Saturday, September 12, 2009

High Point, NJ and Highpointer's Convention - #6

Name: High Point, NJ
Height: 1,803'
Date: 7/30/09, and again on 8/1/09

Maybe it was just luck that the first official Highpointers Konvention since I became a Highpointer was in New Jersey, a scant 3 hour drive away. Had it been somewhere further I'm sure I would have skipped it. But man, I'm glad I went!

For obvious reasons, the Club keeps track of the number of highpoints you have, and of course that number is displayed prominently on your convention badge. My scant 6* put me at the bottom of the barrel. No lie: there were dogs and babies who'd stood on more summits than I have.

*By the end of the konvention Cliff had declared that I only had 3 HPs because I couldn't recite the names and elevations of where I'd been at the speed of light. Also, D.C. doesn't count. Take that, democracy!

Looking out from the Highpoint Tower

The Highpointers Club has a strange makeup - lots of older, awesome climbers; lots of families; and then a smattering of other active climbers which seemed to fall into two groups: those who are hardcore, and the rest of us.

I met a great bunch of people (all in the "rest of us" category): Dave (37), Rich (47) and Tami (44), Pete (?), Cliff (?), Brian (?), Steve (47), and a bunch of others. I met the guy who literally wrote the book on highpointing, Don Holmes. (The numbers in ( ) are not their ages, it's is the number of highpoints they have.)

Thursday night was a sunset viewing at the high point monument. We are the first and only group to have been allowed at the highpoint after dark (the Highpointer equivalent of a backstage pass).

The place is simply named "High Point". I guess you can't really expect much creativity from New Jersey.

This is an awesome picture of the Highpoint Tower lit up at night being reflected in the lake below it. I know what you're thinking, but the picture is fine. This is how it really looks. Really.

Friday there were trips to do various things - rafting, a trip to NYC, or rock climbing. I joined the rock group, which I admit I was surprised was not much bigger. We piled into a few cars and off we went to The Gunks, right near the Mohonk Mountain House - one of my favorite places on the planet. Bill was leading the trip, but was clearly quite concerned about actually being responsible for anyone top roping that wasn't himself. He was expecting some friends along but there was rain and they never showed so we all set out on a bouldering adventure through The Labyrinth (sans Muppets).

The Gunks Group

Tami dropped her waterbottle, so I went caving.

Don't worry, Mom. This is only slightly less dangerous than it looks.

The Mohonk Tower, and our merry band atop it.

Friday night was the main party, with lectures and stuff.
This picture is Dave's punishment for never sending me any of his pics. :)

Saturday morning everyone went again to the highpoint. Some of us hiked there via the AT. On top, lots of pics and watermellon. Went looking for the USGS markers. Found some, not the main one, which presumably was the actual monument. Saturday evening was the dinner and awards banquet.

Overall, a great time.

And here they are, what you've all been waiting for...the Slinky Shots!
Slinky at the NJ Highpoint:

Slinky at the top of the Mohonk Tower: