Ascent of Mower County High Point on 2015-06-18

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Thursday, June 18, 2015
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Mower County High Point
    Elevation:1435 ft / 437 m

Ascent Trip Report

The highpoint of Mower County is not far from the Olmsted County highpoint. I followed county roads and in fifteen minutes located myself in the general area, a mile east of the town of Elkton. There are three contours that reach 1,440 feet, but the westernmost contour seems to be the consensus (albeit a small sample size) as the likeliest highpoint. Conveniently, it's also accessible as it sits between two fields. A scant path separates the two fields.

I parked west of the westernmost area and hiked to the top, gaining 15 feet in about 500 feet of walking. There is a rockpile here, presumably the rocks that used to sit in the surrounding fields that were then collected and piled here to allow the fields to be tilled.

I first stood beside the pile and inspected the two other areas, one about 500 feet to the northeast and another about 1,500 feet east, both in cornfields. The northeast area seemed lower with a strong probability, any rises long since tilled away over years of farming. The eastern area seemed to be about the same in elevation, but any distinct "tops" had been leveled away from years of tilling.

I then scampered up the rocks, which wasn't that easy. They are surrounded by thick weeds and I was concerned about critters hiding therein. On the rocks, they were loose and some turned under me, but in moments I was atop this pile, which stands about eight feet in height.

Two previous visitors both felt this western point was probably highest and I felt the same way. My sense tells me the northeast area can be ignored, and the eastern area is probably lower. In any case, I was not going to walk to them amid the corn. I left feeling good about this one.

Sexauer's study shows that the area to the northeast, or roughly in the middle of the three areas, is highest, but also observes that the western area is higher due to the rockpile. Thus, I feel less confident that I visited the highest "natural" point, although standing atop the rockpile was definitely the highest point all around. Thus, I am rescinding my claim to this county highpoint.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:20 ft / 6 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Trailhead:1415 ft / 431 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country

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