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Ascent of Seward County High Point on 2002-09-21

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Saturday, September 21, 2002
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Seward County High Point
    Location:USA-Kansas
    Elevation:2995 ft / 912 m

Ascent Trip Report

Getting to Seward County was easy, but getting near the highpoint hill was confusing. It's easy to lose track of distances in this flat grid of roads. Not all junctions have road signs, and navigation demands careful attention to the map and the odometer. Suffice to say, I wasn't paying attention, and trying to peg my location took a few minutes. Anyway, I was able to get myself oriented.

The highpont is a hill about 1.5 miles south of the junctions of Roads B and 5, about seven miles west of the city of Liberal. The hill is surprisingly well-defined, with about 30 feet of prominence. It is sandy, and covered in shin-high scrub. I parked near an oil well and started the short walk. There were no fences to bar me. I arrived to the top of the hill after 10 minutes. So far, so good.

The second area is a small bump about 100 feet away, and I walked over to it. Just as I was to set my foot down onto the top, I spied a fat rattlesnake sunning himself, not coiled. I almost stepped on the damn thing! Somehow I launched myself over him, landing nearby, now suddenly concerned about snakes. I was amped with adrenaline.

Only now I realized that hiking in shorts in this snakey scrub was not a great idea. I had to get myself back to open ground, and the hike out was quite interesting as I tried carefully to find open patches to pass through. I made it, but realized I was damn lucky not to get a souvenir snake bite out of the journey.

In honor of the snake at the summit, I dubbed this highpoint "Snake Hill".
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Trailhead:2965 ft / 903 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack



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