Ascent of Shining Rock on 2011-09-10

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, September 10, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Shining Rock
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6000 ft / 1828 m

Ascent Trip Report

I followed CMC Hike 129, with a few minor variations.

I parked at the end of the Black Balsam Road and backtracked SE a halfmile to the Art Loeb trail crossing. Later, I discovered the Art Loeb spur trail, which is a shortcut from my parking lot to the summit of Black Balsam, beginning just inside the gate on the Ivestor Gap road. This would shave about a half-mile off the hike.

Mileage from the parking lot at the end of the Black Balsam Road.
0.45 turn L off Black Balsam Road and head N on Art Loeb trail.
1.23 summit of Black Balsam
2.14 gap W of Tennent Mtn
2.42 summit of Tennent Mtn
3.15 gap N of Tennent Mtn. Avoid road and stay N on trail
3.53 Ivestor Gap. Enter Shining Rock Wilderness. Several trails cross here, and the Art Loeb trail is not well-marked. Going against the CMC instructions and ignoring a stake that said Erosion, I took the old trail up the SW side of Grassy Cove Top. This was no worse than much of the Art Loeb trail, and was easy to follow to the top. There was evidently a fire here in the last couple of years, so the rhododendron is just knee-high.
3.97 summit of Grassy Cove top.
4.07 rejoin Art Loeb trail
4.64 Flower Gap. The trail bypasses the 5880 summit of Flower Knob, which you may want to bag if you're using listsofjohn.
5.18 Shining Rock Gap.
5.60 Shining Rock. Approaching the top, the trail forks, and you want to take the L fork, which leads through a campsite and up to the two quartz outcroppings on the summit. (The R fork is evidently the Art Loeb trail leading toward Dog Loser Knob). Begin return hike.
6.04 Shining Rock Gap. Turn R (W) and follow the Ivestor Gap Road, an abandoned logging railway which is basically level but not an easy stroll because of water and rocks.
8.05 Ivestor Gap
10.30 Black Balsam Parking lot.

Shining Rock is the 10th peak on my SB6K list. I have been to 17 of the 40, but 7 were not by qualifying hikes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1494 ft / 454 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1494 ft / 454 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1194 ft / 363 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 194 ft / 59 m; Extra: 1000 ft / 304m
    Loss on way in:1000 ft / 304 m
    Route:Art Loeb Trail
    Start Trailhead:End of Black Balsam Road  5806 ft / 1769 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:494 ft / 150 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 194 ft / 59 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Gain on way out:300 ft / 91 m
    Route:old Ivestor Gap road
    End Trailhead:End of Black Balsam Road  5806 ft / 1769 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Shining Rock Wilderness

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Black Balsam Knob2011-09-10 a 
2Tennent Mountain2011-09-10 b 
3Grassy Cove Top2011-09-10 c 
4Shining Rock2011-09-10 d1494 ft / 455 m
Total Trip Gain: 1494 ft / 455 m    Total Trip Loss: 1494 ft / 455 m

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