Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3 state high points in 1 week!

We bagged another...well, actually 3 more.  One was a little more difficult than the other 2. Three more down gives us a total of 12 so far.  Only 37 more to go.  We're shooting for the 49 high points in the US states, which excludes Alaska (I'm still tossing it around but Tom is clear that he's going fishing if I choose to go climbing).

Let's start with the difficult one - Mt. Elbert - highest point in Colorado at 14,433 (2nd highest in the continental US with the highest being Mt. Whitney in CA).  We started around 7:20am on our 4.5 mile trek up the mountain with an elevation gain of 4,400ft.  We arrived on the summit just before noon and celebrated with several others who had made it to the top.  It was a beautiful day with relatively warm weather.  It's so nice to have a high point that is just a hike up a great trail.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was a piece of cake!  It was very STEEP but very doable with no scree to slide around on and no boulders to climb over.  The only difficult part was getting past 2 false summits!  You think you're at the top and you're not...twice!
the steep start through the trees

the first false summit in the distance

resting on the first false summit - nice views!

Summit - Mt. Elbert - 14,433ft. - highest in CO - 2nd highest in continental US

Panorama Point - Highest point in Nebraska - 5,424ft. - hiking time = 0, elevation gain = 0!  Now this is the easy way of getting to the high point - drive through the field (after a 3+ hour drive in the pouring rain) and there you are!  We actually were not permitted to hike in from the road (only 1 mile) as it stated there are Bison in the area.  We'll take it!

flashing our Sea Level Sucks t-shirts - we take these to every high point!

As a bonus we were within a mile of the tri-state marker of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska so we had to go see it.  Much different than four corners.  We didn't have to fight with the hundreds of other tourists to get a picture!

Mt. Sunflower - Highest point in Kansas - 4,039ft. hiking time = 0, elevation gain = 0!  Another fun one!  :-)  Hey, we deserve it after Mt. Hood, Borah Peak and Mt. Elbert!

Til next time...Happy Trails!

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