Ascent of Whitetop Mountain on 2007-03-24

Climber: Heather Hasch

Date:Saturday, March 24, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Whitetop Mountain
    Elevation:5520 ft / 1682 m

Ascent Trip Report

Saturday, 3/24/2007

After filling the car’s tank with gas, I was on my way to Whitetop Mountain. It was now late in the afternoon, and I knew it would be getting dark soon. The trip up Whitetop Mountain was uneventful. I turned north off US 58 on to VA 600, and the road that climbs the mountain is 1.6mi from this intersection.

The road was winding but not difficult to climb. I followed the road to the top which was a fenced-in area containing some radio communication towers. I decided to hike around the perimeter of the fence to find the highest attainable land.

At 5520ft+, this drive was the highest elevation attained today, beating out the Mt Rogers hike by about 141ft. I started out hiking left (west) around the fence. I found what I thought was the highest land on the third (eastern) fence. From here, I continued back to my car where I was surprised to meet two folks who were waiting for me.

They noticed my license plate was from Indiana, and the man told me he had lived in the state several years ago in the Valparaiso area. What a small world. He now lived in this part of the country, and he and his wife often make the drive up Whitetop Mountain. We chatted for a while, and they drove off the mountain before me. A few minutes later, I was on their bumper as I made the descent faster than they were willing to go in their car.

When we reached VA 600, I turned left to visit the Elk Garden trailhead to Mt Rogers. The Appalachian Trail crosses VA 600 at this point as an alternate way to reach the HP.

By now, it was getting pretty dark, and I could not see much of the area. I returned to US 58 and turned my car west in a general direction home. I passed through Damascus on my way to Abingdon VA. It was here that I rested in my car for a few hours before continuing the drive home. Eventually, I pulled into an I-81 rest area in Tennessee where I slept the rest of the night.

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