Ascent of High Point on 2017-05-22

Climber: David Odenwalder

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, May 22, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:High Point
    Location:USA-New Jersey
    Elevation:1803 ft / 549 m

Ascent Trip Report

Not a challenging ascent, not a spectacular day for the ascent. But #27 completed.
On the East Coast for a business trip (my business meeting ended up getting cancelled - but I only found out about the cancellation 50 miles before reaching High Point - that's another story).
Decided to knock out NJ's highpoint while "sort of" in the area - on a travel day. And a travel day it was.
Flew from Orlando (FL) and arrived at BWI in the late morning. Picked up the rental car and immediately started the long drive. Per Google, the best, fastest way was to drive toward Philadelphia, then take highway 476 to Allentown, wend through the Poconos, and finally cross the Delaware River on Route 206. It was still going to be lots of hours behind the wheel, plagued by some sort of traffic incident, lots of road construction, and very low speeds through the Delaware Gap area. Still pretty to see - but tough if you are racing the clock - which I was, somewhat. As mentioned, about 50 miles short of my goal, I received a phone call, telling me my business meeting near Baltimore was cancelled, and advising me to come home. I wasn't going to get this close and not complete the mission, however.
Once on the Jersey side, it's pretty straightforward to drive Highway 23 to the "monument" turn-off - about 10 miles, I'd reckon. So far, NJ is the only high point I've visited with its own specially designated state park, and the largest marker - a 200-plus foot column of granite. The tower was built, so the sign said, about 1930, and was erected in honor of military heroes. You can park within about 100 yards of the monument - closer if you're handicapped. So no physical challenge to speak of (probably 50 feet or so of elevation gain from the parking lot). I suppose, if you are a real stickler for a challenge, you could hike up the road from Montague and make it a substantial hike.
The weather was drizzly all day - wet roads all the way - but had stopped by the time I reached the top. However a medium fog or low cloud cover had settled in by that time - so no views. Even the tower was just a hazy outline in my photos. The tower was closed, so no chance to climb to the tip-top. I'm more interested in the highest natural point, anyway. That is anyone's guess. The area around the tower, of course, has been modified by human hand - so if the tower is on the highest natural spot - that has long since been covered over. The current highest natural point could be some rocky outcroppings a few yards in front of the tower. Or it could be a large natural boulder next to the one corner of the monument "wall". Or it could be near the geodesic marker on the backside of the monument, also among some rocky outcroppings. Or it could be the dirt up against the back "wall". I stepped on them all, just for good measure.
Incidentally, the entrance booth was closed - so I didn't have to pay the usual entrance fee. (The state park is closed in the night - so don't try to do this one after hours.) It did cost me about $20 in tolls on the MD and PA highways, however.

Travel back to Baltimore was via Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg (checked off the PA Capitol Building on my other list). Mostly freeway, reasonably fast - and NO TOLLS! Interstate 84 - back to Scranton - is one of the nicer sections of the interstate system so far as I have traveled it.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Low Clouds
medium fog; drizzly day
Ascent Statistics
    Route:trail from main parking lot
Descent Statistics

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