If you want to be known for doing something, you either have to be the first, the first to do it well or the best ever. In running, it quickly becomes silly; there are records now for the fastest marathon run in a superhero costume or while carrying a tray with drinks (but not both of those at the same time, yet, Mr. Batman Busboy). The number of people wanting to run a marathon in every state is about the same as the number who run any given marathon. Once some guy runs a "fastest known time" on a trail, there's soon a FKT by a woman, then by a man over 50 years old, etc. until the FKT by a left-handed violinist.
Finding a fitting challenge is a challenge in itself.
I was thinking about climbing all the 2000 foot peaks in Minnesota. I'm not the first to think about it, as it happens. There's some interesting problems to sort out before doing it and no one's figured out what the ground rules should be, so no one's given it a shot.
Here's some of the odd problems:
The town of Isabella in Lake County is at an elevation of 1944, so every little bump near there is over 2000 feet, thus one needs a "minimum climb" rule. The common rule is that one needs a climb of 300 feet. That makes Peabody Hill at 2019 feet the only peak to climb, even though Stony Tower Hill, at 2080 feet, is the county high point. That doesn't sound right. If you find on a USGS topo map that the climb is only 290 feet, do you have to do it because you can't be sure of the map accuracy, and if so, what about 280 feet or 270 and so on?
Some of the peaks are shaped like molars or tables. The "molar" hills have several points that could each be the high point - it would take a survey crew to decide - so does one have to climb each of them to be sure, or just give it a best guess? The "tables" have large areas one would have to tramp over to be certain one hit the true high point (which probably is covered by a tree anyway) - how much effort is good enough?
As far as I can tell, there are 22 possible peaks:
Eagle Mountain, 2301 feet
"Peak 2007" - possibly a shoulder of 2266
"Misquah Hills true high point" 2260
"Misquah hills official high point" 2246
Gaskin Peak 2245 - somewhere near the two above, if not identical
Lima Mountain 2238
Brule Mountain 2226 (does not meet 300 foot climb rule)
Pine Mountain 2190
Kelso Mountain 2100
"Peak 2081", plus possibly nearby Peaks 2065, 2046, 2030
Peabody Hill 2019
Moose Mountain 2012 (on Canadian Border; there are many Moose Mountains)
Stony Tower Hill 2080
Height of Land Lookout Tower Hill (Clearwater County) 2006
Some of these have never been climbed, as there's no road or trail for 20 miles! That's a pretty good reason no one's done this challenge. Yet.
Here's a description of an "easy" climb.
Added: this project may need its own page. Peak 2110 is the same as Kelso. The Cloquet Lookout Tower is 2067 feet. The Devilfish Lookout Tower is 2189. Brule Lake Tower is 2120. Gunflint Tower is 2064. Wanless Tower is 2045.
I am now (July 2) up to 70 possible peaks!
5 days ago