After a long hiking hiatus due to job / family commitments, I'm finally getting back into my highpointing goals. I'm planning a trip for this weekend to visit (in order) Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan & Illinois. I have a specific question for the forum regarding claiming credit for Charles Mound.
Since the highpoint of IL is closed all year except for 4 weekends (3 summer, 1 fall), and considering that my specific goal is to make winter ascents of all the highpoints, I'm in a quandary. I've contacted the Wuebbels each winter for the last few years to see if they would be amenable to an off-season visit (considering my goal), but each time my request has been denied.
I definitely want to respect the property-owner wishes, so I'm just planning on making my trip to the end of their driveway as a best-effort. My thought is to claim the summit temporarily unless and until there is a change or heart or change of ownership, kind of like what was done with the previous situation in Rhode Island. The difference, though, is that the elevation of the RI sign was roughly equal to the actual summit elevation; for Charles Mound, it is a few hundred feet different.
Am I totally off-base claiming credit for a winter-ascent being that visiting the driveway is as close to a winter-ascent as one can legally get now? By the way, if the access situation ever did change, I would high-tail it to NW Illinois to visit the actual summit in winter.