Ascent of Balsam Beartown Mountain on 2012-08-11

Climber: James Barlow

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 11, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Balsam Beartown Mountain
    Elevation:4710 ft / 1435 m

Ascent Trip Report

Great hike, perfect conditions! I followed trip reports from those who have gone before me, mainly reports from Ron Tagliapietra and Fred Lobdell. I took the somewhat standard route up via Chestnut Knob, topping out in under 30 minutes from Walker Gap. From Chestnut Knob, follow the slope to your NNW down to the house at an intersection of seldom-traveled gravel/dirt roads. Follow the road straight as it goes around the right side of the house and drops slightly into Heninger Gap. I actually lost the road at point 041 on my GPS track, but regained it where my tracks converge again just SE of Point 042. Going over the small bump was no problem as the forest floor is very clear in this area and zero bushwhacking is required, just off-trail hiking in open forest. The section between points 42 & 43 is relatively open and grassy. I then headed up the steepest section of the hike between points 43 & 44, but again, the hiking was easy as there was almost zero underbrush and the trees are very spread out. Once you gain the ridge, you will have more undergrowth, but nothing prickly or more than knee-high until right around the summit. Overall, the navigation is easy. I had a GPS along but I do not have any maps for VA or waypoints at all. I really just had it to mark the car for an emergency (though it won't give me the lay of the land without maps loaded) and to track my route to upload it into peakbagger. I found the directional BM up top and wandered around sufficiently to cover the high ground. On the way down, I found the road to a nice swag that had good views for taking photos. I believe that this is the swag alluded to in many a report where one must keep left to stay on course while ascending. I found the road just fine and followed it until it once again disappeared, this time at point 045. I regained the road at point 046, near a really neat rock formation. I followed Fred's route back from the house, saving unnecessary gain that I would have hiked if I returned via Chestnut Knob. Onward to the next peak!

8.33 miles total
6.5 mph max speed
3h 26m moving time
39m stopped time
2.4 mph moving average
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:950 ft / 289 m
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:950 ft / 289 m
    Route:SE Ridge
    Trailhead:3760 ft / 1146 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: VA Peakbagging 2012

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Elliott Knob2012-08-10 a
2Hogback2012-08-10 b
3Chestnut Ridge2012-08-11 a
4South Balsam Beartown2012-08-11 b
5Balsam Beartown Mountain2012-08-11 c
6Big A Mountain2012-08-11 d
7High Knob2012-08-11 e
8Norton City High Point2012-08-11 f
9Camp Rock-South Slope2012-08-11 g
10Camp Rock2012-08-11 h
11Black Mountain2012-08-11 i
12Little Black Mountain-Lee County High Point2012-08-11 j
13The Doubles2012-08-11 k
14Mount Rogers2012-08-12 a
15Whitetop Mountain2012-08-12 b
16Apple Orchard Mountain2012-08-12 c
17Thunder Ridge Wilderness High Point2012-08-12 d
18Rocky Mountain2012-08-12 e
19Pompey Mountain2012-08-12 f
20Mount Pleasant2012-08-12 g
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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