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Ascent of Sassafras Mountain on 2011-11-11

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Friday, November 11, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Sassafras Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina/South Carolina
    Elevation:3554 ft / 1083 m

Ascent Trip Report

The beginning of a 9 mile day. I did not want to drive up another state HP. I hate those. I look for any way to climb any HP (even county HPs)if at all possible. Fortunately, there are many options. The USGS does not show the foothills trail but it does provide several options.
Other than driving up or hiking up the road, you can use the foothills trail and launch from:
> parking area A-3 (Chimneytop Gap) to peak (A-2) = 2.7 mi. 5.4 rt
> parking area A-4 (Laurel Valley)to peak (A-2) = 4.8 mi. 9.6 rt
> parking area A-1 (Table Rock SP) to peak (A-2) = 9.5 mi
but I would make that last one a thru hike to either A-3 or A-4.

We decided to take the first option but go over and bag Hickorynut and come back which ended up being over 9 miles anyway. The trail is nicely marked. Views are limited becuase the slab features do not begin until you get over by Pinnacle Mountain in the State Park.

Fall color was the reason we hit this peak at this time of year.We were near peak color at the bottom -perhaps a week too late and clearly too late at the top. Enjoyed getting out of FL and seeing the colors and the temperature was cold (28 F to begin) but enjoyable.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1239 ft / 377 m
    Total Elevation Loss:319 ft / 96 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Grade/Class:primarily 1
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
28F leaving car at Th
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1239 ft / 377 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1174 ft / 358 m; Extra: 65 ft / 19m
    Loss on way in:65 ft / 19 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Route:Foothills Trail (white)
    Start Trailhead:Foothills Trail Parking Lot A3  2380 ft / 725 m
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:254 ft / 77 m
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    Route:foothills trail
    End Trailhead:lowest saddle to Hickorynut Mtn  3300 ft / 1005 m
    Time:10 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: SC HP Sassafrass

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Sassafras Mountain2011-11-11 a1239 ft / 378 m
2Sassafrass Mountain-East Peak2011-11-11 b 
3Hickorynut Mountain2011-11-11 c323 ft / 98 m
4Sassafras Mountain2011-11-11 d319 ft / 97 m
5Table Rock2011-11-11 e2024 ft / 617 m
6Table Rock2011-11-11 f124 ft / 38 m
Total Trip Gain: 4029 ft / 1228 m    Total Trip Loss: 4029 ft / 1228 m



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