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Ascent of Indian Fort Mountain-East Pinnacle on 2014-04-24

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, April 24, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Indian Fort Mountain-East Pinnacle
    Location:USA-Kentucky
    Elevation:1503 ft / 458 m

Ascent Trip Report

I was impressed to run accross this jewel of a connected mountain hike. I was going to bag the CHP Bear Mountain later that day but wow, right accross from Bear Mountain Road was this parking area and a hiking area for the Berea College students and locals. Indian Fort Mountain has many connected trials meandering all around and all over this large sedimentary mountain of limestone and conglomerate rock. It has a relatively flat plateau top that has eroded many fingers projecting out with many great views from steep eroded walls that form several pinnacles. Some of the nicest walls I have seen in KY with lots of scrambling around the tops for those that like playing in the rocks just off the side of the trail (especially off this peak).

Suprisingly, the erosion of the sedimentary rock has left several saddles so that most of these features actually become separate sub peaks of Indian Fort Mountain and have some prominence of around 200 feet in places which is not bad for KY subpeaks. The views off of this subpeak is some of the best I saw all day. The conglomerate rock is interesting with cemented pebbles the size of something you might buy at Home Depot embedded in the matrix and eroding out onto the trails making it look like the trails had imported stone.

I parked in the parking lot and then walked down to the County Road to get a reading on my GPS at 990 to maximize my excercise and gain and then started. I was surprised that none of these features were in the Peakbagger database. My goal was to hit half of the subpeaks (everything on the east side) and the peak of the moutain, then, make a bushwhack attempt at unregistered Robe Mountain. I got all that I wanted for the day in a series of climbs/hikes and will return for the west side some other time.

As with all of these features the actual highpoint of the named feature is not at the observation platform of rocks but typically in the middle of the ridge near the wall. You descend down some to the named part of the feature each time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:573 ft / 174 m
    Total Elevation Loss:263 ft / 79 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Grade/Class:1 (but some 3 on wal
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Clear
50F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:573 ft / 174 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 513 ft / 157 m; Extra: 60 ft / 18m
    Loss on way in:60 ft / 18 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Main Trail to E Pinnacle Trail
    Start Trailhead:CR 21 at lower parking  990 ft / 301 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:203 ft / 61 m
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    Route:meandering the wall then down to saddle
    End Trailhead:Saddle between East Pinnacle and Indian Fort Peak  1300 ft / 396 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Indian Fort Mountain

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Indian Fort Mountain-East Pinnacle2014-04-24 a573 ft / 175 m
2Indian Fort Mountain-Eagles Nest2014-04-24 b457 ft / 139 m
3Indian Fort Mountain-Buzzards Roost2014-04-24 c222 ft / 68 m
4Robe Mountain2014-04-24 d242 ft / 74 m
5Indian Fort Mountain2014-04-24 e282 ft / 86 m
Total Trip Gain: 1776 ft / 542 m    Total Trip Loss: 1651 ft / 504 m



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