Ascent of Big Tom Mountain on 2016-03-06

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Others in Party:Marshall Stewart -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Sunday, March 6, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Big Tom Mountain
    Elevation:1660 ft / 505 m

Ascent Trip Report

I really wanted to visit the Howard County highpoint on Big Tom Mountain and the actual summit of Big Tom Mountain in Pike County, but the two summits are, at least, 2 miles apart and would have required several hours of bushwhacking. My son, Marshall, and I settled for the Howard County HP alone, which was a challenging but enjoyable climb. It took us awhile to find the best spot to park the car. There are several logging roads in the area and most head directly toward Big Tom Mountain. We finally located a spot at 34.34178 N 93.96149 W. From here we entered the vegetation and quickly turned around when we reached a thick grove of thorns. We hiked a little to the east and made a second approach through an area that had been clear cut within the last few years. At this location we even had a game trail to follow for quite a while, but there were still a few areas of thorns to deal with. The actual climb up Big Tom Mountain was challenging with a few more thorns and a steep grade, which was close to Class 3 climbing in a few places. It took us an hour to reach the summit, but it was well worth it. The view to the south was great and the highest point had a large rock to stand on for a victory photo, although it was surrounded on three sides by thorns. We made it back to the car in 45 minutes.
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