Ascent of Fulton County High Point on 2007-05-18

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Friday, May 18, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Fulton County High Point
    Elevation:927 ft / 282 m

Ascent Trip Report

6 areas out of 7
920+ ft.

Friday, 5/4/2007

From the Wabash County northern HP contours, it is a short drive to the first of the 7 Fulton County HP candidates. From the Wabash County parking spot, return south 0.3mi on CR 700W to the first intersecting road. Turn right (west) onto CR 1400N (Wabash County). About a mile later, you will arrive at the Wabash and Fulton County line, duly marked by signs that proclaim CR 1400N and CR 800W (Wabash County) and CR 1600E and CR 200S (Fulton County). About 0.7mi later, I was pulling off the road into a field turn-out to approach contour #4 (as previously labeled in Bob Schwab’s trip report).

This high spot was in a field behind a house and barn that both were several feet off the road. Several fences surrounded the barn, and a horse pasture (complete with several horses) was the nearest field I had to navigate.

My first impression was to cross the horse pasture to the obvious HP contour. However, as I crossed over the first fence and began the trek, several of the horses looked up and noticed me. They began wandering my way, and I got nervous. I have never been around so many strange horses, so I did not know their nature or what behavior to expect. I decided to return to the nearest fence and cross back over and away from the horses.

I continued north along the outside of this fence to the general area of the barn and the first intersecting fence. I easily passed over this fence near the barn, and I again considered passing through the barnyard to reach the HP. Instead, I chose to loop behind the barn and stay out of the animals’ space. I crossed one more fence, strode behind the barn to the highest land and followed my nose to what I thought was the highest spot in the contour. I wandered around a bit to be sure before reversing the route to return to my car. A relative altimeter reading (RAR) showed 929ft in this area. After about 15 minutes and 0.37mi., I was back on the road. In 0.3mi., I turned right (north) onto CR 1500E, and drove about a half mile before pulling over near the spot described in the Schwab report.

I hiked east across a generally flat field before coming to a fence. Crossing the fence, I was met with a harvested but untilled cornfield. I also heard some ATV’s playing in the field to the left (north) in the direction of the church described by Schwab. I could see the church across the field once I was across the fence, but I never saw the ATV’ers.

From this spot, I looked to the southeast and eyeballed the highest coutour. I hiked in the direction of the highest ground, and I walked back and forth across much of the large contour to make sure I passed over the HP. This was Schwab’s contour #3 (the 927ft spot elevation). From this area, I could look south and see the farm area I had just visited for contour #4. I saw the land I had visited and satisfied myself that this was indeed the highest ground in that area.

My next attention was to investigate area #5. Hiking due east, I soon arrived at the northern edge of a woods area. I followed the woods’ edge and soon came to an area where the land was rising again. I hiked north to cross over some nearby farmland that appeared to be HP candidates. The RAR here was 948ft. Continuing east from this area, I soon came to another fence that needed to be crossed.

Once I was over the fence, I looked left and spied the high contour (#6) nearby, and I looked right and saw the remaining contour (#7) across the field and near some woods about a quarter mile away. I first hiked in the direction of the nearby spot #6 and crossed over the highest grounds having RAR of 922ft. Then it was southwest across the field to the obvious rises that the topo map showed as contour #7 with RAR of 929ft.

Without a hand level, it was difficult to determine with certainty which of the bumps were the highest lands. The RAR suggest that area #5 north of the woods is the likely HP. Future visitors must make their own decisions.

From the #7 contour, I set out in the direction of the woods because the #5 contour is actually a boomerang-shape that curves south into the woods and then east into the field. I crossed the field to the high land near the woods and was pleasantly surprised to find an opening in the fence near the eastern and northern edge of the woods. I passed through without the risk of rips to my clothing (yes, I have done that before!). From here, it was due west along the woods, through the corn, and back over fence #1. A quarter-mile field walk brought me back to my car. In a little under an hour, I had hiked 2.05mi. to summit these 4 contours with negligible elevation gain. I had two more contours to go to complete the county.

It was getting dark, and one contour was nearby. The other was across the county some distance. I knew I would only get one more before I had to shut down for the night. The final, yellow-coloring contour would have to wait another day.

From the parking spot, I drove south on CR 1500E back to CR 200S. Here I turned right (west) and drove about a half-mile to an intersection with IN 114. Here, I turned left (southeast). In 0.7mi., I realized I had gone too far. I turned around and returned about 0.4mi. to a crest in the road, and I pulled off the side of the road. It was getting dark, but I could see the HP candidate at the top of this rise just across a fence. I hopped the fence and wandered up the rise to the highest ground and proclaimed another contour bagged. In less than 10 minutes, I was back at the car and driving away. My peakbagging day was complete after 17 contours that completed 2 counties and fell one short of a third.

1 area out of 7 to complete the county
920+ ft.

Friday, 5/18/2007

Fridays are good days to leave work early to do some road trips. Today, I was able to leave work around 12:30pm to see return to Fulton County and complete the remaining HP contour.

The final Fulton County candidate lies on private (but commercial) land owned by the Presbyterian church. The Geneva Center is a retreat site located in a woodsy and secluded part of the county. Following the Bob Schwab directions, I arrived at the Center less than 90 miles after leaving work.

I pulled into the parking lot near office, and I went inside to obtain permission to hike. I met a pleasant lady who welcomed me and told me to stay as long as I desired. It was a beautiful day and made for hiking.

From my car, I hiked southwest past the pool before turning right (west) to follow a trail into the woods. I came to a fork and went left as advised by Schwab. This quickly brought me past the amphitheater, but I did not recognize it as such because of its rundown condition. I was expecting something more. I recall the “turn right” mentioned by Bob as more of a “continue straight”. (I noticed a trail coming in from the left that was probably the left fork of the directions offered by Bob.)

From here, I continued along the path for several hundred feet, traveling up and down along the way. I eventually passed an open field on the left and curved to the left as the woods rounded the field. As I hiked here, I spied a white-tail deer bounding away across the field.

Eventually I became concerned that I had lost my way because I was much farther than the “only 100ft” mentioned by Bob. I turned around, retraced my steps and found a “medium tree” at the top of one of the rises I had passed over along the way. I suspected this was the HP, but I did not have enough evidence to claim the contour bagged.

I hiked back to the swimming pool area and decided to look around some more since I was not yet convinced I had seen the HP. I hiked east and south along the woods perimeter until I found some other trails that led into the woods. I walked along several of them for a while and saw some interesting sites including a deer carcass that had been there several years and was in a badly decomposed condition. (I was surprised in retrospect that the deer had not been discovered and removed by the retreat center personnel). I continued wandering around looking for other routes to higher ground. Eventually, my trails brought me back to the amphitheater area along the left fork mentioned in the dialog above.

Having made a loop around the entire southern and western area of the retreat property, I was now satisfied that the tree had indeed been the HP. Apparently, the overhead electric wires mentioned by Bob Schwab have been removed. I never saw them anywhere.
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