Bagging nine peaks in nine states - from Jersey to Wisconsin
Even McKinley climbers have been stymied by the dangers of 821-foot Jerimoth Hill in Rhode Island
By RICHARD F. SCHMITZ
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2003
To include some physical exercise on a recent Boston-to-Juneau road trip, I had set a goal of conquering the highest peak of 10 states in 10 days. Sadly, due to a last-second failure of courage on my part, the Rhode Island high point - which, like Mt. McKinley, was the subject of warnings from the Highpointers Club (www.highpointers.org) - was not on our list of successful climbs, although we stood within a few dozen yards of the summit.
In Ohio, base camp was the parking lot of Hi Point Joint Vocational School - just off state Highway 540 near Bellefontaine, in the heart of Ohio ski country. After a quick reconnoiter, I chose to follow a sidewalk on a circular route past a utility building, while Caroline chose the more treacherous "West Face" lawn. There, under radio towers, between some locust trees and alongside a flagpole, was a concrete "X" marking the top. A plaque at the spot explained that during the first years of the Cold War, Campbell Hill was site of a major radar installation under control of the U.S. Air Force Air Defense Command.
The highpointers.org Web site states that club members who had struggled up Mount McKinley found themselves stymied when they tried to ascend Jerimoth Hill.
Today, high-point hikers are allowed access on certain public holidays.