Ascent of Lower Wilburn Ridge on 2013-11-24

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, November 24, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Lower Wilburn Ridge
    Elevation:4920 ft / 1499 m

Ascent Trip Report

I can see why Rickey Shortt has done this hike so many times. It is really surprisingly quite simple and beautiful. From the parking area the ridge looks lackluster and boring. Only the wild sheltand ponies are a draw. So Daniel came with me up far enough to look at the ponies. Karen and Willie hung out in the warm car after the last long hike.

After checking out the poines I continued up and around the ridge and I was surprised to see how suddenly the vistas opened up! The twin peaks above upper Wilburn Ridge are above 5,000 feet and are quite attractive. The entire area has a lot of grassy slopes providing huge expansvie views and plenty of fun little rock piles to draw you in. I found myself playing around the lower Wilburn Ridge along the AT looking at each pile of rocks and climbing them to see which pinnacle was the tallest. Surprisingly, the tallest of the pinnacles was the one furthest along the lower shoulder and the views were great off of each.

On the way back the ponies were higher up on the slope and I had to walk through a herd of about 20 ponies. I ran to the car from there wishing I had my family on this nice little additional hike-summit.

Extra gain was from climbing the other pinnacles on the shoulder.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:360 ft / 109 m
    Extra Gain:60 ft / 18 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:AT Spur Trail to the AT
    Trailhead:Upper Parking near Massie Gap  4680 ft / 1426 m
    Grade/Class:1 and some easy 3
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Frigid, Breezy, Clear
10F at trailhead. Colder at top and wind chill
Ascent Part of Trip: Haw-Pinnacle-Wilburn

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Big Pinnacle2013-11-24 a460 ft / 140 m
2Haw Orchard Mountain2013-11-24 b265 ft / 81 m
3Big Pinnacle2013-11-24 c90 ft / 27 m
4Big Pinnacle2013-11-24 d360 ft / 110 m
5Lower Wilburn Ridge2013-11-24 e360 ft / 110 m
Total Trip Gain: 1535 ft / 468 m    Total Trip Loss: 1535 ft / 469 m

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