Ascent of Spruce Knob on 2011-12-02

Climber: Jenn Grayson

Others in Party:JoeBibeau
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, December 2, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Spruce Knob
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:4861 ft / 1481 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hike number 5 of 51 completed! Peak number 24. We rented a log cabin at Spruce Knob and had this wonderful vision of waking up early and spending all day hiking the 9.7 miles up and back down the Horton trail to the Huckleberry trail. In reality we hit the snooze button too many times. I believe you must hike to the peak or it doesn't count, and I was surely disappointed when looking at the map of trails that any way up this mountain is an all day adventure. Finally Joe convinced me that we should drive to the top of Spruce Knob and we would hike down the trail and back up as time and day light allowed. On our drive up we came to a section of the road covered in ice with a sheer drop and no guard rail. Although I think that the impressive AWD Subaru we own would have gobbled the mountain up, we parked the car. Something about watching the weather channel the night before and seeing cars slide down an icy road out of control made us second guess. So I ended up getting what I wanted and we hiked the road. We hiked close to 6 miles up to the summit. Turns out the icy road was one small section and we would have been fine but I'm not complaining! Both Joe and I aren't keen on road hikes as we are both very prone to shin splints however we had a consistent view over looking the valley and mountains the entire way up. In fact by the time we reached the peak platform I was almost unimpressed by the view from the top as the views from parts of the road were much more rewarding. We hiked around the top on the Wispering Spruce trail and later in our trip we returned and also hiked the Spruce Knob Lake trail. When we got back to the cabin the hot tub never felt so good. I would recommend taking the trails, it's much easier on the joints!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:861 ft / 262 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Trailhead:FR 112  4000 ft / 1219 m
    Grade/Class:Medium difficulty
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 

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