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Ascent of Washington County High Point on 2001-05-22

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Tuesday, May 22, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Washington County High Point
    Location:USA-Pennsylvania
    Elevation:1572 ft / 479 m

Ascent Trip Report

I exited I-70 at state route PA-221. The highpoint is a single hill near the community of Gale.

Once off the main highways, I discovered that the local routes in the state are a warren of roads, narrow two-lane roads that are rarely signed. My DeLorme atlas denoted each's "number", but they are never signed as such in the field. Most go by local names, or no names. I presume the locals just "know" the roads that signing them is not worth the trouble. Thus, I found myself confused and lost at times, such as now. After some wandering, I found PA-3035, drove it west to PS-3022, into a rural community of random homes, barns, churches and grassy fields and hills. This was Gale, but again, no sign mentioned this.

Where these two roads intersect, there is a local road called Mt. Zion Road that is just east of a house. I followed Mt. Zion Road up a small hill about a half-mile, then where the road crests, I pulled off into a clearing at an open gate. The highpoint was 200 yards east up the hill in a grassy swath cleared for a pipeline. The hike was short but somewhat steep, gaining about 170 feet in this short distance. A pipeline marker is found near the top, then the actual top is visible about another 100 feet away. A small clearing ringed by trees is the summit, with no views. I stayed briefly, then hiked back to my car. I was soaking wet from the damp knee-high grass. Ultimately, this wasn't a terribly memorable highpoint, but it was nice to get the first one done.

I exited back to eastbound Interstate-70, coming upon heavy traffic at the Youghiogheny River, where a truck carrying watermelons had overturned. Every single one was smashed open. The cab was upright and no one looked hurt. It was easily the best-smelling vehicle crash I've ever come upon.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:170 ft / 51 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Trailhead:1402 ft / 427 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail



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