Ascent of Defiance County High Point on 2008-10-02

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Thursday, October 2, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Defiance County High Point
    Elevation:880 ft / 268 m

Ascent Trip Report

880+ ft. – 8 Areas

Thursday, 10/2/2008

I got away early this afternoon to visit this nearby county. As the limiting county to my home glob radius, I was excited at the prospect of improving the radius from 19.07 miles to the stratospheric level of – 19.36 miles! Well, I still have one adjoining county that has not been visited. Once I get that one done, we will see meteoric rises in the radius figure.

The county contains 8 candidate contours grouped into 3 areas. I followed the Bob Schwab trip report with little difficulty. One minor correction: the sentence in the first paragraph should read “to a crest in the road with woods to your RIGHT.” Using Bob’s nomenclature, I visited the HP contours in the following order: 4, 3, 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 7

Altimeter readings at the various contours ranged between 864 and 888 feet, and 894 to 906 feet apparently due to some atmospheric changes. Since the 3 areas cannot be seen from one to another, each future HPer should plan to visit each contour to form their own judgments.

Comments about the contours:
Area 4: This was the highest contour of the first 4 in my opinion. You could see the other 3 contours from this point, and relative altimeter readings of 871ft – 881ft seemed to confirm this observation.

Area 3: The best elevation read I got here was 869ft.

Area 1: As I walked north from area 3, I found readings of 864ft – 871ft in the middle of the field. Walking southwest back toward the road, you could see a rise that made this high ground near the road. The readings here were 864ft – 869ft near the road. I continued to follow this contour southwest into the woods where readings between 863ft and 865ft were seen.

Area 2: I continued southwest through the woods where various readings between 863ft and 873ft were seen. A boulder was found near the south edge of the woods and the east end of the contour that was the highest reading. From the boulder, I continued west along the edge of the field to an obvious rise about 50 yards away. Readings in this are were 873ft to 879ft, making this the apparent high ground of area 2. I walked back to my truck by crossing area 4 a second time. My observations again lead me to believe that area 4 is the highest. Total hiked in this 4-contour group was about 1.5 miles.

Area 5: The fence referred to by Bob is now gone. I parked my car just off SR 49, immediately east of the HP candidate, in the tilled field. From here it was a short hike to the HP. Altimeter readings here were 881ft – 888ft.

Area 6: From area 5, I continued west to a north/south fence line. I crossed the fence before continuing southwest to area 6. I wandered around this area until I was satisfied I had tagged all likely high ground. Altimeter readings varied between 880ft – 886ft. Total hiked in this 2-contour group was also about 1.5 miles.

Area 8: A Mr. Philip Raber now owns the farm at 3419 Seevers Road. I stopped at the farmhouse, met him, and obtained his permission to wander his farm fields. He was aware of the HP candidates on his land. He also told me to check out the high ground that is just off the road at the intersection about .4 mile west of his house. Mr. Raber offered to turn off the electric fence lines. But I told him I would be careful, so that would not be necessary.

Similar to Bob, I was granted permission to drive my car along the farm road lying west of the farm buildings. I drove north almost entirely to the woods. I crawled under the single-strand electric fence that marked the cow pastures. I walked east along the southern edge of the woods. Near the southwest corner of the woods was a fence post that seemed to mark the highest ground in this contour. Readings of 894ft to 906ft were taken. I also wandered northeast into the farm field across the tree line. Topo maps show that this field is not really that far south of area 6 previously visited. However, readings in this field were also lower that area 8.

Area 7: I wandered through the cow field south along the woods to a rise near the woods. I then continued south and west to the rise that is the pipeline. As I dodged the large cow pies (this brought back memories of firecrackers in my childhood – how fast can you run? But I digress….), I walked over all the high ground that was apparent to me. This area was clearly lower than area 8.

I walked back to my truck, pleased that I had negotiated all electric fences without issue. Just one more fence to cross. About 25 feet from my truck, I lifted my leg, grabbed the metal stake holding the wire, and stepped across. ZAP! A momentary jolt notified me just how much life the electric wires carried. Though not deadly, I did wish I had crawled under this wire too.

As I got back, the cows finally discovered me. I was making notes on the hood of my truck when about 50 LARGE dairy cows came running up to check me out. They stopped on their side of the wire. Have you ever been face to face with 10-12 grass-chewing, large-mouthed, slobbering cows? I talked to the cows for awhile (hey, maybe they COULD understand me), and when they lost their attention, I got in my truck and drove away.

I checked out the ground at the intersection mentioned by Mr. Raber. The topo map shows 874ft at this corner. I got out of my truck and climbed to the top. I noticed a large excavated pond on the other side. Case closed. This was not natural ground, and certainly it is not another HP candidate.

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