Ascent of Backbone Mountain on 2019-05-26
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, May 26, 2019|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||3360 ft / 1024 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI was spending Memorial Day weekend at Deep Creek Lake with the family, so I sneaked out early in the morning to bag the MD State High Point and the nearby Preston County (WV) High Point, using the route Dennis Poulin outlined in his TR.
BACKBONE MOUNTAIN (MD STATE HIGH POINT)
This is a steep, but short climb. There is not much to it. It's just a slog up an old, rocky, muddy roadbed. In my opinion, the coolest part of the hike is the rocky scramble over to the state boundary marker. At least there's something of a view, I guess.
PRESTON COUNTY HIGH POINT
Dennis Poulin's TR is useful, but I will add some details. When descending the official HP trail, the old roadbed is really the same roadbed you walked up before turning left and steeply climbing up the short stretch of singletrack to gain the ridge top. At the end of May, it was a little overgrown, but still mostly obvious and not difficult to walk on; it stays just to the west of the ridge crest. I would, however, recommend pants in the warmer months. At the power lines, I had to look around a little to find where the roadbed continues on the other side, but once on it, it was obvious. Shortly thereafter, you get to another road that looks like it actually gets some use. Veer right, start to descend, cross the gas pipeline, and immediately turn sharp left on the other obvious road to get near the summit. You will soon hear and see the windmills.
After bushwhacking all over the summit area, I believe the easiest way to access the tower area is to cut through the woods right after passing through a small clearing; they are fairly open there and the bushwhack is brief. This will put you on the access road near the second-to-last tower. Although the area was disturbed to build the windmills, judging from the moss cover, the highest crest of the ridge was left untouched. I bushwhacked and scrambled the ridge between the 2 last towers and I'm 99.9% positive the highest rock is right near the last tower. I bushwhacked straight down to the dirt road from there, but it would have been easier to go back the way I came. This area was rockier and had more vegetation.
Once at the road, it was just a simple matter of retracing my steps back to the official MD HP trail, and then taking it back down to the trail head. Although more than half of the hike was not on official trails, the only real bushwhacking was the brief stint between the dirt road and the windmills. This route also keeps you on, or very close to public land the whole time.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||676 ft / 206 m|
| Grade/Class:||Class 1|
| Quality:||2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack|
| Weather:||Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy|
Humid, but not too hot.
| Gain on way in:||676 ft / 206 m|
| Distance:||1.1 mi / 1.8 km|
| Route:||High Point Trail|
| Start Trailhead:||Maryland High Point Trailhead 2684 ft / 818 m|
| Time:||27 Minutes|
|Ascent Part of Trip: Backbone Mountain (0 nights total away from roads)|
Complete Trip Sequence:
Total Trip Gain: 1128 ft / 344 m Total Trip Loss: 1128 ft / 344 m
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Lane Jefferson
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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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.
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