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Ascent of Black Rock on 2015-04-19

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, April 19, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Black Rock
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:3160 ft / 963 m

Ascent Trip Report

Road/wack from southwest side .... 2.8 miles, 2:15 hours RT

I was able to find a somewhat easy access from the west side hwy #42, albeit heavily posted !!!!. The route I describe here is clearly shown on the satellite image.

From Skyline, junction Hwy #50/#42, I drove north on #42 for .87 miles to an unnamed dirt road on the right. The road is gated at 200 yards and full of posted signs.

I drove the road and first went to the house on the right for information (in need of heavy maintenance, it appeared to be full of dogs besides the ones penned-in outside, no answer, 3 cars in the driveway one of which was a Corvette, somewhat out of place), then I went to the trailer house next door, again no luck.
I drove back to #42 and went to the first house #4097 past the road. The 2 ladies were not aware of the HP and didn't know who owned the land, they didn't think the people on the corner owned the land. Didn't see a problem, the mother saying with a big grin, "You can park across the road and if you don't come out by 6 we'll call 911."

I walked the road 500+ yards easterly to where in turns northeast for another 300 yards to a large clearing (about 100 yards square). This clearing is located at the saddle between the first knob and Black Rock.
I entered the woods at the southeast corner of the clearing and went a bit east before turning/bushwacking a northeast line .... following Michael Schwartz/Fred Lobdell's advise, " ....... stay to the southeast side of the ridge, well off the ridge crest but above the steep part of the slope."
The woods are fairly open with patches of mountain laurel and overall the going is easy, except for the very poor footing .... a rocky woods floor, and as you near the ridge it is a huge boulder field with large erratic rocks.

At about half a mile (GPS 39.33980,-79.11229) I picked up a good woods track which I followed for about 300+ yards to a second huge erratic rock (39.34169,-79.10983) .... this spot is 150+ yards south of the summit. (its noted that at 2 places this track descends the mountain to the southeast ... always stay northeast on top of the steep slope).
I left the track and wacked north (around some huge rocks, some scrambling) directly to the summit ... the all rock ridge has huge rock outcrops with some dense brush, 3 spots vie for the HP, I chose the one to the southeast with a 2 rock cairn, I added a few rocks.
I ascended in 65 minutes and descended in 48, the one way distance is estimated at 1.4 miles.

I went to house #4097 to thank the ladies.

"MINERAL COUNTY WAS CREATED IN 1866 BY AN ACT OF THE WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE AND THE NAME SELECTED DUE TO ITS RESERVES OF MINERALS. AS OF THE 2010 CENSUS ITS POPULATION WAS 28,212, THE COUNTY SEAT IS KEYSER."

"DO NOT GO WHERE THE PATH MAY LEAD .... GO INSTEAD WHERE THERE IS NO PATH AND LEAVE NO TRAIL."

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:530 ft / 161 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:road/wack neb from hwy #42
    Trailhead:hwy #42  2630 ft / 801 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time:65 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:48 Minutes



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