West New Mexico County Highpoints Trip Report

These are the first 4 counties of the 2002 season for Edward and myself, flying into Tucson the final weekend of April. I begin the season with 89 counties and 231 total ascents of all varieties, i.e. including non-ascents and drive-ups. Edward has 144 such that we both have county counts that are Fibonnacci numbers!

Is actinium 231 one of the longer-lived isotopes for that radioactive element?

Whitewater Baldy of Catron County (10,985 ft)

A wonderful 10 mile round trip with some 2,000 ft gain. Some residual snow for the final push off-trail the last 600 vertical feet or so. That makes for thorium 232.

South Baldy of Socorro County (10,783 ft)

Did this one later in the afternoon the same day as Catron County. Strong winds but no biggie. We Earlized it for Edward's sake with some 1,200 ft vertical gain. This makes for protactinium 233.

McKnight Mtn of Grant / Sierra Counties (two points - 10,165 ft)

Edward and myself went to the NW point with no-good-view first so as to enjoy the view at the definite county HP of Sierra County afterwards for one-half hour.

Thereby I never get to have exactly 92 counties since the NW point has only a fifty percent chance of being the Grant cohp. So I miss getting a uranium isotope 8-( . At trip's end I am at 93 counties - i.e. neptunium 235.

I write this report on May 12 some two weeks after this trip to New Mexico. This morning I reclimbed Gaskill Pk in San Diego County (the first time being some 13 months ago just prior to my Bolivia trip) - which, being neither a county HP nor a new peak leaves my total as Np235. However I intend to get to the well-known radioisotope Np237 with Hines (near Ojai) and Cone Pk the weekend of May 18-19. What silliness!