A 51st Highpoint? Puerto Ricans Vote in Statehood Referendum

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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Opportunity to Learn about Geocaching at the 2017 Massachusetts Convention

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.

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Highpoints by Volume

While looking for various mountain metrics I found the ORS (Spire) Measure as well as Tim Worth’s Steepness Measure which is a simplified version of ORS. I decided to try an intermediate measure – measuring the volume of the peak near the summit (100m) and at its shoulder (800m). The thought being that spires/towers will have a high volume at 100m, but their 800m volume won’t be that much larger. Whereas a flat-topped mountain will have a low volume at 100m, but their 800m volume will be much larger.

Imagine taking a core sample (100m or 800m radius) centered on the summit. Lower/drill a cylinder down until the entire bottom edge is contacting rock. This will occur at the “Max Drop” value Tim Worth calculates. Cut the cylinder off at this depth and calculate the volume of rock in the cylinder (core sample).

The ORS/Spire Measure uses integrals and a complex function to calculate the volume of a peak. I simplified this by measuring discreet rings from the center to the cylinder’s radius. I used 20m increments for the 100m cylinder and 100m increments for the 800m cylinder. The first level is simply a right triangular pyramid (triangle in 2D). All subsequent layers are a horizontal triangular prism (wedge) (triangle in 2D) and a vertical triangular wedge (cheese wedge) (rectangle in 2D). For all angles except for the Max Drop (Max Bearing), I add in a final vertical triangular wedge (cheese wedge) (rectangle in 2D) which brings all angles down to Max Drop level. You can see this in the graph below for Borah Peak, Idaho at 100m. The left side is along the Min Drop bearing, while the right side is along the Max Drop bearing.
The image on the right shows an exaggerated view (30° angle instead of a 1° angle) from the top. The color-coded layers match in the two graphics. The shaded triangles would form small right triangular pyramids but these were not included in the volume measurements below.


This table shows the summary “volume” metrics for 100m/800m

State Max 100 Avg 100 Vol 100 Max 800 Avg 800 Vol 800
Alabama72ft43ft15,453760ft410ft11,109,947
Alaska288ft137ft69,8222,324ft1,336ft31,649,978
Arizona162ft120ft30,8881,732ft1,195ft19,833,242
Arkansas36ft20ft8,647659ft361ft9,211,388
California707ft301ft181,5962,214ft1,400ft23,339,690
Colorado215ft115ft49,3621,821ft1,108ft23,642,352
Connecticut*89ft44ft21,318550ft412ft4,952,268
Delaware11ft5ft2,45472ft43ft902,008
Florida15ft6ft4,21482ft44ft1,035,122
Georgia197ft98ft47,5661,391ft824ft16,857,292
Hawaii164ft99ft36,1171,019ft625ft11,967,647
Idaho305ft224ft56,0642,400ft1,553ft26,799,085
Illinois57ft40ft10,044243ft155ft2,659,698
Indiana10ft5ft1,80539ft24ft438,452
Iowa15ft9ft3,16153ft31ft585,029
Kansas9ft5ft2,15486ft44ft1,090,044
Kentucky64ft32ft15,851794ft378ft11,090,176
Louisiana73ft39ft17,598272ft204ft2,326,256
Maine331ft140ft83,0742,192ft1,055ft30,567,171
Maryland100ft61ft20,415630ft429ft6,646,829
Massachusetts78ft43ft18,5561,509ft799ft21,053,753
Michigan65ft31ft15,767400ft222ft5,226,018
Minnesota58ft32ft13,216465ft332ft4,022,593
Mississippi113ft70ft24,384314ft227ft2,225,654
Missouri10ft6ft2,021320ft150ft5,257,493
Montana798ft359ft193,4442,339ft1,451ft23,604,277
Nebraska27ft15ft6,14575ft48ft855,682
Nevada265ft173ft51,3102,053ft1,331ft24,122,283
New Hampshire103ft60ft22,4821,131ft845ft12,672,278
New Jersey128ft72ft27,738673ft372ft8,590,545
New Mexico246ft137ft53,2031,705ft979ft21,430,622
New York193ft112ft42,2501,428ft998ft15,695,724
North Carolina152ft102ft29,0221,229ft754ft15,410,587
North Dakota157ft80ft35,666348ft281ft2,420,387
Ohio39ft24ft8,064115ft69ft1,360,123
Oklahoma8ft2ft2,251569ft257ft8,929,449
Oregon510ft231ft117,0312,440ft1,777ft26,103,416
Pennsylvania12ft5ft2,542325ft149ft5,200,714
Rhode Island24ft10ft6,164118ft70ft1,418,876
South Carolina172ft89ft41,774800ft529ft8,798,033
South Dakota300ft176ft55,3701,262ft842ft14,160,233
Tennessee69ft44ft15,2901,378ft760ft18,208,461
Texas310ft208ft58,6682,668ft1,390ft34,739,880
Utah354ft189ft74,4591,884ft1,219ft21,771,149
Vermont300ft146ft70,4231,518ft1,067ft17,026,076
Virginia98ft44ft23,9541,011ft568ft14,032,558
Washington125ft74ft22,6701,424ft911ft18,906,885
West Virginia91ft32ft25,4081,298ft572ft19,684,073
Wisconsin96ft60ft20,321162ft120ft906,464
Wyoming433ft203ft98,9642,094ft1,492ft20,515,237
District of Columbia37ft17ft9,153164ft101ft1,863,958
American Samoa553ft209ft146,9071,630ft775ft20,587,171
Guam124ft77ft22,935947ft494ft12,839,116
Northern Marianas Is0ft0ft00ft0ft0
Puerto Rico282ft135ft65,6161,296ft937ft13,105,057
US Virgin Is127ft67ft28,989963ft637ft11,380,888

* – Note that Connecticut is measured from Mount Frissell, MA (the summit) versus the contour line on the CT/MA border.
* – Note that Northern Marianas Islands has no spot elevations


This table shows the “volume” metrics for 100m

State Avg Drop Volume norect Volume maxrect Triangle norect Triangle maxrect
Alabama43.4ft8,19117,6697,12116,600
Alaska137.4ft26,61875,99622,53171,908
Arizona119.7ft23,33237,34919,64333,661
Arkansas20.3ft4,4639,5893,3318,457
California300.6ft61,058194,50449,306182,751
Colorado115.3ft22,15454,94518,90751,697
Connecticut*44.2ft8,89423,4587,25421,818
Delaware5.0ft8702,6868172,634
Florida5.5ft1,2454,4079094,071
Georgia98.0ft19,66352,15116,07448,562
Hawaii98.8ft19,91141,16816,21437,471
Idaho224.4ft41,96268,45136,80363,292
Illinois40.2ft6,98112,3726,58711,979
Indiana5.4ft6142,0708832,338
Iowa9.0ft1,6343,6351,4833,484
Kansas5.2ft1,0422,3988542,210
Kentucky32.4ft7,04817,2735,31615,541
Louisiana39.5ft8,41719,4786,47817,538
Maine140.2ft26,83589,34923,00385,517
Maryland60.9ft10,78023,4849,99022,694
Massachusetts42.6ft8,75620,4956,98118,721
Michigan31.5ft6,31317,3245,15916,170
Minnesota32.3ft6,17514,7325,30313,860
Mississippi70.5ft14,16828,03211,56425,428
Missouri5.7ft9862,3059362,256
Montana359.3ft64,789208,76358,943202,917
Nebraska15.0ft2,7896,8812,4556,547
Nevada173.1ft29,82259,93328,39358,503
New Hampshire59.8ft11,08225,3789,81624,111
New Jersey72.2ft12,96831,23611,84430,112
New Mexico137.2ft24,39059,91922,50958,039
New York111.6ft21,02647,86918,31445,157
North Carolina101.7ft17,71134,38116,67833,348
North Dakota79.5ft13,91239,42313,04838,559
Ohio23.9ft4,2809,3703,9189,008
Oklahoma1.8ft3342,2892922,247
Oregon231.5ft35,312126,59337,973129,254
Pennsylvania5.5ft7122,7348972,919
Rhode Island10.3ft2,0946,5811,6876,174
South Carolina89.5ft18,63245,75414,67941,800
South Dakota175.8ft23,33964,04228,83369,537
Tennessee43.7ft9,22817,3727,17015,314
Texas208.4ft36,89470,14534,18667,438
Utah189.1ft28,92083,12031,02085,220
Vermont145.7ft26,57277,20223,89674,526
Virginia44.0ft8,26525,9307,21624,881
Washington74.4ft10,16826,68412,20528,720
West Virginia32.3ft7,29226,4215,29124,420
Wisconsin60.1ft11,69623,5019,85921,664
Wyoming202.8ft32,285107,93233,261108,907
District of Columbia17.1ft3,2359,8722,7999,435
American Samoa208.6ft42,583155,45034,214147,082
Guam77.4ft10,74026,06712,69128,018
Northern Marianas Is0.0ft0000
Puerto Rico135.4ft23,65871,87722,21170,430
US Virgin Is67.0ft12,38232,19110,99830,806

* – Note that Connecticut is measured from Mount Frissell, MA (the summit) versus the contour line on the CT/MA border.
* – Note that Northern Marianas Islands has no spot elevations


This table shows the “volume” metrics for 800m

State Avg Drop Volume norect Volume maxrect Triangle norect Triangle maxrect
Alabama409.6ft598,3901,518,421537,5701,457,601
Alaska1,336.3ft1,840,9244,433,0031,753,6064,345,685
Arizona1,194.5ft1,552,4902,964,0271,567,6042,979,142
Arkansas361.3ft502,6391,283,988474,0761,255,425
California1,399.8ft1,285,6203,421,4701,836,9443,972,794
Colorado1,108.3ft1,500,3533,369,8461,454,4003,323,894
Connecticut*411.8ft430,960792,477540,476901,992
Delaware42.7ft53,390129,91456,016132,540
Florida43.5ft45,863146,03957,117157,293
Georgia824.0ft940,1362,427,1511,081,3612,568,376
Hawaii625.0ft714,3371,747,556820,2021,853,421
Idaho1,552.9ft1,735,1313,958,6472,037,9014,261,417
Illinois154.8ft155,928386,908203,093434,073
Indiana24.2ft25,43363,63931,78969,995
Iowa31.3ft28,05383,76541,10796,819
Kansas44.3ft44,709153,90758,131167,329
Kentucky377.8ft433,9681,527,343495,8191,589,194
Louisiana203.9ft192,650370,518267,536445,404
Maine1,054.9ft1,201,5194,185,6281,384,4284,368,538
Maryland428.5ft475,1921,004,107562,3541,091,268
Massachusetts798.6ft1,076,0852,939,7751,048,0502,911,740
Michigan221.6ft257,455726,268290,803759,617
Minnesota332.3ft292,925642,241436,143785,458
Mississippi226.8ft131,661360,303297,687526,329
Missouri150.0ft257,725704,832196,840643,947
Montana1,451.2ft1,177,0163,506,6001,904,3954,233,978
Nebraska47.6ft48,404120,38762,473134,456
Nevada1,331.2ft1,647,5033,541,5961,747,0093,641,101
New Hampshire844.6ft1,184,4881,937,4731,108,4031,861,387
New Jersey372.0ft408,1351,198,296488,2401,278,401
New Mexico979.1ft1,139,0153,044,0981,284,8473,189,930
New York997.8ft1,239,8462,369,0711,309,3772,438,602
North Carolina754.1ft959,2962,206,561989,6222,236,887
North Dakota281.1ft229,956404,175368,941543,159
Ohio68.7ft67,570190,14990,180212,759
Oklahoma257.0ft397,4461,216,803337,2241,156,581
Oregon1,776.5ft2,220,6133,962,8202,331,4034,073,610
Pennsylvania148.6ft235,452699,362194,961658,871
Rhode Island69.8ft79,209204,93991,544217,275
South Carolina528.5ft572,3981,284,691693,6171,405,910
South Dakota841.5ft967,5702,070,2581,104,3262,207,013
Tennessee759.5ft962,5672,586,686996,7722,620,892
Texas1,389.8ft1,490,5464,846,5751,823,9415,179,970
Utah1,219.3ft1,450,7753,195,6361,600,0893,344,950
Vermont1,067.0ft1,349,5912,533,8291,400,2172,584,455
Virginia568.2ft802,0221,964,932745,6051,908,515
Washington911.1ft1,372,6042,719,1411,195,6292,542,166
West Virginia571.9ft761,4012,667,480750,5432,656,622
Wisconsin120.0ft28,990142,586157,441271,037
Wyoming1,491.7ft1,607,2093,186,8591,957,6423,537,292
District of Columbia100.9ft103,321270,048132,345299,072
American Samoa775.3ft560,9162,804,2831,017,4503,260,817
Guam494.3ft582,8761,771,968648,6691,837,761
Northern Marianas Is0.0ft0000
Puerto Rico936.8ft1,083,9382,026,8721,229,3862,172,320
US Virgin Is636.5ft817,9651,674,385835,3471,691,766

* – Note that Connecticut is measured from Mount Frissell, MA (the summit) versus the contour line on the CT/MA border.
* – Note that Northern Marianas Islands has no spot elevations

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Climbing season begins at Denali National Park

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.

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Wall Street Journal’s Jon Kamp takes a look at Highpointing and Britton Hill

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.

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Issue #116 of “Apex to Zenith” First Quarter 2017

Topic Page
48 Finishers
• Donny Roush
2, 6
50 and 48 5
Article – Ask a Guide – Can I Climb Gannett Peak? 12
Article – Highpointing with Kids 14
Article – Into Thick Air 19
Article – When HPs are not HPs 15
Board of Directors Election 25
Call for Awards 9
Completer Firsts, by State 4
County Highpointing 15
Editor’s Note – Dues Graph 10
Editor’s Note – Members by Count 11
Errata 6
Gathering in Arizona 7
Highpoint Updates
• Arizona – Humphreys Peak
• Colorado – Mt Elbert
• Illinois – Charles Mound
• Louisiana – Driskill Mountain
• Maine – Mt Katahdin
• Maryland – Backbone Mountain
• Nebraska – Panorama Point
• Nevada – Boundary Peak
• New York – Mt Marcy
• North Dakota – White Butte
• Ohio – Campbell Hill
• Oklahoma – Black Mesa
• Rhode Island – Jerimoth Hill
20 – 25
Klimbin’ Kollaborator 13
Le Cache 8
Lists! – Second Lap 26
MASSACHUSETTS 2017 16 – 19
Membership 9
Merc 27
Milestones 2, 28 – 31
New Members 9
President’s Message 8
Quiz – HP Geography 11
S.O.S. #40 Skin Cancer – part 1 or 2 7
Scholarship 7

If you are interested in this back issue, please contact the newsletter editor (newsletter@highpointers.org).

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2016 Brought a Spike in Visitors to Mt. Mitchell State Park

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.

Continue reading

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Panorama Point Now Open

UPDATE

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.

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“Record” Snowfall on Mt. Mitchell Revised

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?

 

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Airmen Use Highpointing as Training Exercise

A view from the trail to the summit of Mt. Rogers, Virginia’s highpoint.

While many people take up highpointing as a hobby to enjoy the great outdoors and to travel to new places, Chief Master Sgt. Dean Werner highpoints as a way reinforce the four pillars of comprehensive airmen fitness: mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.

The idea of highpointing providing such reinforcement should not come as a surprise to those involved in the activity. While there are many peaks that only require walking a few hundred feet from a parking lot, there are several that require long hikes or travel over difficult terrain, pushing people past limits they may have seen as impassable.  Highpointing is a way to make one mentally tougher than they have been before, but also it has a way of making people push their critical thinking and decision making skills to another level as well.

It would also be tough to argue that highpointing is not good for one’s soul.  Who doesn’t have moments from highpointing trips that have become part of the fabric of who they now are?  Whether this has been a result of nature, company of the trip, or other factors, the quest often provides new dimensions to one’s life. 

How has highpointing changed or reinforced the person you are?

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