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Item #: GB464-8682
HIGHPOINTS OF THE STATES Frank Ashley 1970 1st ed Softcover Fine 2 copies available
By Ashley, Frank
Price: $69.95

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Detailed Product Description
California, La Siesta Press, 1970, 1st edition. 36 pp, 7 b/w photos, one map. Staple bound softcover, Fine condition. Appears unused.

There are now several more accurate and detailed guidebooks to the state summits. They are more up to date as names and altitudes have a nasty habit of getting changed from time to time. Still, the idea that Frank Ashley would write this booklet and that Walt Wheelock of La Siesta Press would publish it as early as 1970, shows how charming it can be to see a part of our sport go from being unheard of, to becoming mainstream. 

Gene Mason wrote Minus Three, also 1970. He had started his Seven Summits quest decades before anyone else was talking about it. His first three peaks were Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro and Denali. After he wrote the book he also bagged Elbrus, so he had four of the Seven (or Eight) before anybody knew there was even a race about to start. 

This pamphlet is collectible for its being the first guidebook to state highpoints. Ashley says that some highpoint information is available nowhere else, in 1970. That may certainly be true for the less popular highpoints, the privately owned ones, and the four that in 1970 were not even named! Now of course it's all online. 

Back in 1970 fewer than ten people had completed the 50 highpoints, and although there certainly had to be other hikers and climbers accumulating highpoints in a casual manner, no bucket list existed in the organized and serious way that we do things today. 

The first state highpoint completer was A.H. Marshall who climbed all 48 State summits by 1936. By the time Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959 (each with their own very serious highpoints), only four people had climbed them all. Vin Hoeman was the first 50 state completer as recently as 1966. Only three years later he had the misfortune to die along with most of his climbing team in an avalanche on Dhaulagiri. 

Many people now choose to hike and climb to specific places purely because of their altitude, and appreciate the significance of a hill being taller than all the nearby hills. By now over 250 persons claim to have have summited all 50 American States, and as many as 350 say they have climbed the ''Seven Summits,'' the highest place on all seven continents.

 Ironically there is only one peak on the State list and another on the Continent list that are difficult and dangerous enough to prevent perhaps thousands of additional persons from completing both lists: Denali and Chomolungma. On large peaks like Rainier they don't try to be complete. They recommend a proper guidebook. 


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