This time of the year is the winter doldrums. Sometimes you just get tired of skiing, ice climbing, and plodding through snow and up icy trails. A good alternative is to get out to drier places and climb some of the U.S. state high points and county high points in your state.
A lot of my friends here in Colorado do that. They get out on a nice day and hike to the flattish summits of the county high points in eastern Colorado like Bison Butte in Weld County or they head to the Oklahoma panhandle. Out there they trek to the flat top of Black Mesa, the Oklahoma high point which lies a scant 1,299 feet east of the New Mexico border. Another choice is to drive out to western Kansas, get out of the car, and walk a few hundred feet to the roof of Kansas on Mount Sunflower, a humped grassy hill on a remote ranch a half-mile from Colorado.
If you want to notch those peaks on your state high point list, check out these four new articles and make your driving plans:
Black Mesa: High Point of Oklahoma
Climbing Black Mesa: Route Description
Mount Sunflower: Kansas High Point
Climbing Mount Sunflower: Route Description
Photograph above: Black Mesa, the Oklahoma state high point, rises above the Black Mesa Trail in Oklahoma's western panhandle. Photograph © Susan Joy Paul.