Ascent of Humpback Mountain on 2012-03-18

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Sunday, March 18, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Humpback Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4240 ft / 1292 m

Ascent Trip Report

Humpback Mtn has three summits that top out in the 4240 contour. The northern summit has a spot elevation of 4260 and seems to be the highest. The summit plateau is a headwater for the Catawba River North Fork, which passes under the Blue Ridge Parkway and plunges 400 feet in a rarely seen cascade. The east side of Humpback Mtn (facing the Parkway) has dramatic cliffs, but the hike from the south avoids those.

I parked at the gap where the Parkway crosses the 4000 contour near mile 320, just north of Chestoa View and about 2 miles south of the US221 crossing at Linville Falls. The shoulder here is narrow but there is room for one car to park on the W side of the road.

Follow a faint path up the ridge for 0.15 miles to a jeep road at elevation 4100. Take this to the right as it flanks the first two summits. At 0.55 miles, the road crosses the stream just below the spring and winds to the summit. Rather than cross the stream, I stayed on the left side and headed straight up a gentle slope through open woods to the summit. Nice winter views.

Round trip 1.5 miles.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:320 ft / 97 m
    Extra Gain:40 ft / 12 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Bushwhack, jeep road
    Trailhead:BRP MP320  4000 ft / 1219 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:20 Minutes

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