Ascent of Mount Mitchell on 2020-07-18

Climber: Brandon Girard

Date:Saturday, July 18, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Mitchell
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6684 ft / 2037 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiked from the Town of Montreat to Mt. Mitchell and back - 30.75mi & 5700ft

I parked at the gate in Montreat, NC and started at 6:45am. Started my way up to Rainbow Mountain, a humid and very thick morning. Made it up to Lookout Mountain, with a good group of people for 7:00am, a few teenagers from Florida, we had a nice conversation as I helped them identify the surrounding mountains. Next I hit Boggs Bunion then Brushy Mountain, met two nice gentlemen as we looked at the Black Mountains.

Took the Old Mitchell Toll Rd all the way to the BRP. There is a short road walk until you connect with the MST. You can take the MST all the way to the summit of Mt. Mitchell. I hate going into state parks due to tourists and other ignorant individuals. As I connected onto the Camp Alice Trail part of the MST, the smell of cigarettes was unbearable, trash and litter was everywhere, and if you’re gonna shit in the woods - do it off trail!!

As I made my way up to Mt. Mitchell at full speed, simple day hikers and tourist would quickly move out of my way and put on their masks, probably from my heavy breathing haha! The summit was packed, I’ve never seen Mt. Mitchell with this many people, I Summited a little before 11:00am. The observation tower was closed due to social distancing (no one was anyways) and a Park Ranger was watching to ensure it. I do not like crowds, I had expected it to be busy, but not like this. I quickly chugged a liter of water and left the summit. Took commissary ridge trail to Steppes Gap and ran NC128 back to the BRP.

Next I Summited Blue Ridge Pinnacle, saw a total of 7 people, way more my style! Pinnacle is easily one of my favorite hikes. Met a couple at the top and we had a great conversation - they showed me an etching in a rock with the name John H 1864 (the 6 and 4 were backwards haha)

Back on the Old Mitchell Toll Road, a huge thunder storm came in and it down poured for the next 7 miles, the Toll Road and Greybeard trail became rivers, met another couple who were heading to Mt. Mitchell to go camping (good luck!)

Next I took the Old Trestle, Summited Rocky Head, then headed down Appalachian Way. Walked through town and back to my car. 9hrs 20mins (this includes all breaks and conversations I had, easily had under 9hrs of Hill actual hiking)
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