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1 mountain climber's unique mission: to scale every county peak in Florida

Climber seeks to scale every Florida county peak
A mountain climber's quest to scale every county peak in Florida 02:42

Tampa, Florida — Not since early explorers came to Florida in search of the fountain of youth has there been a crazier quest than that of 47-year-old Andrew Karr. 

"We all have things that grab us," Karr told CBS News. "And I just found myself charmed by this." 

Karr is what they call a "county high pointer," someone who tries to climb to the highest point of every county in a given state — typically Colorado.

Karr spent some time there, but now teaches at the University of South Florida and lives in Tampa. It got him wondering if he could he climb Florida's high points.

Unfortunately, Florida makes Kansas look like Kilimanjaro. It's arguably the flattest state in the nation and doesn't really have any high points. But if you want to get technical, or topographical — and you are truly desperate for adventure — it can be done.

And Karr is doing it — using maps, apps and good old-fashioned sightlines.

He pinpoints every peak. In Union County, for example, the high spot was in a well-manicured, public place. However, other county high points are often deep in the woods, or on private property.

In one case, it was the backyard of Debbie Mitchell's home in Volusia County.

Perhaps his most absurd ascent was at the front door of a JCPenny in the Countryside Mall in Pinellas County.

"I bought a shirt at that one," Karr said.

Sir Edmund Hillary he is not. But Karr's response is, "So what?" And he has now hit the high points of almost every one of Florida's 67 counties.

"On any adventure, and also in life in general, you have to make the most of wherever you are," Karr said.

"Every peak is equal," Karr said, because attitude trumps altitude. That applies to whether you're conquering Colorado's front range, or just Debbie Mitchell's front yard.

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