Ascent of Panther Top on 2019-10-17

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, October 17, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Panther Top
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:2293 ft / 698 m

Ascent Trip Report

An easy road walk eastbound ... 1.4 miles, 413' gain, 55 minutes RT

From the city of Murphy I went west to the JCT Hwy #64/74 and Hwy #294, where I turned right on 294 and at 0.8 miles north turned right onto Panther Top Road. I followed the paved Panther Top (northbound) for
2 miles to a 4-Way JCT with a bunch of signs. I turned right (still on Panther Top Road but the road becomes gravel, also signs "Panther Top Tower" point the way) as the road heads northeast, then bends to the southeast and comes to its crest at 1.2 miles. The road continues straight (southeast) as FS85A, on the left is FS85 with a locked gate which climbs east 0.7 miles to the summit. This road crest was my TH (35.06320,-84.10796), parking is available for a few cars.

I quickly walked the gradual road 0.7 miles to the top with a beautiful Fire Tower and be pleasantly surprised. The whole summit area has been cleared of surrounding trees and is now a manicured lawn, providing an outstanding 360 degree panorama. The cabin was locked, found the BM "PANTHER 1977".

So far I have not seen a North Carolina Fire Tower summit like this one. The most interesting observation for this day was the 8-10 fire fighters with 3 trucks, all working on clearing the remaining tall trees in the area. They told me that the powers-to-be want a full 360 panorama.

I'M PROUD TO BE AN OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE, A PLACE WHERE EVEN SQUARES CAN HAVE A BALL. ............... merle haggard's lyrics from "okie from muskogee"
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:413 ft / 125 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.4 mi / 2.2 km
    Route:road walk eb
    Trailhead:crest of Panther Top Road  1880 ft / 573 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
Ascent Statistics
    Time:17 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:13 Minutes

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