PennsylvaniaMt. Davis, 3,213'
DelawareEbright Azimuth, 448'

High points I care about and may at some point go out of my way to get to:
Washington (fourth highest in lower 48)
Hawaii (highest in the world if you count from the Earth's crust, but no one does except patriotic Hawaiians)
New Mexico

California county high points I've been to:
InyoMt. Whitney, 14,496'
TulareMt. Whitney, 14,496'
SiskiyouMt. Shasta, 14,162'
San BernardinoMt. San Gorgonio, 11,499'
RiversideMt. San Jacinto, 10,839'
Los AngelesMt. San Antonio (Baldy), 10,064'
ColusaSnow Mountain, 7,056'
LakeSnow Mountain, 7,056'
OrangeSantiago Peak, 5,687'
NapaMt. St. Helena, 4,200'
Contra CostaMt. Diablo, 3,849'
AlamedaRose Peak, 3,842'
SolanoMt. Vaca, 2,819'
MarinMt. Tamalpais, 2,576'
SutterSouth Butte, 2,120'
San FranciscoMt. Davidson, 925'
SacramentoCarpenter Benchmark, 828'*

*Behind private property barrier by about 100', but I count this one because screw them

I was interested to learn that I have not yet been to the high points of Santa Cruz or San Mateo Counties (I thought I had). Besides those, I also care about Fresno County's (higher than Shasta), and the ones in the coastal counties, except for San Diego, which is privately owned and I'm not going to pay dammit. Also, like many I have long dreamed of making it to the high point of Berks County, Pennsylvania, which is on the Appalachian Trail...perhaps one day!


Grego said...

The high point of San Mateo doesn't sound that interesting. Wouldn't the "highest somewhat isolated peak" be a better goal, so that you have extensive views from the local maximum point?

So, let's do Montara Mountain again soon; you hike, I'll ride. It's going to rain for the next week so that makes it a good time to do it!

Michael Caton said...

Sir, if your commitment to high points concerns merely whether they happen to be "interesting" to you, then I question not only your heritage, but your morals, etc. etc. Why on Earth would it be a good time to do Montara in the rain?