Carlton County High Point Trip Report

Date: February 17, 2001
Author: Edward Earl

On MN highway 210 approximately 5.5 miles E of Cromwell on the north side of the road is a sign that reads "Fond du Lac Snowmobile Trail - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources". A snow-covered plowed road leads north from this point amid scattered trees and brush. I parked on the highway nearby and donned the necessary layers for the still sub-zero temperatures. Though I expected to need snowshoes later, I declined to put them on right away because the surface was firmly packed.

I hiked up the snowmobile trail, carrying the snowshoes in hand. For the first 2 miles it is mostly flat with occasional open views of the complex of hills to the north that harbored the HP. Then the trail climbed gradually through hilly forests. Tracking my progress on GPS, I turned right at a fork. I kept an eye out for signs of Rogers Lake, which is the nearest landmark. The GPS temporarily lost its lock on the satellites, and when it started working again, it showed that I had gone about 400 meters past the highpoint. So I turned around and headed south until I arrived in the HP area, a NNW to SSE trending ridge with three summits. According to the topo map, the middle one is necessarily the HP since it is the only one that has a 1450' contour. At least in the winter, however, the summits are visible from each other and the north and middle summits appear to be within 2 or 3 feet (the contour interval is a mere 5 feet). Though I'm willing to accept the middle summit (which is only about 10' off the trail) as the sole HP possibility, Fred Lobdell types will want to visit both the north and middle summits. I can rule out the south summit, which is about 10' lower.

After visiting the HP, I decided to check one more thing: Rogers Lake should be about 1000' to the east. So I strapped on my snowshoes (which would otherwise have been unnecessary for this climb) and headed in that direction. I found the lake without difficulty. I then followed cross-country ski trails back to the main snowmobile trail, which is probably a jeep road in the summer. Andy Martin's Honda Accord may be able to make it up this road also; if so, this HP would be a gimme. Without this capability it is 6 miles round trip.