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Ascent of Mount Lookout ESE on 2009-05-17

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Sunday, May 17, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lookout ESE
    Location:USA-Ohio
    Elevation:1105 ft / 336 m

Ascent Trip Report

CoHP – AUGLAIZE COUNTY, OHIO
1105+ ft.

Sunday, 5/17/2009

This county HP has gained past notoriety due to the access challenges. But I was in the area with enough sunlight to complete it, so I decided to give it a try. I drove east on Hwy 67 until I came to the property described by others. I drove up the long lane to the top of the hill, in front of the barn and approaching the house. As I parked my truck, I spotted a man, presumably the landowner. His demeanor was just as others had found him. Although he was not rude, he was firm in his desire to keep his property private. He told me he had many folks stop to see his property, and he had no intentions of turning his land into a tourist attraction. He then joked that perhaps he could make some money if so many people wanted to see the place. He also spoke of “No Trespassing” signs, although the only sign I saw was at the top of the hill by the horse corral.

We spoke for several minutes, but I was not successful in getting his permission. I offered to pay a few bucks for the visit. I told him it would not take long for me to merely step on the high ground. He said he didn’t get it (our HPing hobby). Why do people engage in such silliness? He doesn’t want strangers snooping around his property.

I got back in my truck, confident I had stepped on one HP contour (I was careful to park in a spot that allowed me to walk cross what I believed was the highest ground). As I drove away, I looked near the barn to spy the other high contour referred to by others.

I believed I could visit the other contour without being seen because it was getting dark as the sun began to set. The HP ground was near a hedgerow described in other reports, south and east of the barn. So I drove to the first road east, turned right, and went ½ mile to the next east-west road. I turned right again and observed the farm and surrounding terrain.

I parked at a spot that would provide good approach to the back of the HP farm. There were two woods between the road and the farm, so the approach was largely obscured. I hiked NNW across a farm field to the eastern edge of the first woods. I followed this edge to its northern terminus, and I crossed NW through another open field to the second woods that were between the HP farm and me. I continued west along the southern border of the woods, and I turned north along the western edge as I approached the farm.

I then crossed the northern edge of a farm field that lay immediately south of the HP farm. When I got to the hedge row, I carefully approached the barn, watching my GPS for elevation and watching the ground near the barn for the farmer. As I continued on, I saw the owner driving north down the farm lane on his ATV, so I knew I had at least a brief moment where he would not be present. I walked up to the horse corral near the barn, and I turned and returned the way I came, staying near the hedge row to appreciate the cover that it gave. At one point, I broke into a jog to return to the neighboring farmer’s field south of the HP farm. I was satisfied I had stepped on the other HP contour, so I counted this county as done. I returned to my truck the way I came, getting back just as darkness became real.

Total round trip for this route was 2.05 miles, and it took me about 45 minutes to complete the trek. I am glad I completed the county, whose HP locations were verified by using ACME mapper to view satellite photos of the area. I was both happy and sad about the event. Happy I had completed the county. Sad that I had to violate the owners wishes to accomplish it. Each private property with access issues leaves me troubled. I do not understand why people are so “protective” of some natural beauty God has given them to use for a short time. I am harmless. I just want to visit the place and leave, disturbing as little as possible. But I also appreciate that it is the owner’s right to restrict access to his privacy, no matter what I might think. Each case is different. I hope I am always successful in gaining permission and access in the future. I don’t like to spread ill will. I don’t like having a bad conscience.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear



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