My youngest boy who is now the youngest person to summit a United States highpoint at the tender age of 19 days old. The previous record was held by William James Dean at 20 days old and was set in 2008. My son Gideon Eleazar Powers was only 19 days old when we had him on the summit of Sassafras Mountain on Wednesday April 6th.
I’m pretty sure this record isn’t broken more often because not many parents are as crazy and adventurous as we are. We would’ve tried to set it sooner but just couldn’t fit the trip into our schedule earlier. I’ll be perfectly honest. He didn’t walk up the mountain, but that’s within the rules. He was perfectly happy to pose with our summit flag though.
I’m a member and the South Carolina representative of The Highpointers Club. It’s a club that exists to promote the 50 state highpoints, ensure access to each, and help people reach the summits. The highpoints range from the highest, Denali in Alaska at 20,320′, to the lowest in Florida at 345′. Sassafras Mountain in the Palmetto state is listed at 3560′ and is in the lower half of the summits. The highpointing records are maintained by The Highpointers Club and are updated each year in their annual Highpointers Club Directory.
For years now I’ve been working with various groups and government agencies to improve access and amenities at Sassafras Mountain. We’ve made a lot of improvements at the summit, including new signage and an overlook that was built by the Department of Natural Resources.