Ascent of Unaka Mountain on 2011-04-17

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Sunday, April 17, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Unaka Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina/Tennessee
    Elevation:5180 ft / 1578 m

Ascent Trip Report

The scenic Unaka Mountain Road (also known as Red Fork Road and FS Road 230) runs for 12 miles along the NC/TN line SE of Erwin TN. I started at the E end, 2 miles SE of Limestone Cove on TN 107. I drove 10 miles, passing the Pleasant Garden overlook and then descending to the next switchback in the road, where I parked.

From the road, there's an obvious trail to the SE that intersects the AT in less than 100 feet. Turn L and follow the AT northbound 1.1 miles to the summit, which is is in a tranquil grove of fir trees. There is a small cairn near the summit. The highest "natural ground", at least for now, is atop the root ball of two fir trees that have blown over. This stands about 10 feet above the 5190+ summit, so LiDAR right now might make Unaka a 5200-footer.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:620 ft / 188 m
    Total Elevation Loss:620 ft / 188 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:620 ft / 188 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:AT northbound
    Start Trailhead:Unaka Mtn Road  4560 ft / 1389 m
    Time:40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:620 ft / 188 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:AT southbound
    End Trailhead:Unaka Mtn Road  4560 ft / 1389 m
    Time:30 Minutes

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