Ascent of Buck Mountain-Peak 4449 on 2010-11-12

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Friday, November 12, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Buck Mountain-Peak 4449
    Elevation:4449 ft / 1356 m

Ascent Trip Report

I climbed this one my mistake, believing it was nearby High Rock on Buck Mountain. Because of the wide-open views from the open fields, this is one mistake I don't regret.

Based on maps (GPS was not yet part of my life), it looked like the best route to High Rock would be via Sugar Camp Lane from US 21, 5.2 miles north of Independence VA. However, I discovered that the road was gated and posted about 2 miles from the summit.

Trying another route, I returned to US 21, headed back toward Independence, and took the next R turn onto Cloverdale Road. After 1.1 miles, this becomes a private one-lane road (too rocky for some cars). The POA sign made me feel reasonable welcome, so I continued 1.3 miles to a gap where there are gates on both sides. Here I met two men who had opened the R gate to access their land for a campout. They gave me a tentative OK to climb the mountain to the NW, assuring me that it was the highest point and warning me about the summer home on top, where the owners don't welcome strangers (though they didn't think anybody was home this late in the season).

I followed the driveway about a half-mile up the mountain (to a gate adorned with a cattle skull) and then skirted the fence line toward the highest point--only to discover I was still a couple of miles away from my quest, the High Rock on Buck Mtn. Also, there is a house in the saddle I would need to cross between 4449 and the High Rock. Unprepared for that route, I decided to retreat.

A year and a half later, in May 2012, I finally succeeded in climbing Buck Mountain via another route.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:449 ft / 136 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.4 mi / 2.3 km
    Trailhead:Buck Mtn POA road  4000 ft / 1219 m
Ascent Statistics
    Time:20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:15 Minutes

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