The team rolled into West Virginia late in the evening on June 21st to bag peak number 25 - Spruce Knob, WV. An astounding 25 high points in the 19 days since the top of Denali. From West Virginia, it was on.
Using the Sprinter, bicycles, borrowed cars, commercial and private planes the team barnstormed through nineteen states in seven days. Plagued by intense rain in the east, the weather finally broke in Maine and under sunny skies, the team cranked through state after state. The routine - drive, sleep, eat, and climb -repeat until done.
- West Virginia (Spruce Knob) - Maryland (Backbone Mountain) - Pennsylvania (Mt. Davis) - Delaware (Ebright Azimuth) - New Jersey (High Point) - Connecticut (Mt. Frissell - South Slope) - Massachusetts (Mt. Greylock) - New York (Mt. Marcy) - Vermont (Mt. Mansfield) - New Hampshire (Mt. Washington) - Maine (Katahdin) - Rhode Island (Jerimoth Hill) - Illinois (Charles Mound) - Wisconsin (Timms Hill) - Michigan (Mt. Arvon) - Minnesota (Eagle Mountain) - Iowa (Hawkeye Point) - Indiana (Hoosier Hill) - Ohio (Campbell Hill)
June 21 - Halfway Point!
The team reached the halfway point at 11:00 pm ET on June 21st with Spruce Knob, WV at 4,861 feet. That is halfway through the 50 states only 19 days after summiting Denali.
June 22 - Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware
The team continues to move quickly up the east coast summiting peaks right and left.
At about 1:40 pm ET, the team summited Mt. Marcy, the highest point in New York state. The climb was about 14 miles round trip on muddy, rocky trail. The team has been plagued by rain and storms throughout the northern states which has been affecting the speed and timing of the peaks. Mt. Marcy was a whopping 3,000 elevation gain leading to a summit of granite and a gorgeous view of the Adriondacks.
June 24 - Mt. Washington, NH (6,288 ft)
The team braved some extreme winds and this persistant rain to summit Mt. Washington, the highest point in New Hampshire. They are hoping to catch a break tomorrow as they head towards Maine.
After Mt. Marcy yesterday, the team ferried across Lake Champlain to Vermont. A mighty shout-out to the Stowe Resort for offering their gondola services to transport the team right to the trail head. Mt. Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont, provided about 1,000 vertical feet of waterfall climbing - a first for the team.
The team is hoping to wrap up the northeast today and tomorrow. Plans are to head to to New Hampshire and hit Mt. Washington this afternoon and then on to Katahdin in Maine tomorrow.
June 25 - Katahdin, ME (5,268 ft)
Under clear (finally!) skies and a big moon, the team hit the trail to summit Katahdin, the highest point in Maine, via the Abol Direct at about 4:00 am today. The ascent was quick and unusual only for the fact that there was actually some sun.
Katahdin, which means "the Greatest Mountain," is at the northern terminus of the Applachian Trail. This is peak number 35 for the team and the last mountain peak high point east of the Mississippi.
June 26-27 - Planes, Bikes and Automobiles
After Maine, the team headed to Rhode Island and, joined by family and friends, made quick work of Jerimoth Hill, the highest point in Rhode Island. From Providence, the flew to Chicago where they were met by an old friend, John Shoffner, who also happens to be a private pilot and Dr. Russ Betcher, who also happened to volunteer his pilot services and his plane.
That's when the fun began. A combination of barnstorming, hiking, biking (when they couldn't find anyone to to drive them to the trail-head) and car borrowing allowed for a whirlwind tour of the real midwest. The team landed in some amazingly remote air strips and met a some great people.
Midwest, you rock. The proof? The Lach Family, Luann, Stan and Cooper the dog saw the team's plane overhead and drove out to greet the team on the landing strip. The Lach's were kind enough to not only take the team out to the trailhead, but they also hiked with them to the summit of Timms Hill, the high point of Wisconsin.
June 28 - Wrapping Up the Midwest
The team sends a HUGE thank you to Dr. Russ Betcher and John Shoffner for volunteering their plane, their time and their mad piloting skills to the 50/50 cause this weekend. We are so grateful for your help - what a great ride this weekend.
The pilots dropped the team off in Indianapolis this morning where they quickly knocked off Hoosier Hill and are now on their way to Columbus, Ohio. From there, it is on a plane and then off to Seattle for the final push for the lower 48.