Ascent of Bald Mountain on 2017-01-31

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bald Mountain
    Elevation:4005 ft / 1220 m

Ascent Trip Report

The sign I saw on the way up the long access road was correct. The road was closed quite a ways before the trailhead to Bald Mountain. The sign stated that the road is closed from Jan. 1 - March 31, so if you plan to bag this summit you would be wise to not chose a day between those dates. The same holds true for Cowpen Mountain as well since the two summits share most of the same access road. Although I was several miles from Bald Mountain where the road was gated (my GPS showed 2.46 "air" miles away), I decided to make a summit bid anyway, because I had already invested so much time to get there and it was a nice winter's day. I hiked fast on the road and left it when I was just .38 miles south of the summit. It took me exactly 1 hour to get to this spot. There was no trail, but it was an easy bushwhack due to a recent fire, so much of the ground cover was gone, including a lot of the thorn bushes, but it did take me 20 minutes to reach the summit where there was a nice summit rock for a victory photo. There was no view, however, due to the trees, which survived the fire. During my ascent I did find a trail, but it was not helpful to use it on the way down, since it went way to the west and I needed to return to the road directly south. I made it back to the access road in 17 minutes and continued to hike fast, reaching my car in just 57 minutes for a total roundtrip time of exactly 3 hours. I will need to return to this exact same area for Cowpen Mountain someday, but it was way to distant to hike to from its locked gate for me on this trip.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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