Eagle Mountain

Eagle Mountain rising above Whale Lake, 3 feet of packed snow, temperatures in the low 30’s with a light breeze.

Today we climbed for Keith, Stan and Joyce.  These three wonderful people passed away after a battle with Kidney Cancer.  We will always remember them and dedicated our climb of the highest point in Minnesota to them.  We’re reminded of the poem by Dr. Robert L. Lynn

Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

The north shore of Lake Superior (which provides a home to Eagle Mountain) is not as high as some of the places we’ve gone to climb, but it has its own special sort of beauty.

Sunrise along the North Shore coast
Rocks and Ice in the bay at Grand Marais, Minnesota’s lowest point and only about 15 miles from Eagle Mountain, Minnesota’s highest point!



Here we are starting out at the trailhead, 1 dad/doctor, 4 kids, a dog and a mission to honor Keith, Stan and Joyce .
7 miles round trip and 2301 feet above sea level.

From summit post, “Eagle Mountain is the highest natural point in Minnesota. Although a State Highpoint and only having a modest elevation of 2301′, the mountain has multiple other interesting attributes for peakbaggers. Despite its short elevation, the peak has a surprising 1321′ of clean prominence as well as 437 miles of isolation from the nearest higher ground (found west of the peak, in the central region of North Dakota). In fact, the peak is the 9th-most isolated peak in the entire United States.”

After two miles of winding, rolling trails of packed snow (3 feet deep) through Norway pines (the Minnesota state tree) we came to a junction along the western edge of Whale lake.
Eagle Mountain is actually in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and we are on the highest point for over 400 miles in the US! This lookout is just below the summit.
We made it. The littlest one needed to be carried up some of the way, but not bad for a 6 year old. Here we hold up photos of Stanley Marshall who passed away just last month after choosing kindness in the face of advanced kidney cancer.
The plaque on the top of Eagle Mountain states the rock is over 1 billion years old. Let’s not take that long to stop kidney cancer!
After several hours on the snow and ice, the dog got cold and jumped on the pack to get his paws off the snow
She’s smiling because we’re on the way down, and she’s been riding on shoulders.
After a while, the dog was slowing down and had to be carried for about 1/2 of a mile. The sweater wasn’t quite enough for the frigid cold.
After the climb we still had enough energy to climb the Grand Marais light house
The North Shore is rugged and raw and the rising and setting of the sun echoes a rhythm of life with each beginning signaling an end that will come.
Walking off into the sunset? Or is this actually a sunrise?