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Ascent of Peters Mountain-Monroe County High Point on 2016-05-25

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Peters Mountain-Monroe County High Point
    Location:USA-Virginia/West Virginia
    Elevation:4073 ft / 1241 m

Ascent Trip Report

An unmaintained trail hike southwest bound to 3 Peaks .... 13 miles, 5:55 hours RT.

We came here with the plan to bag this COHP from the south side, using Fred Lobdell excellent detailed TR - an 8 miles RT hike with a one-way elev. gain of 1200'.
After overnighting at the near-by White Rocks Campground (4$ per night) we drove north on Rte #613 only to find the North Fork Stony Creek water level too high for our van. I would have to use this as my TH - adding distance and elev to the hike plus I'd have to walk across the stream.
If one is planning on this southern approach no need to read any further - stay with Fred.

We didn't like this scenario so we decided to tackle the hike from the northeast, starting at the ridge "Trailhead Parking for Hanging Rock and Allegheny Trail" - a much longer hike of 13 miles, 2000' elev gain RT.

We returned to #635 and went east to Waiteville, WV, where we picked up Limestone Hill Road #15 on the left (east of Waiteville, 5.8 miles from the VA/WV state line). We drove the paved winding/steep #15 road north 3.8 miles to the ridge - the TH Parking is on the left.

I stayed with the yellow blazed Allegheny Trail throughout the hike - except for the odd spot around Hanging Rock this is a little-used gradual/flat trail, requiring attention to the blazes in places. The trail is maintained only to Hanging Rock. Easy going.
The ridge walk is mostly in very open deciduous woods having a grass floor with little underbrush, you can always see the long gradual slope ahead of you. You are in the woods throughout the hike, the only real views are at Hanging Rock.
The distances I provide in this TR are estimates only.

0.0M --- left the TH Parking westbound on the Allegheny Trail.
1.0M --- side trail goes left 200 yards to HANGING ROCK RAPTOR OBSERVATORY (37.50454,-80.45295) topped with a cabin. A superb open rock with great views - the only good views of this hike. Sign says "look for it on Face Book".
2.5M --- trail comes to a road where just ahead is a posted private gate (37.49471,-80.47490) with a building nearby on the right in a clearing (views). The trail goes left (descends south) on the road for a very short distance, then turns right and makes/climbs a long right-loop of 3/4 mile (to go around the private property beyond the gate) as it comes back to the ridge.
4.5M --- arrive at PETERS MOUNTAIN-PEAK 4040 (37.48314,-80.49872), 5 yards right-of (north) trail at a bunch of rocks, partial views through the trees. Took a short lunch break here.
5.0M --- come to a red painted steel pipe and red blazed tree (37.48206,-80.50357), from here the trail descends 400 yards to a col where a woods road comes up from the right (not shown on topo). This road must come up from the Zenith WV area - and could provide a TH for a much shorter approach to this COHP.
6.5M --- height-of-land (37.47766,-80.52466). The MONROE COHP is 100+ yards south inside some open thickets at a bunch of rocks. The HP is capped with a rock cairn.

I scared-up 2 rabbits and a small black bear.

It took me 3:05 hours to summit, including all side trips, breaks and data taking. I descended in 2:30 hours. Basically non-stop, tough hike for this old man - zapped from the heat.

From the kiosk at AT Trailhead Parking on Potts Mountain Road #613.
"I WENT TO THE WOODS BECAUSE I WISHED TO LIVE LIFE DELIBERATELY, TO FRONT ONLY THE ESSENTIAL FACTS OF LIFE .... AND NOT, WHEN I CAME TO DIE, DISCOVER THAT I HAD NOT LIVED." ....... henry david thoreau




Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2225 ft / 677 m
    Extra Gain:725 ft / 220 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Route:allegheny trail swb
    Trailhead:Ridge north of Hanging Rock  3298 ft / 1005 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail



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