Ascent of Baltimore High Point on 2008-05-09

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Friday, May 9, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Baltimore High Point
    Elevation:489 ft / 149 m

Ascent Trip Report

When we landed at BWI, the skies were dark gray and the area was being socked by heavy rain and twisters. All of southern Maryland was under a tornado watch and virtually the whole state, plus most of northern Virginia, was under flood warnings. That night, the rain fell hard (3 inches, said the weatherman) and the skies lit up with lightning. The next day (today) was more of the same, with heavy rain, clouds, and gloom and doom. We were aiming for Winchester, Virginia, but we had a couple county highpoints to explore along the way. These were easy ones, ones we could do in any conditions, rain or shine or twisters.

We waited until the morning traffic had died down, then got moving. First up was the pair of highpoints of Baltimore City, which is a separate entity from surrounding Baltimore County. The highpoints of Baltimore City are in its extreme northwest corner along Reisterstown Road. We came to Reisterstown Road via Loop-695, then drove southeast toward the highpoint areas.

Not knowing anything about Baltimore, we were concerned we’d be driving into gangsterville, but we were happy to discover that this area looked safe. We entered Baltimore City via Pikesville, a middle-class suburb of row-style homes with parks and greenery. Reisterstown Road is the major thoroughfare, choked with traffic and lanes that disappear randomly. Somehow we made it into Baltimore City, in a light drizzle.

First were the areas along Park Heights and Labyrinth Roads, which we visited in no time, making short walks in the mist to gain a sense of the highest areas. The stronger candidate area is about a mile away along Falstaff Road then north up Park Heights Avenue to Temple Ohev Shalom. We drove into the parking lot around back of the Temple and walked to a row of trees that seemed highest. The city boundary cuts through the back parking lot, so we walked a little more to be sure.

Back onto Reisterstown Road, we rewarded ourselves with Starbucks coffee for Beth and wonderful deli sandwiches and snacks from the Edmart Jewish Delicatessen. This area is heavily Jewish. Aside from the obvious clues already mentioned, we saw plenty of men wearing the yarmulke, some with long beards, and I was even hit on by an older woman in the Edmart Deli. Beth explained she probably had an unmarried daughter, and was probably looking for someone to meet her, and marry her, I guess. I thought it was because I am handsome.

We left the area and headed north for the highpoint of Baltimore County. It would rain heavier.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:10 ft / 3 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Trailhead:479 ft / 145 m

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