Ascent of Cross Mountain on 2001-08-18

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Vi R.
Date:Saturday, August 18, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cross Mountain
    Elevation:3534 ft / 1077 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Knoxville, we drove 20 miles to Lake City, then followed a narrow highway southwest about 3 miles to the community of Briceville. In Briceville, we took a right at the school and into the hills about a mile. The turn-off for the highpoint is to the left, just past a bridge.

When we pulled into this area, we found three roads leading from this open area. The one to our left didn't look right at all, so we ignored it. The one on our right seemed larger so we went in on that one, but quickly learned that it wasn't the right one, either. We backtracked to the start and went up the middle road which at first looked thin, but it soon opened up wide, and we knew we were on the right road.

We drove this road as it switchbacked up the mountainside about three miles. It was steep in places, and we used 4-wheel drive in case we needed it, but the road was generally solid. The road eventually leveled out and came to a junction. The main road went left down the other side of the mountain, while the road we wanted continued straight. After another quarter-mile, we spied a junction with a lesser dirt road that at first we drove by (we dead ended). We backtracked to this junction and parked, and started in on foot.

The one-way hike was one mile with 300 feet of gain. The road contours around a lesser peak and approaches the main peak. We left the road and followed a series of trails to the top. The top is marked by numerous buildings, towers and fencing with razor wire. I found a knob of rocks near one fence and stepped on it, as well as circling the fences where possible. I spent ten minutes wandering the top. The natural highpoint has probably long since been bulldozed away.

After awhile, I was satisfied that I'd stepped on all the candidates and started back. Vi stayed a bit below and checked out some other buildings. The weather was hazy and slightly drizzly. The round trip took 40 minutes. We drove back to Lake City, had lunch at the Cracker Barrel, then spent the rest of the day at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. We hiked the trails there, plus visited the museum and all the historical points. Afterwards, the day running out, we emerged back into Tennessee and stayed in Cumberland.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:300 ft / 91 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Trailhead:3234 ft / 985 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike

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