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2014 Year-End Highpointing Accomplishments

November 28 2014 at 3:27 AM
markv  (Login markvotapek)

HaHA! All (four) of you assumed i'd only remember to start this thread around December 15th, but this year i'm on it early.

Tell us what 2014 highpoints you reached and how, or which ones you will do in the next 34 days, along with your plans/dreams for 2015. As long as there are a few of us old fogeys and some crickets, we want to know!

I'll go first. I summitted my #45 this year, the lofty pinnacle of Black Mesa, OK. I had business in Louisville and lived in Tucson. Only to a highpointer does that mean a car trip instead of a flight. It's not like i'd ever have any better itinerary for including the panhandle of Oklahoma. The Merc was closed when i was there, but the b&b there was very nice, comfy, and friendly, the hike was actually pretty kewl (especially if you go past the highpoint to the edge of the mesa), and it felt good to make some actual progress towards #50. That's the only state highpoint i did this year, but i did climb Mt. Mcloughlin, OR which i'm pretty sure is a county highpoint. I also moved to San Francisco and am doing lots of hiking around here and in the Sierra.

For 2015 who knows. I may do half of the Continental Divide Trail. There is a tiny, minute chance i'll decide soon to make a go at Denali in June. But most likely at this point 49 will be my limit. We'll see. I still have MT, WV, MN, and FL to go. All very out of the way.

How about you?

p.s. One of these days we'll get spellcheck to accept "highpointing" as a word...

Happy Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and whatever other holidays matter to you, and an early Happy Highpointing New Year 2015.


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Mark Styczynski
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Denali, Denali, Denali

November 28 2014, 12:38 PM 

Nice job grabbing #45, other Mark. 3 out of remaining 5 will fall easily enough. You're getting close!

Still at 49 for me but am deep into planning for Denali with American Alpine Institue from June 7-27. Already got the trip and flight booked and have been training for three months already. Feeling "Rocky" strong.

Did a few day hikes in Vermont this year but nothing too hardcore. Left finishing the New England Highest Hundred for another year. Focused mostly on family stuff in 2014.

Perhaps my greatest accomplishment for the year was getting myself thrown off SummitPost by SCOTT PATTERSON after trolling him pretty bad. happy.gif

Happy Holidays to all!

Except Scott.

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(Login plockwoo)

Still nothing new

November 29 2014, 8:57 AM 

I've been at 36 for the 14th year in a row, but I still plan to finish. We have Denali, Mt Hood and a whole lot of Midwestern high points left.

My wife and I are just starting to do serious hiking trips again as the kids get older. We did Telescope Peak from Shorty's Well in Death Valley last month. It's the kind of hike a highpointer would love. Start at almost the lowest point in North America--250 feet below sea level--and hike to over 11,000 feet and back in the same day. A true nut would start at Badwater, which is across the Valley and 30 ft lower, but we didn't want to add five miles of hiking on salt flats to the trip.

We've done a long day hike that in the fall the last few years. We did the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim (twice) and Cactus to the Clouds in 2011-2013. I think I can sell my wife on a trip to Arkansas this winter-spring to run the 20 mile trail on Magazine Mountain. That would be a good way to finally get back to high pointing. Has anyone done that trail?

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(Login markvotapek)

Magazine Mountain

December 18 2014, 12:53 AM 

Like your style, PJ. I can't say i've done the whole 20-mile on Magazine, but i did hook up with it from a spur trailhead about 5 miles from the summit to do part of your route. It's nothing to write home about, but it's a hike, it feels wild-ish, and definitely worthwhile. If you do more, i'd be interested to hear about your route.

In the internet age, honing in on the simplest route is very attainable, so at least for me it's interesting to hear about people going for a longer or different route.

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Alan Ritter
(Login jaritter)

#45 for me, as well...

November 30 2014, 7:31 PM 

Mark, I'm keeping pace with you. Summitted Kings Peak, Utah on my fourth attempt. This time, we picked a very good weather window in August. A few afternoon showers at our base camp (11,200' just below Gunsight Pass) and a beautiful day for the summit. We'd have been stormed off one day later...big t-storm blew up over the area as we hiked out but we were in the car and driving away, so no problems.

That leaves AK, OR, MT, WY and NV for me. Plans for 2015 are to do Hood in May. Looking ahead, I hope to sandwich the 2016 MT Konvention with MT and WY, making it a month-long trip, more or less. Then decide whether to make one attempt at Denali in 2017 or call it good at 49 (and a 48 list finish) on Boundary Peak. Whichever way I go, Boundary will be my finish because there are some folks, not least of whom is my son, Nathan, whom I want around for the final peak.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the IA Konvention next summer...

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(Login markvotapek)

Re: #45 for me, as well...

December 4 2014, 3:43 AM 

Maybe we should rename this the Elderly Shooting for Denali Forum???

Sounds great everyone. It's hard to believe it was some 13 years ago i found this forum, and that you are all still checking it. I fully expect to run into each of you on one of these mountains sometime in the future.

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Mark Styczynski
(Login MarkStyczynski)

13 is a lucky number ...

December 5 2014, 8:30 AM 

Looks like it's been just about exactly 13 years for me as well. The first "Mark S" post I could find was in February, 2002 ... I can actually remember when Mohamed Elozy suggested this forum to me on one of the Northeast boards.

In one of my early posts, I make reference to having 11 HPs. Ah, so many good mountains were in front of me at the time. This forum has been along for the whole ride and I haven't been kicked off once ... even though roger did once tell me "sign the damn waiver or don't go" regarding Kentcuky. happy.gif

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Doug Urban
(Login Holsti97)

Planning #49

December 14 2014, 10:43 AM 

I hope to do Mauna Kea in late March and continue my assault on Wisconsin county highpoints. Contemplating the Iowa Konvention. Good luck to all on their plans. Especially Catamount on Denali. Maybe Summitpost will allow you back in if you summit that one....and behave yourself!!

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Mark Styczynski
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Good Luck, Doug

December 14 2014, 1:09 PM 

I'm really excited for you on Mauna Kea. It's a great hike from the Visitor's Center if you decide to take the trail. Looking forward to hearing about it.

Don't look for me back on SP. It's really over this time. Couldn't have scripted a better ending to my time there. Oh wait, I did script it. wink.gif

If I summit Denali, I will be posting my trip report on CascadeClimbers. Opened an account there this week and have been quietly posting some pics from my Northwest travels. Uber-psyched about the trip. Been posting about my training and gear acquisitions in the "Members Only" Dungeon section of MountainsNStuff.

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(Login markvotapek)

Re: Good Luck, Doug

January 7 2015, 1:16 AM 

One more thought on your upcoming summit attempt. I'm really glad you're planning on posting a trip report. You can of course find other reports online, but when you've been in touch with someone else's kse through highpointers it lends a good perspective. Would you be willing to post a report even in the unlikely event you do not summit? Also, if you encounter any older (50+) climbers, i'd appreciate hearing your impressions of how they did. In the past few weeks i have a renewed interest in climbing Denali, but i've had some serious conversations and soul-searching and it's apparent i won't get to attempt it for at least several more years.

Good luck!!!!

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Steve Gruhn
(Login SteveGruhn)

Elderly McKinley Ascent

January 12 2015, 3:15 PM 

I climbed Mount McKinley in 2013. My partner was 78 years old at the time and had recently had a hip replacement. I wrote a trip report about our climb for the Mountaineering Club of Alaska's newsletter, the Scree. If you're interested in our logistics and how our trip went, send me your email address and I'll forward you a pdf copy. Alternatively, you can find the trip report in the October 2014 Scree on the Mountaineering Club of Alaska's website at MCA membership ($20 per year for individuals) is required to view the Screes online.

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(Login markvotapek)

Re: Elderly McKinley Ascent

January 13 2015, 11:48 PM 

Yes please, Steve. You can email me at markvotapek "at" netscape "dot" net . I'd be very interested to read, and not really being a prospective MCA member, a pdf would be a great favor.

Mark S., have you gone over 15k yet? Plans to do a test run in Mexico or anything?

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Mark S
(Login MarkStyczynski)


January 14 2015, 7:08 AM 

Haven't been above 15K. That's the big X-factor. My last few times above 14, I've been pretty strong. There should be plenty of time for acclimitization on a 3-week expedition and I'm bringing enough Diamox to tranquilize a horse. So there's that.

Still, I won't know until I know.

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Mark S
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Mutually Stoked

January 13 2015, 7:08 PM 

Damn Mark.

I don't know how I missed your post until now since I check this forum at least once a day.

But yeah, I'm gonna post something, somewhere afterwards. As psyched as I am, I keep reminding myself that I actually may not summit. So the experience is as important as the top. If not moreso. I was actually e-mailing back and forth with the lead guide at AAI today updating him on my training, gear choices etc and he told me they are "stoked" to have me along. My goal is to be the strongest client. If I'm as strong and positive as I'd like to be, it will improve everyone's summit chamces ... including my own. happy.gif

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(Login markvotapek)

Re: Planning #49

December 16 2014, 2:04 AM 

Dang it, now i'm finding myself up nights reading about Denali...

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(Login Hojo76014)

no new ones but...

December 29 2014, 8:00 PM 

made return visits to NJ & Maryland. Also did PA's - first one for us where we visited a third time. We took our current dogs to all three and PA's is our only highpoint where all 6 of our dogs past & present have been to with us.

Mount Marcy is our only hp east of the Mississippi we still haven't done and it's my state of birth. Had plans to do it back in '96 when we still lived there but the move to Texas came upon us real quick.

Would love to check off some western ones but one being retired and the other underemployed - it may be years before we can do them.

I share the sentiment - I still checkout Americas roof - I think so many others contribute on FB and other venues. I wonder how many still go onto summitpost.

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Steve R
(Login stever500)

I'm at 47 now...trying WY again this summer, I hope

January 18 2015, 11:25 PM 

If my right knee holds out. Having serious problems with it so I won't know till Spring if I can attempt it or not. Also want to try Granite this summer but we'll see. This site and the HP'ers magazine is to blame for my LUST to do the 49 hightpoints! happy.gif

Denali is most likely out of the question as I'm 53 with failing knees. Darn body - it really pi**es me off sometimes. Oh to be 21 again.

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Dave Covill
(Login DaveCOLORADO)

Re-Visited 8 state HPs in 2014

February 2 2015, 4:52 PM 

In the course of peakbagging around America, I was fortunate to be able to re-visit 11 state HPs in 2014:


I visited here in April with my nephew Wiley Gibson, during a Washington DC vacation. I was able to summit lofty Point Reno then as well, my first time there if you can believe that.


These were in the course of visits in May on behalf of the HP Foundation and checking on Projects we have underway.


These were with my nephew Chase Gibson of MA, who visited me in CO in July, and we were originally set to climb Mt Elbert here, but a change of plans saw us off to Black Mesa then Wheeler Peak. I was quite pleased to see the terrific trail maintenance at the Williams Lake Trail; it is much nicer than years ago. I haven't actually been near the place since the NM-94 Konvention, and before that in 1982, so it had been a while!


These were while we were at the TN-14 Konvention, with my wife Beckie and my good buddy Roy Wallen. We witnessed first-hand the levelling of the top at Sassafras, and enjoyed a cloudy vista practically to ourselves late in the day at Brasstown. Black Mtn approach road is a bit rutted but not too bad, and might make for a nice Foundation Project to help out with that.


With CO friends I made it up Whitney via the Mountaineers Route in September, also visiting Russell, Muir, Langley and Keelers Needle. I have about half the CA 14ers, depending on how you count them. I do not recommend this ugly scree slog in summer, it would be a nice couloir climb in May.

I don't have any concrete plans for state HPs in 2015, although I intend to attempt Granite Peak in MT with friends in early August 2016 during the MT-16 Konvention.

I can not recall being to 11 state HPs in a single year in a very long while, perhaps ever?

FYI - I lack only 7 states for a full repeat of the 50.


This is quite a project, and my hat is off to those who have done so (Whit Rambach, John Mueller, Kenny Pokora). I am in no hurry to do this, but it seems to be happening despite any efforts on my part to deny it....

Klimb ( and drive! ) Safely on your highpointing adventures !!!

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