A First Ascent (FA) must meet two standards: satisfy
and be accomplished by an eligible individual (vide infra).
Unless there is information to the contrary, anyone claiming an ascent is
assumed to have fully abided by THE RULES.
Although respect for private property and the law are encouraged, misdeeds of this sort
are not a bar to FA (first ascent) consideration.
Eligible individuals include -
All members of the discussion group firstname.lastname@example.org .
This is self-evident.
All state completers. State completers' dates are considered for FAL ranking.
Many of these pioneers were consulted and were found to differ widely in their opinions.
Some were eager to participate, some were non-responsive, some could not pinpoint dates,
and some thought the notion a little bizarre.
Anyone not a member of the discussion group but actively pursuing county highpointing.
This category is harder to define and on occasion involves some arbitrary judgements.
Kevin Williamson works outside the discussion group but significantly contributes
to our efforts and thus is recognized for his first ascents.
Others outside our discussion group who are pursuing county highpointing and keeping us
advised of their accomplishments are equally recognized.
However, no effort is expended tracking down individuals operating on their own.
Their previous efforts will be acknowledged should they eventually join our discussion group.
Tag-alongs and/or friends accompanying someone on a first ascent, are ineligible.
Submission of several trip reports is evidence of group activity. However submission of
just one trip report report does not constitute sufficient evidence of group activity.
In general, the tendency is to be inclusive when considering eligibility.
If two eligible individuals differ on whether a county highpoint was reached
or who was first, these contestants should first settle their differences
before attempting to receive official recognition for their accomplishment.
All eligible members of a summit group are accorded first ascent honors regardless of the time
interval between the first and last ascender. This lessens the desire of individuals
for rushing up to be first and thereby causing group disharmony. Separate groups
or individuals reaching the top on the same day will not share first ascent recognition.
A first ascent claim with an inexact date defaults to the last day of the claimed period,
e.g. August becomes August 31. Similarly, 1990 becomes December 31, 1990. Thus a more precise
claim antedates a less precise claim and hence supercedes the latter. An August 30, 2000 claim
supercedes an August, 2000 (August 31 by default) claim. A December 30, 1995 claim supercedes
a 1995 claim.
A county highpoint destroyed by nature or man (Mt Saint Helens, WA or Clayton County, GA)
results in co-shared first ascents for the new and old county highpoints.
A new area found does not nullify a previously valid first ascent claim, providing s/he was
working from a well-researched list. First ascent honors are shared with the original
and the new area claimant, provided that the new claimant has reached all other areas.
If later the one area is proven to be the highest, one of the shared first ascent individuals
will no longer be recognized for his effort.
If an eligible individual was not first to finish a county containing multiple highpoints,
but was first to get the single highpoint later proven highest, s/he receives first ascent
honors in place of the previously listed first ascender for that county.
If a county boundary changes from one incorrectly understood (e.g., erroneous map portrayals)
and results in a new higher point, the first to ascend said higher point receives first ascent
honors in place of the previously listed first ascender.
If a county boundary changes by fiat resulting in a border shift and a new higher point,
the first to ascend said new high point will co-share first ascent honors with the first ascender
of the former highest point.
3. Additional Comments
County highpoints incidentally reached before a career of county highpointing was
undertaken are acceptable. These long-ago highpoints must conform to
If uncertain, these efforts do not constitute first ascents as defined here.
A very few group members, as a personal matter, choose not to count highpoints
reached when there was no county highpoint intent.
Accuracy of the first ascent list is of supreme concern. There should be NO hesitancy to
submit a claim because it would supercede a currently recognized first ascent
or because the claim lacks a trip report. Indeed, failure to offer these claims
detracts from the meaningfulness of the list.
A county highpoint axiom states that he who keeps a list shall make the rules
governing that list. This is not a completely valid description of how the first
ascent concept operates. The original first ascent list framework was presented
to the discussion group. Issues deemed potentially controversial or contrary to
long-held county highpoint precepts are to be discussed by group members for comment.