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Ascent of Table Rock on 2015-08-07

Climber: Brian McCray

Date:Friday, August 7, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Table Rock
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:3124 ft / 952 m

Ascent Trip Report

Multi-day, multi-summit trip including Table Rock, Pinnacle Mountain, Hickorynut Mountain and Sassafras Mountain.

Parked at Table Rock State Park Nature Center parking lot and registered at the trailhead checkpoint. The trail follows a mountain stream for the first 0.5+ miles of the trail. This part of the trail is highly maintained and even includes some asphalt sections. It was a hot day and there were quite a few families with children playing in the stream and adjacent waterfalls--the scenery in this section alone would be enough to come back to this state park even without any summit attempts.

The fork leading to Table Rock Trail is well-marked. Overall, the trail is not too strenuous (we had full gear for a multi-day trip), but there are some sections that are relatively steep (including some rock that while I won't call "scrambling", certainly entices you to grab ahold of things for protection).

Most people are more interested in the rock outcroppings than the true summit, so a fair number of people simply walk by the summit marker (a wooden sign) and proceed further (and back down 100+ feet) toward the outcroppings. There's really nothing to see at the summit, as it's completely wooded. The view from the outcroppings is spectacular, with a sightline generally to the south and east toward the South Carolina low country. While looking at surrounding mountains from a summit is always interesting, the fact that there's tremendous prominence on this side due to the low ground level to the southeast makes the mountain feel higher than others that are over twice the elevation (such as most of the 6,000+ foot peaks in the Great Smokey Mountains or Great Balsam Mountains to the northwest). If it were not for the fact that we had a schedule to keep with the other summits on this trip, we likely would have stayed up here longer for the view.

While we turned this into a much longer trip, the Table Rock summit is an easy day trip in most cases. It's moderately strenuous, but can still be done as a family outing as long as the pace is kept reasonable.
Summary Total Data
    Route:Table Rock Trail
    Trailhead:Table Rock State Park Nature Center  
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Very hot and humid
Ascent Part of Trip: Sassafras Mountain (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Table Rock2015-08-07 
2Pinnacle Mountain2015-08-08 
3Hickorynut Mountain2015-08-08 
4Sassafras Mountain2015-08-08 
5Hickorynut Mountain2015-08-09 



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