Ascent of Howard County High Point on 2009-01-03

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Saturday, January 3, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Howard County High Point
    Elevation:900 ft / 274 m

Ascent Trip Report

900+ ft.

Saturday, 1/3/2009

I decided to visit this (relatively) close county today since it was early in tax season and I was still (relatively) free. I had been through Russiaville many times in the past, passing through while en route to watch Purdue University football games. Today’s journey would be for a different form of entertainment. It was late in the day, and it would be a race just to see if I could find and visit the high contours before darkness set in.

The drive across Howard County is one of the straightest, longest trips in one county in Indiana. From I-69 near the eastern county line, it is about 30 miles west on IN 26. The HP contours are located in the southwest corner of the county.

I followed the Bob Schwab directions without a problem. My first stop was a field pullout north of the Oilar home nearly due west of the northernmost HP contour. After surveying the landscape, I changed my mind. I drove south past the Oilar home and around the curve. I didn’t stop to ask permission because I saw no sign of anyone being home. I parked just off the next curve to the south, marked as spot elevation 890 on the topo maps. I believe this is similar to where Bob parked when he visited the area.

It took about 35 minutes and 1.25mi to hike to the two nearby contours and back. The first stop was on a course roughly northeast from the truck. I set off on a course aimed at a brown house in the distance. It was easy to tell when I got to the contour #1 – it was a raised area, though flat and plateau-like. To the west was a fence line which agrees with the dashed lines on the topo map that runs across the middle of this contour.

No one spot was distinct. To find the highest grains of dirt requires a grid-like effort. I passed back and forth about 3 times to satisfy myself that I had adequately covered the contour.

I then set off across the field on a southeastern course to reach the fence on the Howard-Tipton county line. Once I got near the fence, I spied the higher ground to the south, so I headed for this bump near the county line. Once again, I did the back-and-forth routine to be sure I had hit the highpoint. I now know what it’s like to be a duck in the shooting gallery at a carnival or county fair. Satisfied with my accomplishments, I headed back to my truck to visit the third contour.

I drove south to the first house on the left. The home set on obvious raised ground. I knocked at the front door, noting the overgrown sidewalk to the right of this large porch that covered most of the front of the house. My impression was that folks don’t use this path to enter/exit the home, preferring instead to park in the back and walk from there. No one answered, so I set out to quickly walk around the home to find the highest ground. The ground slopes up to the house on all sides, so the home is clearly on the highest ground. In about 5 minutes, I was back in my truck and on my way, accomplishing the feat about 15 minutes before darkness shut down the day.
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