Ascent of Cheaha Mountain on 2012-06-28

Climber: Alan Barber

Date:Thursday, June 28, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cheaha Mountain
    Elevation:2405 ft / 733 m

Ascent Trip Report

The drive from Brasstown Bald to Alabama took us through the town of Helen where we stopped for lunch. The Chattahoochee River is a favorite tubing venue and there were literally hundreds of fluorescent pink and green inner tubes floating down the river. We entered Helen and were surprised to see a Bavarian town in Georgia. All the stores and buildings had that architectural style, although seeing several overgrown with Kudzu sort of diminished the Swiss Alps feel.

We made it around Atlanta by mid afternoon with only one traffic backup and soon were traveling toward Alabama. It took about 4 hours driving time to get from Brasstown Bald to Cheaha Mountain and we arrived at 4:45 pm central time.

Cheaha Mountain Alabama at 2407 feet is ranked 35th among high points. We drove along the scenic parkway in the Talladega National Forest and arrived at the state park. There was an unmanned gate at the park entrance so we drove through and did not have to pay admission. We passed a number of camp sites and other state park facilities including a motel, restaurant, and convenience store. We found the high point and parked in the lot.

Cheaha means "high place" in the Creek Indian language. This stone Civilian Conservation Corps building has an observation tower which we climbed. The USGS marker is embedded in the sidewalk several feet in front of the tower door. Entering the building, we passed through a small antechamber, and climbed several flights of cantilevered stairs fixed to the tower walls (Hogwarts?) to the observation deck.

Altogether there were 61 stair steps to the top. There was a telescope located in the tower observation deck directed south. The windows were in fixed positions and dirty enough that we did not want to take pictures through them. Fortunately, some on each side were opened at the top for ventilation and we could take our shots through those spaces. There was no high point register to sign.

The tower has several deeply recessed windows built into each wall to allow light for the staircase. We spent 20 minutes at the summit and then left Cheaha Mountain. Returning to the Interstate we drove on to Birmingham.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear

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