Ascent of Luark Hill on 2012-01-11

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Luark Hill
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:35 ft / 10 m

Ascent Trip Report

Super walk on a sand beach ...... 6.7 miles, 3 1/2 hours RT.

The plan today, after yesterday's visit to the Outer Banks' Ocracoke Island, was to climb Currituck CoHP (Luark Hill) at the top end of the Outer Banks before starting our 2 1/2 day drive west to Texas and our son's family.
From Kitty Hawk in Dare Co, Hwy intersection 158/12, we traveled north on 12 for 22 miles to the North Beach entrance gate (the Dare/Currituck Co Line is at 10 miles). The paved road ends at 100 yards and continues as a sand road 50 yards to the beach, at a cut in the north/south sand dunes, this is MM13 (signed). To the right is a gated fence blocking beach access to the south, to the left is the continuation of the road along the beach on hard packed sand, servicing numerous homes up the coast (recommended for high clearance vehicles only). This was my TH, the summit is due north 2 miles up the beach.
Unfortunately there is no parking at this beach entrance (heavily posted), the only public parking is 1 1/2 miles before this beach entrance, across from the lighthouse. Luckily Rose dropped me off at the TH.

As I was just starting my walk north along the beach (MM13) a truck with a trailer entered the beach going the same way. The trailer was full of house furnishing materials, John (with 2 other guys) allowed me to hop on his trailer, I sat on a chair .... he knew all about Luark Hill "Ya it's up the beach a few miles, you can't miss the big dune". This road had a lot of traffic on this day, so it would appear that itching a ride should't be a problem.

John dropped me off right a MM15 at a cut in the dune with a sand road going west and signed Munson Lane ..... Luark Hill was right in front of me at .3 miles. I walked west on Munson Lane a few hundred yards where the lane turns left (south), a row of houses is to the left. The corner house is numbered #1487, a sign at this corner reads "No Vehicles Allowed on Penny Hill, Walking is Allowed".
John (not the same John) was working outside this corner house, his brother owns the house, he owns a house further down the beach.
He told me that this was Penny Hill and had never heard of Luark Hill, "It was 20-30 feet higher when we first built here, it changes all the time".
I walked northwest up the huge dune and looked-for/eye-leveled my #1 spot at GPS 36.42824,-75.84149. The PB coordinates puts the spot well to the north.
According to my eye level (? not too reliable) "today" this area had another spot that contends for the HP ..... located on the sand dunes along the beach, a few hundred yards north of MM15. I walked back on Munson Lane then north on the dunes to my "always changing" chosen #1A spot on the dunes at GPS 36.43042, -75.83877.

North on Luark Hill is a sparsely wooded area which I decided to explore. I found may way to the north side of #1 at the start of the woods to a sand track that snaked/headed north. At about .5 miles north I came upon a lone house and just past a bump (30 yards west of a power line) that could contend for the HP (I can't measure for elevation with any accuracy), the GPS at my chosen #2 spot read 36.43410, -75.84702.

I continued north past the west side of a pond to another bump about .3 miles north of #2. My GPS at the chosen #3 spot read 36.43734, -75.84827. I added orange flag tape to this spot. I estimate my route distance from the TH to this #3 spot at 3.5 miles.

From spot #3 I found my way southeast to the beach road then south back to the TH, choosing not to hitch a ride even though numerous vehicles went by (the return distance was about 3.2 miles).

Unfortunately the weather was not good ... drizzle off and on and cool, a unique HP. From here we started our drive west to Texas, we drove to South Carolina and overnighted at the Flying J, I95, exit 181.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:152 ft / 46 m
    Total Elevation Loss:152 ft / 46 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.7 mi / 10.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:92 ft / 28 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 32 ft / 10 m; Extra: 60 ft / 18m
    Loss on way in:60 ft / 18 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:sand beach walk nb on outer banks
    Start Trailhead:MM13 north end of hwy 12  3 ft / 0 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:92 ft / 28 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 32 ft / 10 m; Extra: 60 ft / 18m
    Gain on way out:60 ft / 18 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:sand beach walk nb on outer banks
    End Trailhead:MM13 north end of hwy 12  3 ft / 0 m

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