Gary Sword at KKMP radio FM 92.1 (in Garapan, on Saipan island) interview 50 completer Roger Kaul, Clint Kaul, and and Club Editor John Mitchler on June 4, 2014 on their climb of Agrihan (highpoint of the Northern Mariana Islands, one of five US territories)
John Mitchler passes along this report:
Roger Kaul (Maryland), Clint Kaul (Michigan), and John Mitchler (Colorado) conducted a six day expedition to Agrihan in the northern Mariana islands from May 29 – June 3, 2014.
This 3,166’ volcano island has no known ascent, and is the highest point of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as the highest point of greater Micronesia. The USA has five territories plus one federal district. Each of us had previously visited the highpoints of four (Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa) plus D.C., so this was to be our remaining territory. Roger & I have 50 state highpoints and Clint has done 7 western state highpoints.
After receiving our permit from the Northern Mariana Island Mayor’s Office (NIMO) we took a 20-hour boat ride north from Saipan to Agrihan. We brought three local guides to cut through the dense Sword Grass which covers Agrihan’s south slopes, and after 3 days of trail blazing, we reached 2,100’ which is likely the highest anyone has reached on this island. We ran out of time, with 2 more days of hacking required to reach the highpoint on the crater rim. Our chartered boat had to return on day six.
After our expedition, we were invited to the studio of KKMP radio FM 92.1 (in Garapan, on Saipan island) for a live half hour interview about our adventure.
The interview was led by station Vice President Gary Sword (who rode along with us to Agrihan). It was broadcast live during the morning show at 7:00am Wednesday June 4, 2014 (which back in the states was 4:00pm ET Tuesday June 3). The interview re-aired during their evening program.
You may listen to our interview at Highpointers.org where Roger Rowlett has posted a mp3 file which I sent him. http://highpointers.org/archives/3413
Radio station KKMP plays pleasant, modern island music, so I recommend you listen to their live feed on CNMIradio.com.
More details of our climb will be provided in an upcoming issue of the HP Club newsletter.