With a cleared top and hopes of a new observation tower, Sassafras Mountain might be a prime spot to view the 2017 total solar eclipse.
[Ed: Club members may want to read the updated article (with times) “Two Minute Highpoint Party or ‘Highpointing In the Dark'” in Issue #117 – Second Quarter 2017 of the newsletter (in your mailboxes now)].
For the first time in nearly a century, a total solar eclipse will be visible across the United States, and given the projected path of totality, highpointers may be able to head to the top of a few different states to watch the event unfold.
The Washington Post recently posted an article showing the projected path, and Eclipse2017.org gives more detailed listings of where the eclipse can be seen in totality.
Cerro de Punta, the highpoint of Puerto Rico (Credit: Ratzer1 | Wikipedia)
Highpointers may have to find a way to reach a 51st highpoint as Puerto Ricans headed to the polls Sunday to vote on a statehood referendum.
Voters were presented with the option to vote for independence/free association, keeping the status quo, or statehood. The result of the vote, known as a plebiscite, is non-binding as the United States Congress would have to formally set forth conditions for statehood, and this not required in response to the vote.
However, let’s go down the rabbit hole and assume that the vote comes back supporting statehood (a strong possibility as many who oppose statehood are boycotting the vote), and Congress votes to extend statehood to Puerto Rico.
If Puerto Rico were to become a state, it’s highpoint is Cerro de Punta, a 4,390 foot mountain in the Cordillera Central, a mountain range that divides the island. On a clear day, San Juan, which is 75 miles away, can be seen.
The mountain’s elevation would place it between Kentucky’s Black Mountain and Vermont’s Mount Mansfield in elevation ranking.
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While chasing down the 50 highpoints, several highpointers dive into other adventures such as tripointing and lowpointing. At the 2017 Highpointers Massachusetts Convention, highpointers will get the chance to learn about another hobby–geocaching.
For the uninitiated, geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.
Some state highpoints, such as Backbone Mountain, Maryland, have geocaches hidden on them.
Club members will have the opportunity to mingle with the geocachers of Berkshire GeoBash during the Massachusetts 2017 Highpointers Convention “Afternoon Delight” at Freight Yard Pub in North Adams on Friday, July 21st. The fun starts at 1 PM and goes until the last person crawls home at close.
KTUU (Talkeetna, AK) is reporting that the climbing season for Denali National Park is starting. According to park spokeswoman Maureen Gualtieri “We’re expecting a pretty typical season in terms of the numbers of visitors numbers of climbers on the two peaks.”
Read the full article for more details.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Kamp took a look at the quest of various highpointers and the role Florida’s Britton Hill plays in the adventure.
It’s no Denali, but in the run for 50, each highpoint counts the same.
Though it is the highest point east of the Mississippi River, Mt. Mitchell is one of the more accessible highpoints. A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway takes one to Mt. Mitchell State Park. From there, one can drive to a parking lot near the summit and hike a short distance on a paved route to the summit.
In 2016, more people took advantage of this park than in previous years as Mt. Mitchell State Park, home of North Carolina’s highpoint and highest point of the Eastern United States, saw an over 25% increase in visitors in 2016 over 2015.
Panorama Point is open! As we go through the rest of winter and the early parts of spring, one can anticipate that there will be other temporary closures to Nebraska’s highpoint.
We’ll keep you updated.
Panorama Point, the highpoint of Nebraska, is currently closed due to road conditions.
Please do not attempt to walk the road as bison roam within the fence.
Thanks for your cooperation.
A view of Mt. Mitchell from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In January of 2016, Mt. Mitchell received a reported 41 inches of snowfall in a 24 hour period from 7am January 22nd to the same time on January 23rd.
However, that report was ruled incorrect by a state weather committee, who met for the first time in more than a decade.
The committee took a look at a variety of factors before lowering the recognized snowfall amount on North Carolina’s highest point.
No matter the current record, the story does go a long way to showing how easy it is for the areas in the Blue Ridge, especially Mt. Mitchell to receive quite a bit of snow in a short period. Any of our readers hiked the highest point east of the Mississippi in the snow?