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Ascent of Dolves Mountain on 2016-12-27

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Dolves Mountain
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:3280 ft / 999 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a 7.8-mile roundtrip hike following the Foothills Spur Trail, the SC/NC border, the Eastern Continental Divide, and the firebreak for the recent Pinnacle fire in SC. The hike statistics include a side trip to Bursted Rock Mountain.

Bursted Rock Mountain is part of the White Squirrel Challenge 4.0 (http://www.carolinamountain.org/hc4). The website has excellent instructions. I continued a mile further to bag Dolves Mountain. Both of these are on the SC 3K list as well as the Eastern Continental Divide list at listsofjohn.

The road to Gum Gap is in better shape than it was five years ago and should be no problem for a car as long as you drive slowly and carefully. The surface is rough but the route is almost level.

From Gum Gap, there are several driveways. Follow the one on the right, where the blue-blazed Foothills Spur Trail follows an old jeep road toward the summit of Slicking Mountain. Most of this route was used as a firebreak in 2016, so it has been bulldozed.

Mileposts of my walk:
0.0 (elev. 30400) Gum Gap
0.7 (3200) area cleared by firefighters. For the rest o the hike, you will see charred underbrush on the SC side where firefighters successfully stopped the blaze from crossing into NC.
1.8 (2900) Slicking Gap
2.4 unnamed gap NE of Bursted Rock Mountain. Follow a four-wheeler track up to the ridgeline, which is marked by the red-blazed boundary of the Greenville Watershed. The path continues along the ridge to the right (SW) up to a bald rock on the SC side at 3160 feet. On the lower part of this rock is a white benchmark placed by the NC Geodetic Survey that says Bursting Rock. This is not the summit, however. Continue SW along the ridge to the wooded summit (3240). The underbrush along the ridgeline was burned, but the trees survived. Rather than retrace my steps, I headed west down the slope to rejoin the road.
3.1 (3020) Rejoin road/Foothills Spur Trail and continue westbound.
4.0 (3347) Trail/road crosses the summit of Dolves Mountain. There is a view on the NC side with a benchmark on the boulder.
Following the Foothills Trail on the return route, I got to see why they call it Bursted (or Bursting) Rock mountain. The north side has towering cliffs, jagged overhangs, and tumbled boulders.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1460 ft / 444 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1460 ft / 444 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.8 mi / 12.6 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:960 ft / 292 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 240 ft / 73 m; Extra: 720 ft / 219m
    Loss on way in:720 ft / 219 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Foothills Spur Trail westbound
    Start Trailhead:Gum Gap  3040 ft / 926 m
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:740 ft / 225 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 240 ft / 73 m; Extra: 500 ft / 152m
    Gain on way out:500 ft / 152 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Route:Foothills Spur Trail eastbound
    End Trailhead:Gum Gap  3040 ft / 926 m
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes



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