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Ascent of Cataloochee Balsam on 2019-10-03

Climber: William Sanderson

Date:Thursday, October 3, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cataloochee Balsam
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5970 ft / 1819 m

Ascent Trip Report

Parked at the first paved parking spot on the right as you enter the Heintooga Picnic/Parking area. Bushwhacked straight up to the ridge from the roadside at that point. A bit thick but not too bad. Encountered the trace of an old trail at the top of the ridge. Note that this is the ridge running straight south from the summit...not the ridge with the "Bridle Trail" marked on the USGS topo, so this is another old trail.
Turned north and followed the ridge in a moderately open spruce forest, becoming more open and easy to navigate as I got higher. The old trail swung just past the summit.
As I am prone to do I set course for the road by the closest route and bushwhacked down the steep grade, which was never so steep as to be unsafe or unpleasant. Road-walked back to the truck.
Total time about one hour.
Someone had left a wee American flag on the summit...I've now seen several of these no doubt left by the same person, affixed to a tree with black zip-ties. Style points awarded to you, fellow peakbagger.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack



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