My actual peakbagging career really started in 2003 at the age of 62 so to me it is "year one".
Prior to 2003, my main interest in the mountains was centered around the Cascades of Washington state with a central interest in the area known as "The Enchantments
". I had the opportunity to climb Mt. Rainier
and Mt. St. Helens so I was able to summit both of those back in the late 60' and early 70's but for the most part, I would call myself a backpacker with my main emphasis on that activity. Trip after trip into the Enchantments were made with various friends and family members whenever I had the chance. High lake fishing and photography were my two most favorite things to do with an occasional visit to the top of one of the peaks in that area but as mentioned, for the most part I was truly an avid backpacker. So much so that at one time I dreamed of thru hiking the Pacific Crest trail but job and family kept me from chasing that pursuit.
So prior to 2003, I had probably climbed less than 20 mountains in my life up to that point of playing in the mountains. That all changed when I met SP member Bob Bolton
somewhat accidentally on summitpost. He had posted a picture
of the Enchantments that I loved and I emailed him and asked if he would be so kind as to send me a higher resolution version of that picture so I could have it made into a picture for my office. That email led to a lot of back and forth exchanges and we discovered that we had a lot of the same interests.
In early February of 2003, Bob invited me to accompany him on a county highpointing trip and little did I dream that that trip would change my life.
County highpointing is always fun to do with friends-Rogers Peak in Oregon
A year of county highpointing
| |The 1st time out | |Mt. Hood beckoned | |Lofty fun
If 2003 could be titled anything, it would have to be titled "the year of county highpointing". I basically didn't go after a summit or highpoint unless it was the highest point in a county. The guy who really got me into this pursuit of craziness was SP member Bob Bolton as I mentioned above. Before the year was over, I had really covered almost every corner of Oregon and much of Washington. It began in February when I met Bob at Biggs Oregon and together we headed out to pick up the county highpoints of both Gilliam
counties together. I won't go into detail about our overall trip but I can say with conviction that when the day was over, I was hooked on county highpointing
. I had also learned the value of a GPS when seeking out obscure places as watching Bob use his GPS was a real education for me. I really concentrated on Oregon and by the time the snow flew in November, I had visited every county highpoint in the state of Oregon but one as well as a good share of the ones in Washington and Nevada as well. The one in Oregon that eluded me was Mt. Jefferson and I had one trip planned for that one but it fell apart due to a
family need. Two other trips to Mt. Jefferson also were aborted when I broke my finger a few days before a scheduled trip and the other was aborted due to bad weather.
If I could rate the peaks visited in 2003 (all county highpoints), I would list Oregons Mt. Hood, Mt. Thielsen, South Sister, Mt. McLoughlin, Eagle Cap, Nevada's Mt. Charleston and Wheeler Peak, and Washingtons Mt. Adams, Mt. Daniels to name a few of my favorites.
2003 was also the year I met Dennis Poulin, who along with Bob were to become a couple of my best friends. Dennis and I have probably climbed close to a hundred mountains together and that is a similar number to the ones I have done with Bob. The friends I have made since becoming involved in chasing peaks has created quite a list
but when all is said and done, Bob and Dennis are the two who have influenced me the most.
County highpointing led to prominence peak chasing later on but 2003 was really the year that I was only into that pursuit. Here is the total number for 2003, overall 75 summits with the most of them being county highpoints:
Oregon Cohp's: 34
Washington cohp's: 27
Nevada cohp's: 6
Idaho cohp's: 3
Utah cohp's 1
27 of those county highpoints were done with Bob and I did 31 by myself.
For all peaks the breakdown month by month looked like this:
January - 0 February- 8 March - 4 April - 6 May - 8 June - 9 July - 12
August - 12 September - 8 October - 7 November - 4
However, for this page, I will only list the summits which were the highpoints of counties since in 2003, that is where my focus was. The end total was 67 county highpoint summits which made up the majority of 2003's totals.
Friendships due to county highpointing
In the table below, if you click on the county, you will be taken to a List of John page that provides more information about the peak/highpoint and those who have signed the register log.
County highpoints 2003
In looking back over a year it is sometimes a challenge to name your top ten but here are the ones I have picked:
1. Mt. Hood - A solo adventure that I was very lucky to pull off.
2. Mt. Thielsen - The last 80 feet will always stick in my memory.
3. So. Sister - I hit a beautiful day and beautiful conditions.
4. Mt. McLoughlin - A great hike with Bob and a great summit to visit.
5. Charleston Peak(NV) - A 17 mile day with a remarkable bristlecone forest.
6. Mt. Adams - Big big dayhike, great glissade.
7. Wheeler Peak (NV) What a great October hike.
8. Mt. Daniels - With Bob and Bill, it was just simply a great hike.
9. Abercrombie Mtn - A lonely hike and the grizzly tracks got my attention.
10. West side hike on Mt Adams with Bob - huge dayhike, perfect weather.
There should be a number 11. How could I ever ever forget the first county
highpoint effort to two no name areas in Oregon with Bob. Gilliam and Sherman
weren't much in the way of hikes or mountains but they were fun nevertheless.
I'll link many of the above to trip reports that I have already created.
You will also find trip reports placed on a link to the date listed on the table above. When all the links are complete, this section will be removed
and many were ultras.
Previous to 2003 I had visited two others, Mt. Rainier and pre-eruption
Mt. St. Helens.
were mostly done in 2003 and in 2004.