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Ascent of Little Mountain on 2012-12-23

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Sunday, December 23, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Mountain
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:898 ft / 273 m

Ascent Trip Report

Ask folks in my hometown to guess the highest point in Anderson County, and they'll probably say Little Mountain. It's certainly the most prominent little mountain around, even if the rolling hills on the far northern end of the county rise a bit higher. Little Mountain is listed at 898 feet, though at least one map shows a 900-foot contour and a peak elevation of 925. It's isolated nearly 28 miles from the nearest ranked peak, Six Mile Mountain.

Through the trees in winter, you're treated to a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge, spanning from Hogback Mtn near Spartanburg to Yonah Mountain north of Atlanta. Looking north on a clear day, it's possible to see Mount Hardy and Black Balsam along the Blue Ridge Parkway over 60 miles away. If not for the encroachment of towers and trailers, Little Mountain could have made a scenic park.

On top is an abandoned and fenced fire tower. Stakes on opposite sides of the tower mark the BM and RM. I looked through deep leaves for the BM, but all I found was a plug of concrete with a rusted circle--could have been a missing BM but also might have been an old fencepost. The 1935 RM is intact. Interestingly, if you study the BM datasheets (available at www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_radius.prl) one of them identifies the "station" as the peak of the roof of the firetower cab, 69 feet above the ground.

You can drive to within 100 yards of the summit. Little Mountain is 6 miles south of Anderson off US29 at the end of Lawrence Beaty Road. (This was a pleasant discovery for me, because those are the first names of two of my "uncles", the Hembrees, who were prominent in Anderson.)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:18 ft / 5 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Trailhead:Lawrence Beaty Road  880 ft / 268 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country



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