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2016 Year-End Highpoint Extravanganza. Anybody out there....?

December 13 2016 at 4:25 AM
markv  (Login markvotapek)

(This will be the last year i start this thread unless i get at least 3 non-Marks who respond.)

If you're a highpointer, tell us what you climbed in 2016, how it went and what routes you took, and what your plans are for 2017. Don't save it all for Facebook. Share it here!

For me, at age 47, i ticked off highpoint #47: Minnesota. It was a day off at the end of a business trip, just like a lot of the ones i've done. Somehow i managed to make the little hike dramatic. I got within 50 yards of the summit on a rainy May day, slipped on some wet granite, landed on a sharp point directly on my left knee, and gashed it open all the way to the bone. Not kidding. I could see my kneecap, and the pain was intense. Being a highpointer, i cussed as i limped my way to the top and tagged it, and then proceeded to scare a whole lot of people on the way down the trail, as my pants leg was bright red with blood from the knee down to my ankle. There were couple of guys i didn't know who i think thought i was going to pass out, and they kept an eye on me on the descent but i made it down to my car a couple miles from the trailhead (+50% prominence, ask if you want to know.)

The important things are that i made highpoint #47 and that the blood washed off my pants in the laundry. I have a scar that i'll always remember Eagle Mountain by. Hopefully #s 48-49 WV and Fl will be less dramatic. And hopefully #50 Alaska will happen someday.

#47 will not happen in 2017. My work schedule already has May-July blocked out. Maybe Denali 2018? I'm not sorry for the crazy journey that state highpointing has put me through, but i wonder if i'll ever reach 50.

Tell us about your 2016 journey and 2017 plans. Even if you're named Mark. Or Allen . Or Steve. We want to hear from all of you.

K-Happy K-Holidays, and Keep Klimbing!

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Mark S
(Login MarkStyczynski)


December 13 2016, 6:53 PM 

Well damn.

I waited like 14 hours this year before responding to the annual thread but it seems I am just doomed to forever being the "first responder." The irony is not lost on me. happy.gif

Anyway, what more can I say in this forum? About all I can come up with is that I got my "main stream media" props a few months ago after my second climb of Rainier. A reporter actually contacted me. Not sure how or why it all came about ... but whatever.

So here's the link to a story that appeared on the front pages of two local newspapers. Thought it was gonna be a back page of the sports section kind of thing and was quite shocked by the play it got.

Very cool that other Mark is within 3 peaks of finishing the project ... only one of which presents a real challenge (Denali). I know that one day in the not-so-distant future, Mr. V will be joining me on the list of 50 state completers. happy.gif

So much fun to have been a part of this forum for so many years, but the heyday is somewhere on the distant horizon of the rearview mirror.

What a great ride.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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(Login markvotapek)

Re: Dang!

December 20 2016, 11:38 PM 

dusts off the empty furniture

Merry Christmas, Mark S.

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Mark S
(Login MarkStyczynski)

Yup ...

December 19 2016, 7:08 PM 

Well, we knew it was bound to happen.

Everyone else ran off or got killed.

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(Login jaritter)

Another 50/50 Year, #46 in the Bag

December 30 2016, 3:53 PM 

The week before the Konvention in MT, a group of us tried Granite via the SW Couloir route. We were a day too late for good weather and only two of the group braved the rain, hail and lightning to make it to the top.

Then the week after the Konvention, I had signed up with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides to try Gannett. A long, hard 51.4-mile round-trip trek but we were much more fortunate on the weather, having not quite a bluebird day but mostly good for out summit bid. Tough day...high camp at 10,800', over a very rough and rocky pass at 12,800', down and across the glacier at 11,500' and then up to the summit (including some 50-degree-plus snow climbing) at 13,804' before heading back out the reverse. 10 miles and between 11,000' and 12,000' gross vertical. We left camp at 0200 and returned to camp about 2000. Needless to say, we slept well that night.

Gannett makes #46 (including HI, so 3 more for the lower 48). Looking forward to another trip out to Portland and hopefully a good weather window for Hood in May and then a second shot at Granite (this time with JHMG) in August. That would leave just Boundary for the lower 48 and, of course, Denali if I'm going to finish the 50.

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(Login markvotapek)

Re: Another 50/50 Year, #46 in the Bag

January 9 2017, 3:56 AM 

Sounds like a couple of great trips. I'd be up for leading up SW Couloir, but the area is remote and i doubt i can get back there soon. Someday i look forward to going back and repeating some of these more epic highpoints for pressure to summit.

Btw, every summer i'm in Mammoth, and while looking at Mt. Ritter i can't get the word "eponymous" out of my head!

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(Login Hojo76014)

hoping for #40

December 31 2016, 1:31 PM 

I still check this forum out from time to time.

Keeping our fingers crossed that we can do Elbert in June around summer solstice to take advantage of all the daylight.

We did Katahdin same way in 2007 and it worked out great.

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Stony Burk
(Login StonyBurk)

Repeat Offender

January 2 2017, 7:59 PM 

My favorite and familiar end of the year forum with the same old guys:)
Battle scars, celebrity status and another notch in the belt. Kudos, ye who klimb!

I had planned on leading a few Highpointers up Borah prior to the konvention but had to cancel due to some unresolved issues with my legs. It would have been my 4th time up there. Also had to cancel ND, SD and Boundary during that time period. Instead, I settled for continuing to repeat the easy states as consolation. Throughout my travels in 2016, I went back to revisit 28 states, 12 of them more than once. Am hoping the continuing tests at the VA will find a remedy 'cuz I sure want to repeat MT, WY, WA and OR before I get any older. As it stands, I have stood on a state highpoint a total of 410 times and it seems my obessive behavior has attracted the attention of a writer who is working on an article for Backpacker Magazine. 2017 will most likely find me continuing to visit state highpoints in yet unvisited calendar months:)

As Always, Happy Trails & Safe Climbs

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Steve R
(Login stever500)

Outstanding life effort!!! Must be a record... 410? Wow.

January 3 2017, 12:05 AM 

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(Login markvotapek)

Re: Repeat Offender

January 9 2017, 3:58 AM 

410? Well i'm honored to have seen you at the august Jerimoth Hill way back when!

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