Ascent of Sam Knob on 2020-07-31

Climber: Scott Leslie

Date:Friday, July 31, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sam Knob
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6040 ft / 1840 m

Ascent Trip Report

Bagged as part of the SB6K challenge.

From the Black Balsam Area parking lot, I followed the Sam Knob Trail westward towards the double-peaked mountain. The trail goes through a beautiful open meadow with excellent campsites. The climb up to the top is mostly moderate with a couple of steep bits, but after coming all the way from Shining Rock my knees where making the hike feel a bit harder than it actually was. The trail brings you up into the gap between the two summits. To my eyes, the north summit appeared higher (and is marked as being higher according to the topographic map I used), but the SB6K says to "climb both to be sure". The high point on the south summit appeared to be a large rock outcropping to the left just before you break out into a fantastic view towards the crest of the Pisgah Ridge. Turning around and going back into the gap, the short climb to the north summit yields and incredible vista into the remote Middle Prong Wilderness. The high point appears to be a small rock outcropping located on the path just before this expansive vista. There are several excellent campsites on top of this mountain.

On the way back to the car, the sky decided to open up and I got absolutely soaked. Having to walk through the open field with lightning going off not to far away was a bit nerve-wracking.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Sam Knob Trail
    Start Trailhead:Black Balsam Road  
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Shining Rock SB6K

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Black Balsam Knob2020-07-31 
2Tennent Mountain2020-07-31 
3Grassy Cove Top2020-07-31 
4Shining Rock2020-07-31 
5Sam Knob2020-07-31 

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