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Ascent of Cabell County High Point on 2016-01-02

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, January 2, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cabell County High Point
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:1169 ft / 356 m

Ascent Trip Report

The COHP.ORG site gives 5 candidate high point areas, I visited all 5 in the order listed here and have numbered them according to COHP.ORG. All hiking distances and intermediate elevations in this TR are guess estimates only.

I used Michael Schwartz's TR for the 2 most-southern areas (nothing has changed), however for the other 3 areas I found the permission requirements in his report much too involved for my liking, so I checked-out a new route, and as luck-would-have-it, an excellent route.

TWO AREAS (#3 & 4) ON COUNTY LINE 2 3/4 MILES SE OF SPOT ELEVATION 1169'(1160+')... a road/wack of 1+ miles, 40 minutes RT for both areas.

We found our way to Salt Rock, north of the Cabell/Lincoln CO Line on hwy #10. At Jct hwy #10/CR49(Madison Creek Road) we zeroed our odo.
0.0M ... Jct #10/CR49, we traveled southwest on the paved Madison Creek Road.
1.1M ... stayed right at fork.
5.0M ... pass Green Valley Church on left
5.6M ... CR49 makes a right turn and becomes Bowen Creek Road(unsigned). We turned left (southeast) onto the signed Upper Bowen Creek Road(CR49-2), a small paved road.
6.4M ... arrived at Ralph Adkins house #1357, end of pavement. This was my TH (38.25690,-82.25094). Ahead at 100 yards is a gated dirt road

There was no one home so we went to the first house #1356 back up the road. Mr Odie Baskets (?) told me that Ralph is visiting friends for the weekend at Huntington. He was sure that Ralph wouldn't mind, didn't see a problem. Good enough for me.

I walked the dirt road southerly (nicely shown on the topo) .5 miles to the ridge, where I turned left and followed a path east 100+ yards up to the obvious knob of AREA 3.
I continued northeast 250 yards, descending 40' to a saddle before climbing to the next obvious knob of AREA 4.
There was no way to identify the exact CO Line location so I stomped both summit Areas to ensure my HP.

I short-cutted my descent by wacking northwest down to my ascending road.
We drove back to CR49 and zeroed our odo again on-route to the other 3 Areas

SPOT ELEVATION 1169'(Peakbagger's main area) AND 2 ADDITIONAL AREAS (#1 & 2) TO THE SOUTHEAST.... a woods road hike, 4.2 miles, 2:10 hours RT for 3 areas.

This was one of those experiences that will stay with you forever, all because of a beautiful trail angel. I should note however this may not be the case for future County High Pointers.

0.0M ... CR49 (corner of Madison Creek/Bowen Creek Roads), we traveled northwest on Bowen Creek Road.
3.6M ... turned left onto Raccoon Creek Road CR43.
4.4M ... turned left onto Steer Branch Road CR43-4.
4.9M ... last house on the right is Tim Ramsey's residence, a white trailer house with barn buildings. This would be our TH (38.28173,-82.29716). CR43-4 continues as a very rough road and is gated at 300 yards ahead .... our original plan was to go all the way to its dead-end.

Two barking dogs greeted us as we pulled-in Tim's driveway , took a few minutes to find out that they were friendly. As I started to walk-up to the house a truck pulled-in behind us, it was the owner Tim Ramsey with his wife and young son.
They own the land to the ridge but not the ridge line, which is owned by a gas company .... Frank Adkins with offices in Milton WV (Tim didn't know if he was related too Ralph Adkins on Upper Bowen Creek Road .... my guess is that he is).
At first the reception was somewhat cold, but after a long chat, things warmed-up. He told me that he let someone from Michigan use his land to access the ridge a few years ago (didn't know if he was a county high pointer). Apparently things have changed, he is now the keeper-of-the-land with committed responsibilities.
I could see that he was real nice guy wanting to help but torn with the decision. So I said to him, "Tim, I understand where you're coming from, its fine, I'll see if I can get-a-hold of Frank Adkins."
"You get his approval and you can park here."
We said our goodbyes.

He way on his out so we followed him out. When we got to CR43 he was waiting for us, came up to the car and said, "Listen Ben, you've come a long way, go ahead and do your hike, I'll take care of Frank."
I was filled with joy, thanked him more than once ....how understanding and kind is Tim, a true trail angel. The lovely people of WV.
Rose gave his young son some chocolate sweets.
"Park by the barn and if someone questions you when on top, tell them Tim gave you permission."

I should note that I am not sure if Tim will grant permission to future visitors. Its best to look up Frank Adkins to ensure permission.

When we got back to the house and was getting ready for the hike, again another truck, Tim's father. He was checking us out, apparently they've had some vandalism problems. A real nice gentleman, not happy with what the politics are doing to the coal industry. This by-the-way has been a common theme among a number of people that we talked-to.
Mr Ramsey gave me a good description of the route that was ahead of me, asking me, "Where is your gun."
"I don't carry a gun."
"Well you should, there's lot of boars up there, even bears, I ne'r go in the woods without me gun."
I should note that I saw no wildlife to speak-of, only one white tailed-deer, way-in-the-distance.

We parked before the barn and I took the woods road to its right that climbs south to the ridge, where a ridge road follows the ridge line eastbound to the 3 candidate high point areas.

0.0M ... I left my TH on a woods road climbing southerly on the right(west) side of the hollow, moderately steep.
0.3M ... top of ridge (38.27753,-82.29858). The Ramsey Hunting Camp is on the right. I turned left on the ridge road eastbound, immediately going over a small bump and dropping 20' to a small sag on-route.
0.9M ... summit of SPOT ELEVATION 1169', a bit of a flat clearing with nothing obvious. I continues eastbound on the ridge, 40' extra ascent.
1.2M ... past over intermediate bump. Continue eastbound, 60' extra ascent.
1.5M ... past by another intermediate bump to the left side of the road, with a number of huge erratic rocks. The ridge continues south bound 80' extra ascent.
1.7M ... AREA 1, the ridge road goes over the HP. The ridge continues southeast, 100' extra ascent. .
2.1M ... AREA 2 is to the left of the woods road, yards inside an old fence line.

I should note that the different bumps on-route are always visible in front of you through the trees this time of year, however compass work was necessary to ensure directions.

Less than 100 yards before Area 2 is an open grass area with a fenced-in Cemetery. I went inside and checked out the headstones, some dating back to the early 1900 and some very recent. The Adkins family has a number of relatives here, among other headstone names are Tomlinson and Crum.
This appears to be the Adkins Family Cemetery, probably a prominent family who pioneered the area. This opinion would be confirmed the following day when visiting the Lincoln COHP, see its TR.

I backtracked to the TH in 45 minutes, very happy with today's luck. Thank you Tim Ramsey.

"CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN AND GET THEIR GOOD TIDINGS. NATURE'S PEACE WILL FLOW INTO YOU AS SUNSHINE FLOWS INTO THE TREES. THE WINDS WILL BLOW THEIR OWN FRESHNESS INTO YOU ..... WHILE CARES WILL DROP OFF LIKE AUTUMN LEAVES." ...... john muir



1
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1449 ft / 441 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1449 ft / 441 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1189 ft / 362 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 489 ft / 149 m; Extra: 700 ft / 213m
    Loss on way in:700 ft / 213 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:visit to 5 areas
    Start Trailhead:CR43-3, Tim Ramsey  680 ft / 207 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:749 ft / 228 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 489 ft / 149 m; Extra: 260 ft / 79m
    Gain on way out:260 ft / 79 m
    Distance:1.4 mi / 2.2 km
    Route:visit to 5 areas
    End Trailhead:CR43-3, Tim Ramsey  680 ft / 207 m



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