Ascent of Shining Rock on 2014-12-14

Climber: Bradley R

Others in Party:Frank Espisito
Date:Sunday, December 14, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Shining Rock
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6000 ft / 1828 m

Ascent Trip Report

Original Plan: Park at Black Balsam Parking Area, hike the Art Loeb Trail and bag Black Balsam, Tennant Mountain, Grassy Cove Top, and Shining Rock. Didn't get far on the BRPW and a gate was closed.

Plan B: Park at Big East Parking Area, hike up Old Butt Knob Trail, bag Shining Rock, if time permits also bag Grassy Cove Top using the Art Loeb Trail. Come back and hike down Shining Creek Path.
Success in: Bagging Shining Rock and hiking up Old Butt Knob trail.
Failure in: Getting to Grassy Cove Top, failure caused by split in Old Butt Knob Trail where we thought it met Art Loeb, we did eventually meet Art Loeb, but still confused went the wrong direction. soon we did figure this out, but decided there wasn't enough time to recover and get to Grassy Cove Top.
Failure in: finding Shining Creek trail. Took MANY false trails, also spent a little time on Investor Gap Trail, thinking it was still Art Loeb Trail (in hindsight a little closer observation of my map would of made this one mistake clear). Effectively hiked 1+ miles looking for the Shining Creek Trail while running out of daylight.

Plan C: Return on the Old Butt Knob. Success!

Overall the Old Butt Knob Trail is a very difficult trail, around 4 miles long in one direction. Where Old Butt gets close to Shining Rock and the Art Loeb trail there are many false trails leading to camping areas, alternate connections to one another and simply dead ends. Signage and blazing is not allowed in the wilderness area. Honestly I don't understand this policy as it seems to lead to more damage due to false trails.

There are a few nice views on this hike, but nothing too spectacular. The summit of Shining Rock has a few large outcroppings of white quartz. A nice hike (glad I did it), but not one I plan on repeating any time in the near future (if ever).

Hiked this with Frank Espisito. Saw only one other group when more than 1/2 mile from the trail head.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2591 ft / 789 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2591 ft / 789 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12.3 mi / 19.8 km
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2591 ft / 789 m
    Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:Old Butt Knob Trail
    Start Trailhead:3409 ft / 1039 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2591 ft / 789 m
    Distance:8.1 mi / 13 km
    Route:Old Butt Knob and Art Loeb and wrong turns
    End Trailhead:3409 ft / 1039 m
    Time:4 Hours 15 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Bradley R
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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