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The Kompletely Official 2015 Year-End Highpointing Accomplishments Thread

December 7 2015 at 10:29 PM
markv  (Login markvotapek)

 
Happy Holidays to you all. I've put off starting this thread a little bit this year because i wanted to include with it a trip report. But at my rate of procrastination, that trip report won't happen soon enough. So here is the thread anyway.

Please report in! We want to know what you climbed in 2015, how it went, and what your dreams and aspirations are for highpointing in 2016.

I knocked off a tough one this year. Actually, i can say it's the hardest physical thing i've done in my life. Harder than 2 complete PCT thru-hikes, harder than climbing Gannett. In August, my wife and i successfully summitted Granite Peak, MT via the SW Couloir (or SW Ramp) route. The approach was great, but the climb was a beast. I've always been more at ease with glacier climbing than i am on vertical rock, so this was going to be my toughest highpoint regardless. But what made it so difficult, and frankly way way too dangerous, was that it snowed on the mountain for 2 days before our climb. We had a narrow window of possible days to climb, so when the skies finally began to lighten a little bit in the late morning, we went for it. Our summit day involved some Class 4 on rock that had snow on it or snowmelt rushing off of it, which made for some dicey spots. We summitted at 5pm (!!), started our descent at 5:30, and made it off the vertical before dark, and back at camp at about 9:00. It's pretty much a miracle we didn't at least get hurt up there, and my wife had a lot to do with us making it ok. More in the trip report if/when i get it done. Anyway, i'm at #46 at age 46, with only WV, FL, MN, and AK to go.

I also had a nice climb of South Sister in Oregon, which is a county highpoint, managing to get up there before sunrise and having the summit to myself for a whole hour before crossing paths with literally 100 other hikers while i descended.

Aside from highpointing, i had a great time playing concerts on a 5-day Colorado River Raft Trip. Yes, concerts on a raft trip, including playing ON THE RAFT.

For 2016 i have no specific highpointing plans. Denali looms. I'm pretty sure i'm going to let it loom at least for another year, maybe permanently.

That's all from me. How about you?

 
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AuthorReply

Mark Styczynski
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Done and done

December 9 2015, 10:03 PM 

First off, many congrats to Mark V on his ascent of Granite Peak. I gotta agree with your assessment that it is the toughest HP in the lower 48 just because of the added challenge of vertical rock climbing. Nice job by you and your wife in pulling off an ascent of the SW couloir. Since you didn't mention a guide service, I assume you did it without one. Extra style points, for sure.

Anyway, not to beat a dead horse, but I summited Denali on June 21 for #50. My write-up is in the recently released third quarter issue of Apex to Zenith. Since I was the only completer of the quarter, I know I am the 268th person to finish the list. happy.gif

For 2016, I'll be heading back to Rainier for what will hopefully be my second ascent of the mountain. In 2012, I climbed the DC Route with IMG. This time, I'll be attempting the Emmons Glacier Route ... again with IMG from July 30th to August 3rd. Will be climbing with some folks I know in various ways so it should be a lot of fun. Looking at it as a victory lap.

Beyond that ... who knows? I'm not as young as I used to be and I've accomplished my goal. There may be some other mountains in my future, but I don't really see myself taking on any more big projects.

Hope you all have a fantastic Holiday season!

 
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markv
(Login markvotapek)

Re: Done and done

December 13 2015, 12:56 AM 

I guess the forum is down to just over-the-hill Marks. Oh well, it was a good run.

Thanks Mark. No guide for me on any of them except Rainier a zillion years ago when i had zero experience. If i try Denali though, i'll make an exception and do that one guided too. Congrats on Denali again. I'd like to read your write-up, but i'm not current in the club, so i haven't gotten AtoZ in awhile.

Have fun on Rainier. I've thought a few times it would be good to go back and do that one un-led, but really the repeat that holds my imagination most is to go back to Gannett. Such a beautiful mountain and area.

Isn't it interesting to think about what to do after a long-sought goal is achieved? I've been there after a couple of long-distance hikes. It's fun to think not just about what the goal was, but what along the journey was (maybe unexpectedly) great. For me at least, that led to thinking differently about what things to prioritize next...

 
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Mark Styczynski
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Well ...

December 13 2015, 4:56 PM 

I got my start as a 46R in the Adirondacks back in the early 90s so it seems appropriately ironic to have finished the state highpoints at 46 years old and to be talking about it with another 46-year-old who has 46 highpoints himself. happy.gif

Anyway, if you e-mail your address to pumaconcolor2012@gmail.com I can send you a copy of this quarter's Apex to Zenith. John M and Stony were kind enough to mail me some extra copies and you are more than welcome to one. I think I've probably internet yapped with you about highpointing more than just about anyone over the last decade or so.

I suspect some others will check in. We haven't quite chased everyone off. At least not yet.


 
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Steve Gruhn
(Login SteveGruhn)

Me, too

December 15 2015, 1:38 PM 

I was also 46 when I finished in 2013. And I started this crazy obsession as a college student in Troy just south of the Adirondacks.

 
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Mark S
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Woah

December 15 2015, 8:20 PM 

This is starting to feel like the Twilght Zone.

RPI, I presume? I attended Catholic Central High School ... also in Troy. 116th and 7th.

 
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Steve Gruhn
(Login SteveGruhn)

RPI

December 16 2015, 5:50 PM 

Yeah, I spent six years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from August 1984 to June 1990.

 
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markv
(Login markvotapek)

twilight zone

December 17 2015, 2:46 AM 

And i also attended Catholic Central High School, though in Michigan, where there is also a town named Troy. I also spent the summer after my senior year in high school in Troy, NY though.


 
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Mark Styczynski
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Re: twilight zone

December 17 2015, 11:49 AM 

I'm starting to think we may all be the same person. Or maybe it's just something in that Troy water. happy.gif

Fun fact: the Adirondack 46Rs were orignally known as "The Forty Sixers of Troy." See below timeline entry for August 26th, 1937 ...

http://adk46er.org/history/timeline.html

 
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markv
(Login markvotapek)

Re: twilight zone

December 17 2015, 1:00 PM 

I guess we let this thread careen off into something else, but there is more than the standard not-so-coincidental amount of coincidence.

I could confuse you by telling you that i'm probably the only male you know who spent a summer at Emma Willard School. I'll let you figure that one out, and no, i didn't have gender reassignment surgery.

 
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