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Ascent of Hanging Rock on 2016-05-29

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, May 29, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Hanging Rock
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:3840 ft / 1170 m

Ascent Trip Report

This TR covers my visit to Nicholas and Webster Counties over a 2 day period. This is not a stand alone TR, I only add some information to the referenced reports.

MAY 28
After failing at Kayford Mountain (Kanawha Co) we drove to Monongahela National Forest, Summit Lake Campground only to find it full, so we drove to the JCT of FR77 and Pocahontas Road #99 (spot elev 3655 on topo) - this is the TH for Nicholas County in Michael Schwartz's TR. Three groups of horse riders were camped here. One group (the Brooks - mother/father/daughter) told us they come here trail riding 4-5 times a year and never had a problem staying for free. We overnighted here.

MAY 29
HANGING ROCK ... easy road/trail/wack ... 8 mile, 3:40 hours RT
Michael Schwartz's TR is all one needs for this NICHOLAS COUNTY - COHP.ORG gives 2 contending areas and I went to both - even though Richard Oestreicher reports that the WVA LIDAR data says that the area at Hanging Rock is not a contender. The blue blazed Pocahontas Trail passes right under Hanging Rock (38.26788,80.43684).
For the northwest area I bushwacked southerly from the crest of Pocahontas Road (staying on the ridge) going over PEAK 3900 (38.28098,-80.44804) at .5 miles, then continuing for another .5 miles to the approx County Line (38.27400,-80.44831). The ridge narrows as you get here with daylight through the trees on both sides. There is no boundary line here, so I stomped the surrounding area (north - south) and called it good. All open deciduous woods, easy going.
I got back to the TH at 12:00 hours and after a good lunch break decided to take in an afternoon hike.

HAMRICK RUN NORTH - 2 WESTERN AREAS ... easy trail/wack ... 7 miles, 3:20 hours RT.
Webster County has 3 candidate high point areas. Using the same TH as per above I decided to visit the 2 western areas this afternoon using the Pocahontas Trail eastbound. Bob Packard's TR provides all the info one needs. This is an easy multi-use trail with 2 short wacks.
I should note that the Brooks told us last night that they rode this trail the day before. All of the trails I walked in this area are multi-use.

A few campers left the Summit Lake Campground today so we checked in for the night (20$) - tomorrow I'll hike the Eastern area.

MAY 30
HAMRICK RUN NORTH - EASTERN AREA. ... 11 miles, 5:20 hours RT including my screw ups.
We used the TH (on FR 232) in Michael Schwartz's TR for a straight forward easy road/trail hike, except I did have some problems in finding the HP.
I should first note that the first mile of the northbound blue blazed Kennison Trail is amid a beautiful/tall/open coniferous forest with an outstanding carpet of rhododendrons, a few weeks away from bloom. This hike would be amazing in Mid-June.
When I got to the 4106 Knob I stayed with the trail and in no time I found myself descending northerly, my GPS telling me I was at an latitude of 38.25000 - way north of my HP. I pulled a Bob Packard so I backtracked to the 4106 Knob and chose a spot on the trail (38.24765,-80.35355) as the start of my bushwack.
I wacked/descended west (staying on the ridge) 500 yards to the approx. N-S Webster/Pocahontas Line (38.24796,-80.35849) (I actually walked this ridge line on my return as I note below). Then went further west to ensure my HP. The woods are semi-open with some underbrush/blowdown, not easy.
It's critical to be aware of your position on the ridge and not pull a Ben - I started out without paying attention to the ridge and soon finding myself descending steeply and far left/below the ridge. I had to wack/climb north to the ridge is some nasty stuff.
I probably lost 30-40 minutes with my 2 screw-ups.
When I returned to the TH Rose told me the Brooks came up with their trailer and 3 horses to walk the Kennison Trail around Kennison Mountain.

KENNISON MOUNTAIN .... trail/wack, 1.75 miles, 36 minute RT.
From the above TH on FR 232 I hiked the Frosty Gap Trail #235 southeast .75 miles to the signed JCT with Kennison Mountain Trail (left goes north, right goes east). I went right (east) 150 yards, then bushwacked northeast 200 yards to the wooded summit (38.19541,-80.28895) with little views through the trees.

We drove to a campground in Cass WV for tomorrows climbs in the area.

"I'D RATHER BE ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN THINKING ABOUT BEING IN MY CHURCH, THAN BEING IN MY CHURCH THINKING ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN." ................. an old norwegian saying


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:385 ft / 116 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:road/trail/wack to 2 areas
    Trailhead:FR 77/FR 99  3655 ft / 1114 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack



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