Ascent of Balsam Beartown Mountain on 2012-08-11

Climber: James Barlow

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 11, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Balsam Beartown Mountain
    Elevation:4710 ft / 1435 m

Ascent Trip Report

Great hike, perfect conditions! I followed trip reports from those who have gone before me, mainly reports from Ron Tagliapietra and Fred Lobdell. I took the somewhat standard route up via Chestnut Knob, topping out in under 30 minutes from Walker Gap. From Chestnut Knob, follow the slope to your NNW down to the house at an intersection of seldom-traveled gravel/dirt roads. Follow the road straight as it goes around the right side of the house and drops slightly into Heninger Gap. I actually lost the road at point 041 on my GPS track, but regained it where my tracks converge again just SE of Point 042. Going over the small bump was no problem as the forest floor is very clear in this area and zero bushwhacking is required, just off-trail hiking in open forest. The section between points 42 & 43 is relatively open and grassy. I then headed up the steepest section of the hike between points 43 & 44, but again, the hiking was easy as there was almost zero underbrush and the trees are very spread out. Once you gain the ridge, you will have more undergrowth, but nothing prickly or more than knee-high until right around the summit. Overall, the navigation is easy. I had a GPS along but I do not have any maps for VA or waypoints at all. I really just had it to mark the car for an emergency (though it won't give me the lay of the land without maps loaded) and to track my route to upload it into peakbagger. I found the directional BM up top and wandered around sufficiently to cover the high ground. On the way down, I found the road to a nice swag that had good views for taking photos. I believe that this is the swag alluded to in many a report where one must keep left to stay on course while ascending. I found the road just fine and followed it until it once again disappeared, this time at point 045. I regained the road at point 046, near a really neat rock formation. I followed Fred's route back from the house, saving unnecessary gain that I would have hiked if I returned via Chestnut Knob. Onward to the next peak!

8.33 miles total
6.5 mph max speed
3h 26m moving time
39m stopped time
2.4 mph moving average
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:950 ft / 289 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:950 ft / 289 m
    Route:SE Ridge
    Start Trailhead:3760 ft / 1146 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Balsam Beartown 8/12

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Chestnut Ridge2012-08-11 a929 ft / 283 m
2South Balsam Beartown2012-08-11 b60 ft / 18 m
3Balsam Beartown Mountain2012-08-11 c950 ft / 290 m
Total Trip Gain: 1939 ft / 591 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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