Ascent of Hogback Mountain on 2013-12-28

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser
Karen Musser
Willie-Weimaraner Musser
Date:Saturday, December 28, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Hogback Mountain
    Elevation:1220 ft / 371 m

Ascent Trip Report

Parked our car at the radio tower parking lot WJSP with many other brave souls knowing that the drizzle upons us was schedueld to be an all out rain soon enough. We took Willie with his leash and set forth down the terminal end of the Pine Mountain Trail at mile marker 23 and follwoed the Wofden Branch creek. Further damage by the tornado/storm/fire was at the beginning of the trail but eventually we gained views of the small water drops that are all signed as waterfalls to see. I had to note to myself that when you are the first decent range of mountains and streams as you head from the deep south of GA towards the higher moutnains of the appalacia and you are used to the flat southern pine lands, the park service must get excited to show off this small jewel of a park as each drop had its own sign and fancy name depsite the fact most were only 2 feet to 8 fee tall. I mused that if this were a creek in the mountains out west and a creek deserved a sign for any fall of 2 to 8 feet, you would be looking at a lot of signs along the trail!

The small pull and larger water fall feature near the Wolfden is clearly the highlight feature and worthy of some time to see although by now it was pouring rain and we were 2 miles down from the car so we did not feel like more than a photo or two and then onward. We descended down to an elevation of around 940 near the northern border of the State Park and crossed Cascade Branch Creek. There was so much meandering up and down side ravines getting to this point that I estimate there was about 200 feet of regain crossing the creek and getting to where the creek began its climb upward to teh small mountain called Hogback Mountain. The gain from the creek was EL 940 to 1220 or another 280 feet so the total gain was 480 feet despite the fact the TH started at 1300 feet and this peak is still below that elevation. My daughter commented why did the trail keep leaving the creek goingup on small ridges and then descending back down to the creek again. I responded to make it more interesting and give us the blessing of more vertical regain so that we could burn more calories. My "little girl" now 20 and in college surprisingly accepted this response as today's hike was a substitute for her yoga workout I supposed.

The short 200 foot or so climb up the eastern ridge of Hogback was not particualrly spectacualr in the rain and there was not great view up there although the winter time devoidance of leaves gives some view. The actual peak is nto on the main trail you have to bushwhack it to the north some but it is quite obvious. My daughter now soaked to the bone followed me up to the true peak leaving my son, puppy, and wife on the trail so that she could take a photo and post in in FB to make a testiment to her friends how crazy her dear old dad is in his quest to climb all of natures little or big bumps, hill, and mountains!

we continues down Hogback through Sassafras Hill and along Pine Mountain Trail to do the full 7 mile loop back to our car and the CHP near the radio station.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:480 ft / 146 m
    Total Elevation Loss:680 ft / 206 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Weather:Raining, Cold, Low Clouds
39F rainning and cold
Descent (To Destination) Statistics
    Gain on way in:480 ft / 146 m
    Loss on way in:560 ft / 170 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 5.9 km
    Route:Pine Mtn. Trail in reverse
    Start Trailhead:parking lot WJSP  1300 ft / 396 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    End Trailhead:parking lot WJSP  1100 ft / 335 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Pine Mountain Loop

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Hogback Mountain2013-12-28 b480 ft / 146 m
2Pine Mountain-East Summit2013-12-28 c480 ft / 146 m
Total Trip Gain: 960 ft / 292 m    Total Trip Loss: 960 ft / 292 m

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