Backpacker magazine article by Loren Mooney – Confessions of a Reluctant Highpointer

The September 2018 issue of Backpacker has a delightful 7-page story authored by Loren Mooney regarding her evolution from casual Hiker to dedicated Highpointer. It is insightful and humorous, especially her conclusions drawn from the quest. Do you recognize or relate to her observations?

Backpacker – Confessions of a Reluctant Highpointer

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Contacts for the Highpointers Club

Highpointers Club
The Board of Directors changes with each annual election and the 15 directors are listed in the club’s newsletter. If you have questions or comments, please contact Alan Ritter, the Club’s President at  The club’s legal address is PO Box 1496, Golden, CO 80402   The club no longer offers a phone contact.

Eric Lichtenstien is the new newsletter editor, replacing John Mitchler, and he is assisted by Justin Sutton. Direct your questions, comments, and contributions to Eric at   Please alert Eric of news and articles, as well as important personal milestones (climbing, hiking, exploring). Include photos.

Web Site & Social Media
Contributions, comments, questions, and changes regarding this website should be directed to the web chair Kathy Dalsaso at  Kathy’s committee includes Justin Sutton (content) and Clint Kaul. (content, architect, coding). Similarly, for the club’s Facebook page, please feel free to post on that site. Justin Sutton is the club’s fb administrator.

Please contact the club when you Complete the 50 state highpoints or if you Finish the Lower 48 highpoints.  Contact Terry Bird at  We want to hear from every completer – – whether you are a club member or not, so don’t let that stop you.  Also, if you are getting close to finishing, please alert Terry.

Todd Curry (assisted by wife Irina) has volunteered to run membership. Please contact them regarding dues and membership. Also please email them at to update the database. This includes change of address, additions/subtractions of family members, and your Highpoint Count.   

Apply for club membership either online or by postal mail.  Renewals may be made in the same way. Be sure to write anywhere on the application that it is a renewal and follow the same procedure as joining.

Available online is a list of membership benefits 


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Convention – 2019 Michigan – Information & Registration Form

Informational Update for the Michigan 2019 Convention, by Mark Comstock, Host

Download a MI-19 registration form at this link:   Michigan 2019

   Here is what we have set up for MI-2019.    The people in Baraga County are very enthused about us hosting the Convention there and supporting the counties local economy is a real plus for them.  

  The official dates of the 2019″ Konvention ” will be Thursday July 25 through Saturday July 27, 2019

  We have reserved all 68 rooms at the  Baraga Lakeside Inn which will be our host Hotel.The address here is 900 US 41 South, PO box 873 Baraga, MI 49908 Phone (906) 353-7123  The hotel has blocked out all their rooms for us.  Reservations will have to be made by phone and you will have to mention Highpointers Convention 2019 to make a reservation. We will have the “Icebreaker” evening at the  Baraga Lakeside Inn on Thursday, July 25th with a picnic style hot dog and hamburger buffet which includes potato chips, Cole slaw, and ice cream sundae bar, smores and water, soda and iced tea. The hotel has really beautiful grounds along the lake and a bar inside as well. One can see both Mt. Arvon and Mt. Curwood across the lake!  There will be picnic tables set up outside as well. We also have the pancake breakfast here on Saturday morning the 27th which consists of a breakfast buffet which includes scrambled eggs, Tuscan egg scramble, bacon, ham steaks, hash browns, cinnamon apple french toast casserole, assorted danish and muffins, a fruit tray and water/coffee/juice. The BOD meeting will also take place here. There is a room for registration and the Merc will be in this room as well. The hotel has a well stocked information section just inside the entrance door with a lot of information on things to see in the entire area.  We will direct people from there to our reservation sign up table in the hotel as well as having a list at registration for people to look at.

  We have reserved  the “Whirl-I-Gig: in  L’Anse, MI for the night of the Banquet on Saturday the 27th and for the “Liar’s Club” gathering on Friday the 26th. There will be a cash bar open for both nights. The 6 lane bowling alley is downstairs and we will have full use of it on both nights. The “Whirl-I-Gig” can house as many as 300 people and it is used for weddings, banquets and such.  There is plenty of room for the  Merc, for the food and festivities. Catering will be done by Lisa and Bill Rosseau who are affiliated with the Whirl-I-Gig” rental hall. The banquet meal includes 2 meats: beef and chicken,  4 hot dishes:  green bean casserole, kielbasa and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and gravy and meatballs, 4 cold dishes: coleslaw, fresh fruit, pasta salad without meat or cheese and three bean salad. The Liar’s club gathering on Friday evening, July 26 will have hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza and salad and unlimited bowling. The cash bar will also be in service.         

  There are other hotels available in town as well which includes the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga with 40 rooms.  The Ojibwa Casino is well run and another place for people to go and have fun. The Ojibwa Casino Hotel phone for reservations is 906 353-6333

  Camping is also available which includes the Sturgeon River Campground on Forest Service Rd 2200 Phone (906) 932-1330,  Ojibwa Campground along Lake Superior at 16429 Beartown Rd phone (906) 201-4174 and  L’Anse Township Park  and some forest campgrounds as well.  Baraga State Park is only 0.7 miles from the host hotel. It has showers and a small store on the premises. The phone is: 1-800 447-2857                                    

  Another fascinating place to visit is the Alberta Historical Museum that is the former Henry Ford Sawmill which has self guided and guided tours.  We have set up two 4 hour-tours that the Museum will be staffed to guide of the sawmill and the small village here.  It is a fascinating place and we have set up 2 tours,  one on Thursday July 25th from 1:00 PM till 5:00 PM and the other on Friday morning from 8:00 AM until noon.  The museum will be charging us 50 dollars to  guide for each of these tours and they are asking for a donation of 3.00 for each visitor for the sawmill renovation fund.  There is a fabulous gift shop here that is a must see as well. This is only 15 minutes south of  L’Anse at 21235 Alberta Ave #2 L’Anse, MI Phone 906 487-3673

  The Baraga County Convention and Visitors Bureau is run by Tracey who is very enthused by the club hosting the 2019  Konvention.  She has various books and souvenirs for sale as well. The address is: 755 Broad St. L’Anse, MI Phone (906) 524-7444.

  The beautiful Canyon Falls and Gorge is only 15 minutes from  L’Anse. The easy and scenic hike to the falls and Gorge area only takes 15 to 20 minutes and is really a must see!  No fees required for Canyon Falls.

  The  Pinery Indian Cemetery is also a really nice place to visit and about 15 minutes from L’Anse.  It is a fascinating piece of history and we will want to be respectful that it is a sacred cemetery.  No fees are required for the Pinery Indian Cemetary   

  The Bishop  Baraga Shrine (Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest) is in a lovely park setting minutes from  L’Anse. It is Nationally recognized as a must see attraction. The  Bishop Baraga Shrine also has a store/gift shop where people can try the famous Yooper food, the Pasty (pass-tee) and home made ice cream.   No fees are required for the Bishop Baraga Shrine.

Other nice places in  Baraga County to see are:  The  Baraga County Historical Museum and historical society which is located on US 41 literally next door to our Host Hotel.  No fees are required for the Baraga County Historical Museum The phone is (906) 353-8444

    Other places in Baraga County worth a visit are: Craig Lake State Park.  State park fees required, The Lions Township Park (Historic town site) no fees required and the  Arvon township Historical Society Museum in Skanee, MI (near Mr  Arvon)

Other great things to see in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are: the Porcupine Mountains, Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Taquamenon Falls, The Soo Locks, historic Marquette and a fabulous collection of lighthouses to name a few!

 Various Mt Arvon and UP T-shirts, Sweatshirts and keepsakes can be purchased at Witz Marina in Skanee, Huron Bay Trading Post on the way to Mt. Arvon or at the visitors center in L’Anse. 

  Mt. Curwood, is the old Michigan State highpoint which was listed for many years as the official state high point until it was re-surveyed and found to be only 11 inches shorter than the current High Point Mt.  Arvon. Mary Groeneveld, my brother Gordie and myself went up to the summit of  Mt. Curwood so we now have some rather substantial directions on how to get there! Mt Curwood is owned by a lumber company and is in CFR land so we do not need permission to go there. No fees are required for Mt Curwood

  Last but certainly not least is the high point of Michigan, Mount  Arvon which is very well marked now we are happy to report!  It is about a 40 to 45 minute drive east of L’Anse. We will have a group hike up to Mt.  Arvon on Saturday afternoon before the banquet and it has parking very close to the summit where we will actually have the watermelon ceremony in the parking area that afternoon as well! For those of you who have not been up on Mount  Arvon in recent years you will be very happy to see how beautifully maintained it is now!!

We have a theme for this convention which points out that the very first convention which was held on Mount  Arvon 32 years ago with a group of nine people which included Jack  Longacre of course and Jack and Joyce  Parcells!  Dennis Whitehead who is an active Club member,  50 completer and a TRUE YOOPER is going to be joining us and he will be talking about that first convention back in 1987 with club founder Guru Jack and 7 other convention attendees and sharing wonderful memories of our very first ” Konvention”!! 

 We have official “Mt Arvon” Shirts for our 33rd convention and we have a poster that we put together with input from Dennis Whitehead that includes photos of “the original nine” at the first Konvention on 4/25/87 and the photo of 5 people positioned at the ” Jakk’s ashes” ceremony on 4/25/2003!  Our theme is ” The first convention 4-25-1987, Jack’s Ashes return 4-25-2003 and the 33rd convention 7-27-2019″!  This is on the back of our  convention T-shirts!  Dennis Whitehead has graciously agreed to be our keynote speaker for the evening! Dennis is a 50 completer and is a very well-established doctor in the upper peninsula and his stories of the early days of the High Pointers Club, its inception, the first Convention, and other interesting stories will be a delight to our audience, many of who will be making their first trip up to the rugged Upper Peninsula! 

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Illinois – 2019 Access Dates

Illinois – 2019 Access Dates 

Illinois Liaison, John Mitchler, recently met with the owners of Charles Mound and confirmed the following open access dates for next year, 2019:
Feb 16 & 17 (weekend of Presidents Day)
Jun 1 & 2
Jul 6 & 7
Aug 3 & 4
Sep 7 & 8

In addition to those traditional dates, the owners will allow visitation the days before and after the convention, which for now will be Jul 22-Aug 2. These will be confirmed again in early July.

During your visit, follow their 3 rules:
1) no cars up the lane
2) no pets
3) no after dark visits
Also, everyone should park on just one side of the county road, as far off the side as possible, to allow farm machinery to pass along the road

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2018 Highpoint Club Scholarship Winners!

The 2018 Highpointers Scholarship was announced in the 2Q issue of Apex to Zenith.
The essays of the three winners may be read in their entirety under the Scholarship drop down at

This marks the third year of the club’s scholarship, and most likely the last due to changes in the club. We believe this initiative successfully engaged students with the learning aspects of highpointing.

We thank the following students for participating and wish them well in their studies and in their pursuit of highpoints. We thank the volunteers who gave many hours of their time to establish this scholarship, and to the many donors who funded the awards.

Katherine Ake
Natalie Ake
Natalie Bernero
Ann Marie Blackmon
Brendan MacKay
Catie Rickert

Ann Blackmon
John Cermak
Colden Fees
Brendan ackay
Ben Ruffing
Whitney Webb
Joel Wilner

Caroline Baker
Alison Blake
Alyssa Greaney
Eileen Leach
Quenton Max
Joseph Cermak

Article appearing in 2Q issue:

I would like to thank all the 2018 Highpointers Scholarship participants. This year we received six outstanding essays for the Highpointers Scholarship Program.

The 2018 Highpointers Scholarship winners are Caroline Baker, Joseph Cermak, and Alison Blake. Each of this year’s winners have been awarded with a $500.00 check from the Highpointers Scholarship Fund. Congratulations!!

I would like to thank volunteers Kathy and John Mitchler, Marion Bauman, Lizzie Brammer and Laura Newman for making this year’s judging a success.

It has been an honor for me to be involved with the Scholarship Program because of the opportunities it gives our younger members. It was also an honor for me to present the first three years of Scholarship Awards for the club. It’s time for me to move on now and let others lead this great program into the future. Good Luck!

Bomber Brown, Scholarship Chair

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A 52 Completer Could be in the Future Thanks to California Ballot Measure to Split State into Three

Thanks, Devin Cook

Mt. San Antonio (10,068 ft) may have the opportunity to replace Mt. Whitney as the highpoint of California after enough signatures were submitted to allow Californians to vote on a ballot measure to split the Golden State into three.

The three states would be named California, Northern California and Southern California.

Mt. San Antonio, also known as Mount Baldy, the highest point in Los Angeles County, would be the highpoint of the new California.  Mt. Whitney would retain its status as a highpoint, only now being the highest point in Southern California.  Mt. Shasta, another 14er in California at 14,179 ft, would be the highest point in Northern California.

So, could becoming a 52 Completer be in a highpointer’s future?  Many experts warn that you may not want to put your crampons on yet.  Should the measure pass, it would almost be certain to head for a court date.  Depending on that outcome, the California Legislature may have to approve the measure, never mind the United States Congress, which once failed to act on a measure to split California into two states in the decade prior to the start of the Civil War.

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Comparing Highpoints to Tallest Buildings in a State

Most highpointers have a general idea of which states boast highpoints with higher elevations than other states, but what about tallest buildings?  Seems like a list someone could get behind trying to complete.  Business Insider posted a story about the tallest building in each state.  Before we get going, the list does not take the natural elevation of where the building stands into account. Instead, it is just the actual height of the building.  Here’s a look at a few highlights:

While Alaska’s Denali measures up as the highest point in the United States and all of North America’s, it’s tallest building, the Conco-Phillips Building (296 feet) in Anchorage, does not even measure up to Florida’s Britton Hill, much less Florida’s tallest building, Panorama Tower in Miami (868 feet).

Speaking of Panorama Tower, it is one of three buildings on the list that has an elevation taller than its state’s natural highpoint. One Shell Square in New Orleans (697 feet) stands taller the Pelican State’s highpoint Driskill Mountain (535 feet).  Willis Tower (1729 feet) in Chicago would loom over Illinois’s highest natural point, Charles Mound (1235 feet) as well.  Even if you only measure to the roof (1450 feet) or the observation deck on the 103rd floor (1353 feet), the building’s height would still surpass Charles Mound.

New York boasts the tallest building in the United States, One World Trade Center (1776 feet) in Manhattan.  The shortest, tallest building in a state?  That title goes to Decker Towers in Burlington, Vermont.  This eleven-story apartment building measures to 124 feet.

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50 Completer stories on the web

Whetting your appetite for the First Quarter issue to arrive in your mailbox.

Here is a video of Mark Birkett becoming a 50 Completer on Kings Peak, Utah.

Will Stoll has created a nice Powerpoint slideshow of his 20 year adventure in becoming a 50 Completer.  The HP location map was created by Matt & Eric Gilbertson for their web site

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Charles Mound 2018 Access Dates Announced

Highpointers hoping to reach the top of Illinois will have five weekend opportunities in 2018 as the access dates for Charles Mound have been announced.

For those looking for a winter accent to the top of The Prairie State, access will be granted on February 17 and 18.  However, the lane leading to the highest point will not be plowed.

After February, highpointers will have to wait until the first full weekend of the summer months to reach the top of Charles Mound.  Access to the highpoint will be available June 2 and 3, July 7 and 8, August 4 and 5, and September 1 and 2.

Charles Mound sits on private property in Illinois, and it should be treated as such.  The property owners, The Wuebbels, love highpionters and are gracious hosts with just three firm rules for visitors:

  1. No cars up in our lane.
  2. No pets
  3. No visitors after dark.

Set your car GPS to “688 West Charles Mound Road, Scales Mound, IL”. Their private lane is not marked except for a blue “688” along the road. Do not crowd the country road. Park on one side off the blacktop so that farm equipment can pass through. From this country road, it’s about a 1.25 mile walk up the lane to the summit.

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Issue #119 of “Apex to Zenith” Fourth Quarter 2017

Topic Page
48 Finishers
• Brian Council
• Norman Michaels
• Don Smalley
9 – 10, 27
50 Completers
• Steve Eilertson
• Nigel Roberts
• Joan Zardus
2, 7 – 9
50 and 48 4
Article – Virginia 18
Ask a Guide 22 – 24
Difficulty Rating 14
Errata 12
Highpoint Updates
• Illinois – Charles Mound
• Kentucky – Black Mountain
• Louisiana – Driskill Mountain
• Nevada – Boundary Peak
Klimbin’ Kollaborator 12
Le Cache 11
Lists! – Second Lap 27
ARKANSAS 2018 16 – 17
Merc 15
Milestones 20 – 21, 28 – 30
More Than 50 13
New Members 13
Obituary – Fred Beckey 19
President’s Message 12
S.O.S. #45 Safe Hiking 25 – 26
Tri-state Points Online 11
World HPs – Canada’s 3rd Completer 19

If you are interested in this back issue, please contact the newsletter editor (

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