Ascent of MacRae Peak on 2018-09-03

Climber: Scott Leslie

Date:Monday, September 3, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:MacRae Peak
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5846 ft / 1781 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my second adventure at Grandfather, and boy what an adventure it was.

My intention was to ascend to Calloway Peak via the Profile Trail, then hike out to the swinging bridge and back via the Grandfather Trail. "It's only 2 miles" I thought as I read the sign at Calloway Gap. Yes, distance wise it is only 2 miles to the swinging bridge from Calloway Gap. But it is without a doubt the most rugged and intense 2 miles in the entire Southern Appalachians.

Coming up from Calloway Gap the trail ascends via a tricky rock scramble up over Attic Window Peak. I don't think I bagged the true high point when I was here. The descent from Attic Window is a precarious scramble down a rock "chute". By the time I made it out to MacRae Peak I realized there was no way I was going to make it back to my car at the Profile Trail and that I would have to try to get a shuttle from the Grandfather Mountain Attraction. Luckily I explained by pickle to some nice folks at the top who offered me a ride back to my car once we all made it back down.

The descent from MacRae is wild in spots with all sorts of scrambles and ladders. One of the coolest sections of trail I've ever hiked, but I was so stressed and desperate for it to be over I didn't really enjoy it.

As of writing 2020 this stands as one of the toughest sections of trails I've ever hiked, but after gaining a ton of experience doing stuff like this in Linville Gorge I have no doubt I'll survive an out and back of it in the future.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1700 ft / 518 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1700 ft / 518 m
    Route:Profile Trail/Grandfather Trail
    Start Trailhead:Profile Trail Trailhead  4146 ft / 1263 m
Descent Statistics

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