Custer County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: August 2, 2008
Author: Carl Millsap
My brothers, John and Eric, and I arranged to meet at the trailhead on Friday
night before the climb. I pulled my pop-up trailer so that we could enjoy a
comfortable nightís sleep before the climb. I was dismayed by the large crowds
at the campground. There was a large church group inhabiting the fire pit area
and several pop-up campers opposite the fire pit. Among the trailers and tents
everywhere, there was not a spot left vacant for vehicle parking. This was
obviously the most popular weekend to be here. I like to have my space when I
camp so I drove back to the highway. Upon reaching the highway, my left trailer
tire blew. I attempted to change the tire out but the lug bolts would not budge.
I told my brothers where to meet me. They arrived and attempted to
remove the bolts also but to no avail so I pulled the trailer north on the
highway and we set it up about 300 yards from a farmerís haystack. We decided
that night to take care of the tire on Saturday morning rather than wait until
after our climb so as to assure we got it fixed before shops closed.
We hit the trail about 11:00 am and met so many climbers on their way down.
All in all, I estimate there must have been a total of 80 or so climbers or campers
on the mountain that day. We summitted around 4:00 pm, spent about 30 minutes
soaking in our accomplishment and then headed down. We took our time heading
past the saddle just below Chicken-Out Ridge to enjoy the view of the gulch
below us and to estimate the distance to the bottom.
We returned to the trailhead at around 6:30 pm to an out roar from the pop-up
trailer crew who had also climbed the mountain earlier that day and was
congratulating us on our accomplishment. They were partying and having a good time.
We decided that being as tired as we were and having such long drives
home we would pull the trailer up to the trailhead and enjoy a restful night
around the campfire with our newly acquired friends. The next morning we left
camp around 10:00 am.
I must say, I'm not in as good a shape as my brother, Dale, who climbed up and
back in 5 hours and 40 minutes but I will say that it was easy compared to my
failed attempt on this same mountain back in early May with snow still at least
4 feet deep on Chicken-Out Ridge and rapidly melting with the midday sun bearing
down on it. I had turned back at Chicken-Out Ridge on nthat trip knowing that I
would be very weary by the time I was on my return back from the summit and
having to cross over Chicken-Out Ridge one more time. I thought it very unwise
to push on beyond Chicken-Out Ridge.