Hello to all. Sorry for the long commentary that follows, but I’ve been out west climbing mountains for a couple weeks and upon returning, I have a few comments for this forum. My first comment relates to Roger’s locked thread and I hope my comment doesn’t renew the “flaming” that caused Roger to lock the former thread.
So, in relation to the NH convention, unless a person has worked to organize a convention/conference, please be careful in relation to criticizing the organizers. A comment was made: “Purity Springs -- I'm tired of hearing that excuse that closer to the mountain meant more money. The convention was held at Purity Springs because one of the organizers of the NH convention worked there. They never looked at other locations.” I believe Stevo Harding is the owner of the resort and he is an HP Club member, thus he had an interest in furthering the Club’s interests. If I remember correctly, other locations were considered and Purity Springs was selected as a resort capable of handling ‘a group of our size.’ Additionally, they had the capability of organizing all of the business aspects of the convention, versus having two or more businesses attempting to interact and work with the funds collected.
As was mentioned in another portion of the locked thread, the overflow crowd occurred primarily due to individuals registering after the August 1st registration deadline. I was going to be one of this elite group, however I wouldn’t pay $60 for the dinner as I couldn’t attend the Friday social or Saturday breakfast. How about a reduced fee for those who only attend the convention dinner activity? In review, a good convention, and as has been stated, because of the people attending!
My second comment, if any of you have participated in the HP Club’s patriotic “flags over America,” I hope you have also remembered to return to the state highpoint, and remove and/or replace the tattered and torn American flag you placed there (please remember to dispose of the flag properly). Too often while driving past “patriotic buildings,” I see tattered and torn flags, thus displaying great disrespect for the flag and this country. I have also seen this disrespect with flags on mountain tops, most recently on Charleston Peak and Borah Peak. I wanted to remove the tattered flag on Charleston Peak but didn’t and have regretted my decision. I did remove the remnants of the American flag from Borah Peak. Please, if you display an American flag somewhere, consider proper display and disposal.
While climbing western mountains, I visited the highpoint of ID, NV, and CA. Please remember that early autumn in the higher elevations may resemble early winter, both the western and northeast mountains. I was happy that a couple I met on Borah Peak decided to turn around when the conditions on Chicken-Out-Ridge became more than they cared for. For some people, C-O-R isn’t a pleasant experience on dry rocks; add snow, some ice, wind, and <32º F and you have a challenging climb for many people. IF you feel that your KSE – knowledge, skills, experience – are being exceeded during any state highpoint visit (or any outdoor adventure), please consider ending your visit until you feel your KSE are sufficient. This could relate to warming temps and snow conditions for better foot placement, a few tips from other trekkers, or taking a skills course from an experienced organization.
My journey to the summit of the contiguous 48 states occurred a few days after a snowstorm in the high country of CA and NV. I met a few highpointers on Boundary Peak who related stories of being caught in this snowstorm. Our time on Boundary Peak involved the wonderful weather that ‘we’ dream of for early autumn. However, my trek to the top of Whitney was more winter like; not to mention the longer distance and time required. Above about 12200’ snow became more prevalent in the trail and most of the famous switchbacks were filled with snow. Because much of this portion of the trail is ‘northeastern facing,’ snow softening occurred late and refreezing began early. I talked to numerous summit-bound hikers at noontime or later who were concerned about the return trek; I hope all returned without problem.
For me, this is a case of people at or exceeding their KSE. If these hikers returned without incident, they were able to add to their KSE. I had a great time hiking this peak and numerous others. I climbed Mount Muir with Whitney and enjoyed bouldering at 14,000 feet. Standing on a small summit block with a ‘strong breeze’ was a bit different, and there was the long drop to the east. Bouldering off route on Charleston Peak, near the Devils Thumb, was fun and C-O-R is always great. I consider these outdoor activities “easy and fun,” but if you feel uncomfortable while participating in outdoor activities with others, stop, it’s your life. Remember: “the mountain will be there another day,” and “the summit is optional, returning isn’t.” And, have a fantastic time while pursuing your highpoint adventures!