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State 8

So you really climb mountains?

This was a question I was asked when, on my first weekend free from work, I was renting a car and driving to Magazine Mountain in Arkansas. The other lads were all planning a weekend of golf and sitting by the pool.

"Sure I do" was my response. When I then had to explain that rarely do any of the mountains I climb involve anything more than a solid hike, the alure of being a mountain climber was quickly lost. But then again, having grown up and lived most of my life in Australia, how many big mountains could there really have been to climb anyway? Australia, my home country, is the flatest continent on the planet. Our highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, is a puny 2228m (7,310ft) and can be summited by following a well trodden path to the very summit. Infact, my 70 year old grandma has climbed to the top.

So while my climbing adventures have been somewhat limited, the fun of trying to get to the highest mountain, peak, or hill in whatever country, state or region I'm visiting has become a sort of holiday hobby.

So after climbing the highest mountain in each of Australia's States (I've managed 5 of 8 so far), I decided to build a website and write about each of my US climbs. Hopefully my stories will inspire other would be armchair adventurers to get out into the wilds and enjoy what nature can offer. We spend way too much planted in front of a TV, our hand glued to the remote, that we are all missing out on what the world has to offer.

In July 2009, while on a work trip to Arkansas, I spent a 3 hour drive to climb the highest mountain in that State. Having finally arrived in the carpark, 15 minutes later and I was standing at the top of Magazine Mountain. A few photos and appreciating my efforts and I was back in the car for the 3 hour return trip. Not quite the most challenging start to my US adventure, but I was 1 peak down, with only 50 more to go. I was on my way.

Anyways, that's me. Hope you enjoy the site and I hope to see you atop a mountain one day.

Roland