Ascent of Icy Knob on 2017-12-28

Climber: Henry Pharr

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, December 28, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Icy Knob
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:3000 ft / 914 m

Ascent Trip Report

One might think this is a minor peak and you are correct, even though it rises precipitously above the Catawba Valley below to a gamely height of 3000+ feet. After a bouncy climb up Roper Hollow Road from US 64, I found the trailhead buried in overgrowth to the left side of the road.

However, in all but Winter it is a sweaty awful toil of a climb that I had attempted in the Summer of 2017. Forty three feet and bushwhack through vines, nettles, high unbrush, briars, thorns and all matter of animals including bees, centipedes and and snakes. One of the worst bushwhacks I have tried to walk even with a machete. Needles and nettles and thorns and bugs and snakes from bottom to top above 8 feet. I made my attempt in 2017 and failed. My legs were a bloody mess and I stopped after all attempts yielded only 2-3 feet per minute with a machete. As well, I tried to claim this South Mountain Gameland peak in Summer. Possibly the worst I had ever seen and felt in any mountain or forest range.

I returned in the Winter of 2018-2019 and gamely caught this HP, as well as Propst Mountain, Buzzard’s Rock and Hickory Knob all around this summit, forming the source for the Henry Fork River which flows to the Jacob Fork creating the South Catawba River way down on NC 10 below near Hickory, NC.

A long way into the late afternoon, these peaks seem easy, but even with lack of understory in January this was a tough 3 mile back and forth. Getting ‘er done!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:375 ft / 114 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:Bushwack from Road
    Trailhead:Pull off on Maintained Road  2625 ft / 800 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:20 Minutes

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