Ascent of Shumont Mountain on 2016-07-17

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Sunday, July 17, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Shumont Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:3842 ft / 1171 m

Ascent Trip Report

Shumont is among 95 P1K peaks in North Carolina, with a prominence of 1,282 feet.

Shumont Road will get you within a mile of the top. The summit is part of Chimney Rock State Park, but no public parking has been developed. There are no-parking signs along the last quarter-mile of pavement, but I found a wide spot on the left shoulder where another car was parked, so I took my chances and had no problems.

At the end of the pavement, as you walk through the gateposts you will see a fork. The gravel road on the left leads down into the private neighborhood, but you want the dirt two-track on the right. Follow this past two walk-around gates: The first is signed no hunting or fishing (but says nothing to forbid hiking) and the second is the boundary for the state park. At 0.4 miles (el. 3400 feet), you'll reach a saddle with Eagle Rock to the left and Shumont to the right. We'll return to Eagle Rock momentarily. To climb Shumont, turn right and follow the old road up the ridge. At 0.6 miles from the trailhead (el. 3500) take the right fork (the left goes down to Lake Lure via Rumbling Bald). At 0.7 miles, you'll reach another fork, and here you'll go left. (This fork has been relocated since the topo was drawn, and it is now a little farther up the mountain.) The road gets steeper and climbs through a rhododendron tunnel to another ridge at 0.85 miles. Here, the jeep trail switches back to the right and climbs the final 100 feet to the summit. The last climb is overgrown but not difficult. I saw no sign that anyone else had been up there recently.

The summit is enclosed in trees and lacks the spectacular views of the Lake Lure/Chimney Rock area that I hoped for. However, I did see kudzu about to strangle a tree near the summit, so in a few years Shumont may become bald.

The better views are from Eagle Rock--actually three huge rock stacks about 20 feet high on the northeast side of Shumont. Two of them looked climbable, but getting down solo would have been tricky, and after I contemplated the risks, I resisted the temptation to climb. Here's a video showing how to do it and why it's worth it: The footbridge between the peaks is gone.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:642 ft / 195 m
    Total Elevation Loss:642 ft / 195 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:602 ft / 183 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:Jeep trail
    Start Trailhead:End of Shumont Road  3240 ft / 987 m
    Time:40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:642 ft / 195 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 602 ft / 184 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Gain on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Route:Jeep trail
    End Trailhead:End of Shumont Road  3240 ft / 987 m
    Time:30 Minutes

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