Ascent of Cheaha Mountain on 2016-02-29

Climber: Ian Covey

Date:Monday, February 29, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cheaha Mountain
    Elevation:2405 ft / 733 m

Ascent Trip Report

Really butchered this HP.

Woke up around Chattanooga, TN with the goal of driving to Woodall Mountain in Mississippi, then down to Birmingham for a beer, then on to Cheaha - all in a day. This plan may have worked in the summer, but during the winter with only 11 hours of daylight, it was tough.

Still, I found myself racing against the sunset around 6PM with Cheaha in my sights. I arrived at the park gates after the attendant had left, but before they closed them (I saw security coming to the gate exit point at this time), so I decided just to go for it. There was still 5-10 minutes of visibility left and I did not have time to come back to Alabama the next day. Raced up to the structure at the top, snapped a picture with the sign outside indicating elevation, sprinted up to the top of the tower (needed a flashlight at this point) and took about 20 seconds to take in the last of the setting sun. When I get down the ranger was rolling on up near my vehicle, so I hopped in, and headed down the exit lane without any further incident.

I really do feel guilt for having not done this high point any justice (it seems really nice, and given the chance I would camp here), but I had 6000 miles to do in 9 days, so hanging around was not an option.
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