Ascent of Spruce Knob on 2001-05-25

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Friday, May 25, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Spruce Knob
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:4861 ft / 1481 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the final highpoint of my 4-day trip through this part of the United States. I drove south through Canaan Valley State Park, then east along US-33 and south through very steep and mountainous terrain toward Spruce Knob. I had moderate traffic, and the weather was wet but not rainy.

I left US-33 at the Spruce Knob State Park sign, then drove nine miles of mostly gravel road to the top. The clouds were hanging at 4,500 feet, so as soon as I got that high, I had 30-foot visibility in the dense fog. A steady rain was falling and it was cold. I was worried the rain would create problems with the road, but other than mudpits and other small puddles, my little passenger car handled it well.

I was surprised to come upon other vehicles on the road. In fact, three of us "convoyed" the final mile to the parking area. The rain was falling steadily. Two women in one vehicle didn't bother to get out at all. Another vehicle, a mini-van, consisted of a family with three kids. They were all getting dressed for a rainy walk, as was I.

I started the hike first, getting wet but figuring I wouldn't be out long. After about 5 minutes, I came upon the lookout platform and took shelther underneath it. The rain wasn't heavy but it came down in "sharp" sleet-like droplets. The fog prevented views. I stayed long enough to meet and greet the family of five as they arrived at the tower. This was deliberate so I could get one of them to snap a photo of me with my camera. The mom was kind enough to do so, in between nagging her kids to stay on the path. Once that was done, I hustled back to my car.

I descended the road back to the highway system and drove west through Elkins and Buckhannon to Interstate-79, from which I went north toward Morgantown. The rain was heavy most of the way. I stayed the night in St. Clairsville, Ohio, near Wheeling.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2 ft / 0 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Trailhead:4859 ft / 1481 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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