Have the 50 state highpoints always been the same?

Have the 50 state highpoints always been the same?

Joined: January 29th, 2004, 3:33 am

June 28th, 2005, 10:47 pm #1

I may have brought this up before, but I keep marveling over how Utah's Kings Peak -- today's bonafide highest version -- was unknown until 1966, when satellite measurements were taken of Uinta Mountain Peaks.
I've heard of some old-timers who actually went to today's South Kings Peak (16 feet lower than today's Kings Peak), before 1966 and new don't realize the high point changed.
Ironically, the main path to Kings in pre-1966 was essentially the same and hikers would skirt by today's Kings summit within 10-20 feet en route to South Kings. Maybe some summitted today's Kings as they went by it, but none knew it was truly the tallest until 1966.
Do some other states have similar highpoint evolutions?
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

June 28th, 2005, 11:38 pm #2

Some other states that have points that were previously thought to be state high points (but were later found not to be) include:

Louisiana (Gentry Hill)
Iowa (Ocheyedah Mound)
Michigan (Mount Curwood)
North Dakota (Black Butte)
Delaware (Centerville)

Of interest, though, is that on June 17, 1966, Vin Hoeman (along with Kit Hoeman) climbed both South Kings Peak and Kings Peak and, in his notes, specified their elevations of 13,512 feet and 13,528 feet, respectively. He found a 3-foot high cairn containing a Horlick's malted milk balls container housing the summit register at the summit of Kings Peak. Kings Peak was Hoeman's 46th state highoint. He had been traveling away from home since September 1965 and probably planned to visit Kings Peak before he left on his extended climbing trip to southeastern Alaska, Washington, Utah (HP on 6/17/66), Nebraska (attempted HP on 11/3/65; reached HP on 6/2/66), Iowa (Ocheyedah Mound on 11/5/65), Illinois (HP on 11/6/05), Indiana (HP on 11/7/65), Ohio (stopped by USAF outside gate at Campbell Hill on 11/7/65), Pennsylvania (HP on 11/8/65), Maryland (HP on 11/8/65), Delaware (visited old HP on 11/16/65; reached true HP on 5/8/66), New Jersey (HP on 11/17/65), New York (HP on 5/22/66), Connecticut (HP on 12/2/65), Rhode Island attempted HP on 12/2/65; reached HP on 5/17/66), Massachusetts (HP on 12/7/65), Wisconsin (12/10/65), North Dakota (HP on 12/12/65), Colorado, Guatemala (HP on 2/1-2/66), Colombia (HP on 2/21/66), Ecuador (attempted HP on 3/4/66, but became sick at 17,000 feet), Peru (HP on 3/15/66), Bolivia, Chile, Argentina (HP attempted on 4/19/66; reached 15,000 feet), Jamaica, Maine (HP on 5/19/66), and Vermont (HP on 5/21/66).

Boy, that Hoeman was a busy climber.
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Joined: February 1st, 2004, 4:19 pm

June 29th, 2005, 3:50 am #3

I may have brought this up before, but I keep marveling over how Utah's Kings Peak -- today's bonafide highest version -- was unknown until 1966, when satellite measurements were taken of Uinta Mountain Peaks.
I've heard of some old-timers who actually went to today's South Kings Peak (16 feet lower than today's Kings Peak), before 1966 and new don't realize the high point changed.
Ironically, the main path to Kings in pre-1966 was essentially the same and hikers would skirt by today's Kings summit within 10-20 feet en route to South Kings. Maybe some summitted today's Kings as they went by it, but none knew it was truly the tallest until 1966.
Do some other states have similar highpoint evolutions?
The Winger Book (2nd edition) has a list of the highpoints, circa 1896. It looks like at least 1/2 of them are different from the present-day HP's.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 10:33 pm

June 30th, 2005, 5:49 pm #4

I may have brought this up before, but I keep marveling over how Utah's Kings Peak -- today's bonafide highest version -- was unknown until 1966, when satellite measurements were taken of Uinta Mountain Peaks.
I've heard of some old-timers who actually went to today's South Kings Peak (16 feet lower than today's Kings Peak), before 1966 and new don't realize the high point changed.
Ironically, the main path to Kings in pre-1966 was essentially the same and hikers would skirt by today's Kings summit within 10-20 feet en route to South Kings. Maybe some summitted today's Kings as they went by it, but none knew it was truly the tallest until 1966.
Do some other states have similar highpoint evolutions?
I have an old set of encyclopedias from the 1940's. It says Gilbert, Emmons, and Hodges Peak are the highest peaks in Utah. It doesn't even mention Kings or South Kings. Also, does anyone know which peak is Hodges? I've never been able to find that one out.

Also, I don't remember the year, but it wasn't that long ago that Wheeler Peak in Nevada was listed as Nevada's highest (instead ofBoundary Peak).
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 10:33 pm

June 30th, 2005, 5:54 pm #5

Some other states that have points that were previously thought to be state high points (but were later found not to be) include:

Louisiana (Gentry Hill)
Iowa (Ocheyedah Mound)
Michigan (Mount Curwood)
North Dakota (Black Butte)
Delaware (Centerville)

Of interest, though, is that on June 17, 1966, Vin Hoeman (along with Kit Hoeman) climbed both South Kings Peak and Kings Peak and, in his notes, specified their elevations of 13,512 feet and 13,528 feet, respectively. He found a 3-foot high cairn containing a Horlick's malted milk balls container housing the summit register at the summit of Kings Peak. Kings Peak was Hoeman's 46th state highoint. He had been traveling away from home since September 1965 and probably planned to visit Kings Peak before he left on his extended climbing trip to southeastern Alaska, Washington, Utah (HP on 6/17/66), Nebraska (attempted HP on 11/3/65; reached HP on 6/2/66), Iowa (Ocheyedah Mound on 11/5/65), Illinois (HP on 11/6/05), Indiana (HP on 11/7/65), Ohio (stopped by USAF outside gate at Campbell Hill on 11/7/65), Pennsylvania (HP on 11/8/65), Maryland (HP on 11/8/65), Delaware (visited old HP on 11/16/65; reached true HP on 5/8/66), New Jersey (HP on 11/17/65), New York (HP on 5/22/66), Connecticut (HP on 12/2/65), Rhode Island attempted HP on 12/2/65; reached HP on 5/17/66), Massachusetts (HP on 12/7/65), Wisconsin (12/10/65), North Dakota (HP on 12/12/65), Colorado, Guatemala (HP on 2/1-2/66), Colombia (HP on 2/21/66), Ecuador (attempted HP on 3/4/66, but became sick at 17,000 feet), Peru (HP on 3/15/66), Bolivia, Chile, Argentina (HP attempted on 4/19/66; reached 15,000 feet), Jamaica, Maine (HP on 5/19/66), and Vermont (HP on 5/21/66).

Boy, that Hoeman was a busy climber.
Steve,

I am curious as to what the highpoint of Bolivia was listed back then? I've seen older sources use different peaks than Sajama.

Of interest: Also, I believe the Colombia HP has been recently revised after finding that Bolivar was higher than Colon.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 8:13 pm

June 30th, 2005, 6:22 pm #6

I have an old set of encyclopedias from the 1940's. It says Gilbert, Emmons, and Hodges Peak are the highest peaks in Utah. It doesn't even mention Kings or South Kings. Also, does anyone know which peak is Hodges? I've never been able to find that one out.

Also, I don't remember the year, but it wasn't that long ago that Wheeler Peak in Nevada was listed as Nevada's highest (instead ofBoundary Peak).
Actually, Wheeler Peak is the highest peak in Nevada. Boundary Peak doesn't have enough drop in the saddle between it and Mount Montgomery to count as a separate summit, so it is just a subsidiary bump on the Montgomery ridge.

A slightly different situation exists in CT, where the summit of Mt. Frissell is in Massachusetts, but the point on the ridge where you cross the CT/MA line is higher than the summit of nearby Bear Mountain.

Ah, highpointing trivia...
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

June 30th, 2005, 6:37 pm #7

Steve,

I am curious as to what the highpoint of Bolivia was listed back then? I've seen older sources use different peaks than Sajama.

Of interest: Also, I believe the Colombia HP has been recently revised after finding that Bolivar was higher than Colon.
I erred. Hoeman climbed Navado del Ruiz in Colombia on 2/21/66, not Colombia's HP, which Roger lists as Nevado del Huila (elevation 18865).

Hoeman's records don't specify Bolivia's HP, but he did climb Cerro Chacaltaya (elevation 5395 meters or 17700 feet) on 4/3/66, with Dave Johnston (also a 50-state completer), Pete Robinson, and a dog.
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Joined: April 20th, 2004, 7:19 pm

June 30th, 2005, 6:52 pm #8

Actually, Wheeler Peak is the highest peak in Nevada. Boundary Peak doesn't have enough drop in the saddle between it and Mount Montgomery to count as a separate summit, so it is just a subsidiary bump on the Montgomery ridge.

A slightly different situation exists in CT, where the summit of Mt. Frissell is in Massachusetts, but the point on the ridge where you cross the CT/MA line is higher than the summit of nearby Bear Mountain.

Ah, highpointing trivia...
Wasn't there some sort of border settlement between NV and CA that moved Boundary within the border of Nevada, knocking wheeler off as the highpoint?

I thought I remember reading something about that.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 8:13 pm

July 1st, 2005, 12:37 am #9

Steve, you are correct. As this snippet of the Boundary Peak quad shows, the 19th-Century Von Schmidt Line places Boundary Peak in California, not Nevada. I'm not enough of a historian to know when the line changed to the current boundary (the red line south and east of the summit in the topo), but with the change in state boundaries came a change in highpoints.

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