Gearjunkie has a spectacuarly well written on article on highpointing “Highpointing: Climb To The Top Of 50 States” which really captures the spirit of the hobby. Here’s an excerpt.
High on Denali, John Mitchler took out a pencil to write a list. It was the summer of 2003, and as wind tore into the fabric of his cramped tent, he knew the end was near.
“I decided to write a list of all the people I’d climbed with over the years,” he said. “McKinley [Denali] was to be my final mountain.”
Mitchler didn’t perish on that high Alaskan peak. Indeed, his party soon made the mountain’s 20,320-foot summit.