Ascent of Black Mountain on 2017-01-30

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, January 30, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Mountain
    Elevation:3600 ft / 1097 m

Ascent Trip Report

I parked my car at Nimblewill Gap where my GPS showed I was only .63 miles from the summit of Black Mountain. It was a long drive to reach this spot on a winding mountain road that was snow covered, but my tiny 1991 Ford Festiva made the climb easily. I have hiked 350 miles of the Appalachian Trail and it was fun to be back on it again, although I didn't remember this section. I climbed on the AT until I was just .25 miles from the summit, then I had a miserable bushwhack through groves of thorn bushes. I was glad I was not here during the growing season. It was hard enough bushwhacking through dead vegetation let alone fresh live spines. It took me 49 minutes to reach the summit from Nimblewill Gap, but I could have made it much faster if it hadn't been for the nasty vegetation. The highest point seemed to be some exposed bedrock on the edge of the summit plateau and the trees prevented any views. For my return I chose a more direct route in order to avoid the thorns I experienced on the ascent, although this forced me into a longer bushwhack. I stayed south of the AT for much longer and had a more pleasant descent. As a result, I reached my car in just 31 minutes. From there I tried to continue past Nimblewill Gap to the north for my next destination, but this proved to be a big mistake. The road deteriorates to the point I did not think it was wise to continue and I had to retrace my path and descent by my original ascent route to the south.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack

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