only place better than mountains is mountains.
Mountains where you haven't yet been.
On this page you'll find the chronicles of my attempts to reach the highest
points of different geographical areas. See also the
highpointers web site for some more
information on this particular hobby.
Click on individual links to find driving directions, pictures and other information.
Note: Wherever I mention the difficulty of a peak, it is taken (either directly or approximated) from the Martin Classification. So Mt. McKinley is D10 and Britton Hill is D1. Total difficulty of a highpointing trip is the sum of the squares of individual difficulties. This way climbing Mt. McKinley is estimated to be 100 times harder than climbing Britton Hill or Mt. Mitchell.
Map of visited US highpoints - 44/50 total (click to enlarge)
The Ultimate Sortable US Highpoints Table
Click on the column headers to sort the table by various parameters. State names with hyperlinks are ones that I have visited, click on them to see pictures, maps, climb reports and driving directions.
|4||Arkansas||Mount Magazine (Signal Hill)||2753||225||1||1.45||4.4||2||34||28||03/17/2004||1|
|5||California||Mount Whitney||14494||6750||21.4||34.9||6.2||7||2||8||06/20/2005||12.5||Lost the trail a few times|
|7||Connecticut||Frissell-S. Slope||2380||450||3.6||4.5||2.5||3||36||20||09/05/2004||2.5||My 3-yr old walked on his own|
|9||Florida||Lakewood (Britton Hill)||345||0||0||0||0.0||1||50||50||11/07/2003||0|
|19||Maine||Katahdin (Baxter Peak)||5267||4200||10.4||18.8||7.9||5||22||14||09/10/2004||9||Got stuck because of wind|
|23||Minnesota||Eagle Mountain||2301||600||7||8.2||1.7||4||37||18||07/28/2008||3||Boys walked on their own|
|29||New Hampshire||Mount Washington||6288||20||0.1||0.14||3.9||1||18||38||09/08/2004||0|
|30||New Jersey||High Point||1803||40||0.2||0.28||3.9||1||40||36||11/02/2003||0.5|
|31||New Mexico||Wheeler Peak||13161||3250||6.2||12.7||10.3||6||8||12||08/15/2006||3.5|
|32||New York||Mount Marcy||5344||3200||14.8||21.2||4.2||5||21||15||09/06/2004||7|
|33||North Carolina||Mount Mitchell||6684||100||0.2||0.4||9.8||1||16||35||11/06/2003||0.5|
|34||North Dakota||White Butte||3506||400||2||2.8||3.9||2||30||23||04/25/2005||1|
|36||Oklahoma||Black Mesa||4973||775||8.6||10.15||1.8||4||23||17||08/14/2006||1.5||Jogged most of the way|
|38||Pennsylvania||Mount Davis||3213||0||0||0||0.0||1||33||45||03/08/2004||2.5||Road had snowed in|
|39||Rhode Island||Jerimoth Hill||812||25||0.6||0.65||0.8||1||46||29||09/05/2004||0.5|
|40||South Carolina||Sassafras Mountain||3560||30||0.2||0.26||2.9||1||29||37||11/06/2003||0.5|
|41||South Dakota||Harney Peak||7242||1500||5.8||8.8||5.1||4||15||19||04/24/2005||3.5|
|45||Vermont||Mount Mansfield||4393||550||2.8||3.9||3.9||3||26||21||09/08/2004||1.5||Took the shorter trail|
|47||Washington||Mount Rainier||14411||9100||16||34.2||11.2||9||4||4||07/04/2005||59||Spent 1.5 days in Camp Schurman|
|48||West Virginia||Spruce Knob||4863||20||0.4||0.44||1.0||1||24||34||03/09/2004||2||Road had snowed in|
1Roundtrip lengths are based on the
easiest/most popular trail. I have sometimes ended up taking a different trail,
and this has skewed my roundtrip time.
2Climb-adjusted length is calculated by adding 10x the elevation gain to the distance. I've found that this gives a pretty good indicator for non-technical hikes.
3Difficulty ranks are based on the summit guide on highpointers.org with some changes based on personal experience (e.g. I think Katahdin is harder than Marcy).
5I hiked to about 7100 feet on 03/27/2005.
If you have feedback or suggestions about the above table, please let me know.
Visited European country highpoints (in the order of height):
Mt Ararat, highest peak of
Turkey, D8, 5137m, 07/06/2013
Mont Blanc, highest peak of France, D9, 4810m (8187 ft), 07/27/2012
Rysy, highest peak of Poland, D5, 2499m (8187 ft), 07/21/2009
Kebnekaise, highest peak of Sweden, D6, 2117m (6945 ft), 04/05/2006
Sniezka, highest peak of Czech Republic, D3, 1602m (5255 ft), 07/30/2009
Halti, highest peak of Finland, D1, 1328m (4357 ft), 04/03/2006
Kekes, highest peak of Hungary, D1, 1015m (3330 ft), 07/22/2009
Signal de Botrange, highest point of Belgium, D1, 694m (2277 ft), 04/10/2004
Burgplatz, highest point of Luxembourg, D1, 559m (1834 ft), 04/10/2004
Vaalserberg, highest point of Netherlands, D1, 321m (1053 ft), 04/10/2004
Suur Munamägi, highest point of Estonia, D1, 318m (1043 ft), 04/04/2004
Gaizinkalns, highest point of Latvia, D1, 312m (1024 ft), 04/04/2004
Juozapines, highest point of Lithuania, D1, 294m (958 ft), 04/05/2004
Ejer Bavnehøj / Yding Skovhøj, highest points of Denmark, D1, 171/173m (562/568 ft), 05/15/2004
Chemin des Révoires, highest point of Monaco, D1, 161m (528ft), 08/01/2012
Map of visited European highpoints - 15/51 total (click to enlarge)
Visited Asian country highpoints:
Mt. Fuji, highest peak of Japan, D6, 3776m (12,388 ft), 08/27/2005
Highpointing Trip Reports
Trip 1, US East Coast.
This trip happened in November 2003 and took us from New Jersey to Florida. We flew to Philadelphia, attended an orienteering meet in Delaware Water Gap, visited New York City and Washington, DC, and climbed the highpoints of New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. We also tried to do Virginia but bad weather made us turn back. I completed the high point of Virginia in spring 2004 (see next trip report). Our schedule was pretty aggressive, and we ended up doing four different highpoints (NC, SC, TN, GA) on 11/06, starting early in the morning and finishing after dark. The weather usually got foggy and rainy any time when we crossed the 3000 ft line, so we didn't get too many great views this time. After visiting all the highpoints, we circled the the state of Florida, our final stop being Disney World in Orlando where we got some well-deserved rest from all this driving and hiking.
Total difficulty of the trip: 14 (6 D1 and 2 D2 peaks).
See also the dedicated page of this trip.
Trip 2, Midwest and South.
We did our second batch of US highpoints in March 2004. We started and ended the trip in Indianapolis and made a big circle through Eastern, Southern and Midwestern states, alternating between sightseeing and highpointing. I climbed the peaks of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri. Weather was unusually cold in the East, and we got a bunch of snow throughout the Appalachian Range, which effectively increased the difficulty of some peaks by 1 or 2 notches since we couldn't drive that close to the summit any more. However, the snow also made the climbs a wonderful experience as the views were absolutely magnificent.
Total difficulty of the trip: 40 (7 D1, 2 D2, 1 D3 and 1 D4 peak).
See also the dedicated page of this trip
Trip 3, Baltics to Benelux
This was our first European highpointing trip, taking place in April 2004. Our trip started in Estonia, where the weather was rather cold eve by local standards (still snow on the ground). However, when we continued through Latvia and Lithuania, it got gradually warmer and nicer. Highpoints of Poland and Germany were out of our league this time, so we continued westward. The highpoints of Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are located really close to each other, so we did all of these in one day. The places we visited were in pretty civilized areas, with most highpoints having some sort of development done on them, so it was more of a cultural than hiking/climbing experience.
A month later, when we were flying back to the US, we made a stop in Denmark and naturally picked up the local highpoint as well.
Total difficulty of the trip: 7 (7 D1 peaks).
See also the dedicated page of this trip
Trip 4, New England.
Our third US highpointing trip was timed to coincide with the Open Access Day on Jerimoth Hill, Rhode Island. So we flew to Boston in the evening of September 4th, 2004 and got up early to start our swing through New York and New England. In addition to Rhode Island, we bagged the highpoints of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Next two days were spent climbing the highpoint of New York (we took turns) and hanging out in Lake Placid. Vermont and New Hampshire were close enough to each other to be doable in one day. However, by this day we started really feeling the aftereffects of hurricane Frances. All the water that it had sucked up over the Atlantic had not been poured down over Florida and the Northeastern US got its fair share, so our Mount Washington experience was pretty cold and wet. Last but certainly not least was Katahdin, the highpoint of Maine. Bad weather persisted and it took me two attempts to get this one done - my most difficult highpoint to date.
Total difficulty of the trip: 71 (2 D5, 2 D3 and 3 D1 peaks).
Trip 5, Great Plains.
The main objective of this trip had actually been to visit Yellowstone National Park but we did a did a little side trip to the Great Plains, visiting the highpoints of South Dakota and North Dakota among other things.
Total difficulty of the trip: 20 (1 D4 and 1 D1 peak).
Trip 6, Sierras/High desert.
The sixth trip had been long in planning as the highpoint of California required pre-registration. As Nevada's Boundary peak was close by, we visited that one as well. We had originally planned to go to Arizona also but I could not get sufficient vacation time.
Total difficulty of the trip: 85 (1 D7 and 1 D6 peak).
Trip 7, Southern Rockies.
The seventh highpointing trip coincided with the Rocky Mountain 1000 Day orienteering competition taking place in Wyoming and Colorado, so it became another occasion of uniting the pleasant and the useful (you decide, which is which). We spent a weekend orienteering in Wyoming, and then traveled through Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado, picking up the local highpoints.
Total difficulty of the trip: 98 (2 D6, 1 D4, and 2 D1 peaks)
Trip 8, South vol 2.
This was one of our longest driving tours. We came all the way from Seattle to Texas by car, completing Texas, Arizona, and Utah.
Total difficulty of the trip: 110 (1 D5, 1 D6, and 1 D7 peak)
Trip 9, Upper Midwest
Our final "easy" US highpointing trip, leaving only the more difficult/remote peaks to be completed. Our tour took us through Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, the latter also being the very last US state for us to visit.
Trip 10, Central Europe
This was our first highpointing trip after moving back to Europe. Our driving tour took us past the highpoints of Poland, Hungary, France and Czech Republic.
Highpointing statistics for the people frequently mentioned on
Targo, born in November 1978, 44 US, 12 European HPs.
Katrin, born in January 1978, 35 US, 12 European HPs.
Oliver, born in June 2003, 24 US, 7 European HPs.
Toomas, born in October 2000, 24 US, 1 European HP.
Agnes, born in April 2007, 5 US HPs
Arne, born in August 1952, 6 European HPs.
Liisa, born in February 1979, 2 US, 1 European HP.
TODO: tables for Europe/Asia. Picture pages.
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