Taylor County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: January 14, 2007
Author: John Hasch

Daylight arrived about an hour before I did and I was able to clearly see my way towards the James Lake ski lift. I was following directions I found in a CoHP trip report and the directions so far had been right on. All roads were clear until I got onto the Rustic Road that wove around James Lake. Though not totally clear, that road had at least been sanded to make it passable. I had no trouble winding around the lake area and reaching the ski lift road.

When I reached the ski lift road, I made a sharp right turn - perhaps 315 degrees from the direction I had been traveling. There, I encountered a steep road that led up to the ski lift station. Unfortunately, I had not seen the icy conditions that covered the road before I made the turn. I started up the hill, but the slope was too great and my car slipped backwards - and into a snow bank that captured my right rear tire. I was stuck!

Fortunately, I had my trusty snow shovel that was packed in as part of my contingency/emergency supplies. In about 10 minutes, I sat the shovel aside. I had cleared snow and pushed my car free. Now I could concentrate on the summit.

I took an altimeter reading at the car and began climbing the icy incline on foot. A brief 1/4 mile and 5 minutes later brought me to the summit area. I looked around the ski lift station area and noted that the high ground was a mound of dirt located behind the lift station. I climbed the mound and proclaimed the summit "bagged"!

I took a few pictures and was back down at the car in another 10 minutes. Based on the 20-foot contour topo map I had with me, the summit was at 1,840+ feet. My car was located around 1,768 feet, making the elevation gain for this trip 72 feet.

I drove away, not yet aware that I had left the snow shovel on the side of the road!