To join the Highpointers club, just keep climbin'
October 8, 2018 11:30 AM   Subscribe

If the Seven Summits (Wikipedia; previously) are a bit too daunting, or the number seven isn't your jam, you could work on climbing (or strolling) to the top of extreme elevations in countries around the world (sortable Wikipedia list). In the United States, there's the Highpointers Club who have the goal of getting to the highest points in all 50 states, plus D.C. (Peakbagger). Wikipedia also has a list of (major) cities by elevation and capitol cities by elevation. Peakbagger takes it to another level with more than 200 lists of peaks by continent and country.
posted by filthy light thief (15 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My dad and older brother have been steadily putting the high points of all 50 states under their belts for the past... at least 15 years. They only have 4 more to go, and of course they saved the highest 3, and then our distinctly very not elevated home state (Iowa), for last. Which I'm sure seemed like a fun idea back then, but now my dad is not so young and spry, to put it kindly, and has some very difficult climbs ahead of him. I believe Denali 2020 is their plan.

I know there was at least one high point that involved some trespassing.
posted by wellifyouinsist at 11:41 AM on October 8, 2018 [7 favorites]

I've done a few things like this, but kept in Colorado. Twist is, I've only used a bike to get to them (I don't have a car). Like this.

Or sometimes I just stay in the same place, and do laps.
posted by alex_skazat at 12:45 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Mind if I start with Belgium?
posted by ocschwar at 1:16 PM on October 8, 2018

For anyone interested in bagging DC's lesser peaks, this item from the 10/14/1871 Washington Star lists them:

The Highest Point in the City*. – A few days since two well-known citizens entered into a wager as to the highest curb point above tide water in the city. The services of the Surveyor for the Board of Public Works, Wm. Forsyth, were called into requisition, when he gave the following list of the highest altitudes above tide water: - Boundary and 14th streets, 129¾ feet; corner 11th and N streets, square 339, 100¼ feet; Capitol, top of granite base, 89.86; East Capitol and 1st street, 95½; 11th east and D north, 96 feet.

* "The City" here would still have largely been taken to mean "the City of Washington" (that is, the L'Enfant-planned city), since DC's constituent parts had only been consolidated under a single government for about eight months at that point. The top of the reservoir at Fort Reno is the highest point in the current configuration.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:52 PM on October 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Poor Point Reno, ranking bottom-tier by almost all criteria:
  • Mid-Atlantic CoHPs (Rank #146)
  • Most Isolated Peaks of the U.S. States (Rank #51)
  • Northeastern USA CoHPs (Rank #259)
  • United States State High Points (plus DC) (Rank #50)
  • CoHP High Five List (Rank #246)
  • United States State/Territory High Points (Rank #55)
  • Selected U.S. City High Points (Rank #24)
  • Combined USA-Canada-Mexico State/Province High Points (Rank #95)
Except for one:
  • District of Columbia High Point (Rank #1)
posted by ardgedee at 2:00 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Poor Point Reno, ranking bottom-tier by almost all criteria.

Still, it's an interesting spot, and unvisited by most Washingtonians, even people have been going to the concerts at Fort Reno for decades. On a clear day, you can see for miles, and it's surprisingly given what seems, on foot, like not a substantial change in grade.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:08 PM on October 8, 2018

Yeah, I've climbed to the top of Point Reno. Saw a great lunar eclipse there once.
Beat Florida, at least.
posted by MtDewd at 4:06 PM on October 8, 2018

I've been to one of these. Mt Washington. It was cloudy and cool on top, 85 in the valley.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:36 PM on October 8, 2018

Mt Kosciuszko in Australia rightly gets some shade thrown for being an easy stroll via the regular walking route, but there is always the infamous Hannel's Spur route up the north side which ascends 1800m (~5900 feet) of elevation, a slightly harder climb to dismiss.

My personal list is visiting, and hopefully eventually skiing, every point above 2000m in Australia (they're all in Kosciuszko National Park). Depending on how you define it (I've settled on named points with 50m prominence) there are about 20 and I have something like 7 left to go.
posted by other barry at 7:49 PM on October 8, 2018

We just hiked up to Black Elk Peak in South Dakota a month or so ago. At 7,242ft / 2,207m, it is not only the highest point in South Dakota, but the highest point in the US east of the Rockies! Great hike, I highly recommend it to anyone who is up for a 3.5 mile uphill hike.

I suppose I've also been to Eagle Mountain in Minnesota, but I don't have any special memory of it. It doesn't have a view or anything, just a sign on the trail. Just because it's technically the highest point doesn't make it the best or the most impressive, I guess.
posted by Elly Vortex at 8:26 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

wellifyouinsist: "I know there was at least one high point that involved some trespassing."

Rhode Island's used to, but there is now public access.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:35 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is an excellent place to plug the excellent Gunung Bagging site, which chronicles the Indonesian/Malaysian equivalent to peak bagging.
posted by mdonley at 1:02 AM on October 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

My partner and I traveled to Sri Lanka years ago, and ever since I've been a little sad we didn't make it to the Maldives so we could say we'd been to the lowest highest point in the world. But according to this list, looks like that still wouldn't be true, even discounting the non-country entries. So now I guess I'm planning our trip to Tuvalu.
posted by solotoro at 6:59 AM on October 9, 2018

This is bringing back some Früvous memories
posted by tarshish bound at 9:09 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

So now I guess I'm planning our trip to Tuvalu.

Don't put it off too long.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:42 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

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