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Ascent of Voyageurs High Point Tower on 2015-06-18

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, June 18, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Voyageurs High Point Tower
    Location:USA-Minnesota
    Elevation:1400 ft / 426 m

Ascent Trip Report

After having a confusing time on Mount Desor on Isle Royale, Katrina confessed to me that she had picked a highpoint list to be her own hiking goal. It turns out that she has been pining over the National Park Highpoints since she first heard about the list last fall! So on our drive from Grand Portage to Voyageurs, we stopped at a laundromat in Tower with wifi and got the details on this hike.

We canoed from the Ash River Visitor's Center into Sullivan Bay earlier in the day, but when we were done we were ready for the highpoint. We parked at the Beaver Pond Overlook Parking Lot which is where the Kab-Ash Trail crosses the road to the visitor's center as well. The trail is hard to see on the east side of the road, but if you go across at the crosswalk into the small open area, you will find it heading southeast, or to the right, into the trees. There is a metal sign, but it is half a minute's walk from the road into the woods. This trail meanders through the woods, bordering a drop off for a few minutes giving a tease of a view. We could hear motorboats in Sullivan Bay just a few hundred feet to the north of us. We came upon the second metal sign which is the start of the loop trail that circles around tower by the highpoint. The two ends head uphill to the south, with the right loop being much more defined, and the left being covered in ferns. We followed the left loop, which required following the cairns and ribbons on the trees because the path is so little used it could be mistaken for virgin forest floor in some spots. I used a GPS receiver to help us make sure that we would know where the tower was, but here are some tips to do it without. At the first sight of the tower, just one cairn after the one that looks like the Grand Teton east face from a distance, go towards the tower, but stay a little to the right, coming to the top of the rocky ridge (which is made up of mudstone as we learned to identify it in the visitor's center). The cairn with the register (which needs a writing utensil as it has none; a golf pencil will do) is maybe 150' NW of the tower. The cairn is off of any trail, but sports a cairn with more rocks than any of the other cairns around the tower that we saw. Our actual ascent route involved more of a true bushwhack to the tower from further along the loop trail. We initially thought the rocks by the tower were the highest but then discovered Martin's cairn while looking for higher bumps. On the way back we used the same end of the loop trail that we had come up on. We saw no people on the trail or in the parking lot, but we were bothered by some bugs along the way. We didn't wear bug spray and it was still tolerable, although we were swatting for some of the time.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:315 ft / 96 m
    Extra Gain:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:Kab-Ash Loop
    Trailhead:Beaver Pond Overlook Parking Lot  1125 ft / 342 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 2 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:45 Minutes



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