Gruhn ’88 Reaches High Points in All 50 States
Steve Gruhn ’88, M.S. ’90, achieved his goal to reach the highest point in each state when he conquered Mount McKinley, at 20,320 feet the highest peak in the U.S., in his home state of Alaska on June 28, 2013.
“Although I grew up climbing mountains in Alaska, I first started my quest to visit the highest point in each state during my senior year at RPI,” says Gruhn. While on spring break in March 1988, he visited Mount Mitchell in North Carolina and Clingmans Dome in Tennessee. “I didn’t intend to save my home state for last, but it just worked out that way.”
Gruhn has special memories of climbs over the years, including bringing his parents to the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii; bringing his wife, Tami, to the highest point in Wisconsin, Timms Hill; climbing many summits with his cousins, including Mount Whitney in California (right), at 14,500 feet the highest point in the lower 48 states; and several, including Mount Marcy in New York and Mount Hood in Oregon, with his high school friend who got him started on the project.
Acknowledging that “best” is a subjective term, Gruhn says: “Because I get to look at it every clear day, and because I helped my most frequent climbing partner become the oldest person (79) to reach the summit, I would say that Mount McKinley was the best of the 50 for me.”