Ascent of Mount Mitchell on 2009-10-07

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen
Date:Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Mitchell
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6684 ft / 2037 m

Ascent Trip Report

Needed CEUs for my liscence in NC so why not go to Asheville and take an extra day and climb some peaks? Karen drove up her new Smart car and joined me. Awoke at 3:20 AM to get to an early morning flight and was picked up in Asheville at 9:20 AM. Drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) and began assembling several short hikes for Karen and I to do conveniently off of the BRP. Ended up doing around 12 miles and 3,700 feet vertical grabbing 7 peaks. Karen did around 9 miles and 4 peaks.

Fall colors were a bit premature. We had only 20-30% in most areas. Some areas in Mount MItchell State Park reached 50-60% but only on certain slopes with a lot of summac and maple. Most of the geology of the area was metamorphic but found some rock that looked like limestone with calcite exposed. Mostly, all rocks and slabs in the areas where we hiked appeared to be Schists everywhere with some spectacular micas. Found some large muscavite crystals and quartzite. Some smaller but beautiful biotite crystals.

Mount Mitchell

Started the trip at Stepps Gap 6080 parking lot. Descided to take the Old Mitchell Summit Trail (4 miles round trip if you do not do side trips as we did).

Trail point where I left to bushwhack Hallback was at around 6200 feet. Their were game/herd trails to follow at first then easy to bushwhack through the firs where there was no understory vegetation to make the path finding difficult.

Estimated the extra ascent along the way at 270 feet based on the trail riding along minor saddles and gaps in the moderatly maintained trail. Nobody was using the trail so plenty of solitude.
Perfect weather to do this peak. Literature says that 80% of the days the peak has rain, clouds, or fog. We hit it right! It was about 58 degrees windy and sunny and great visibility. THe peak top is full of tourist things, shops, and concrete.

After summitting we went throught he upper and lower parking lot and found the Deep Gap Trail and headed to Mount Craig.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:754 ft / 229 m
    Total Elevation Loss:624 ft / 189 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:754 ft / 229 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 484 ft / 148 m; Extra: 270 ft / 82m
    Loss on way in:270 ft / 82 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Route:Old Mt Mitchell Summit Trail
    Start Trailhead:crest in Old Mount Mitchell Trail by Hallback  6200 ft / 1889 m
    Time:50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:354 ft / 107 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:Deep Gap Trail
    End Trailhead:The Gap between Mitchell and Craig  6330 ft / 1929 m
    Time:35 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Mount Mitchell

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Hallback2009-10-07 c249 ft / 76 m
2Mount Mitchell2009-10-07 d754 ft / 230 m
3Mount Craig2009-10-07 e377 ft / 115 m
4Big Tom2009-10-07 f430 ft / 131 m
5Mount Craig2009-10-07 g497 ft / 151 m
6Mount Mitchell-TH jctn. Old Mt.Mitchell Tr.2009-10-07 h570 ft / 174 m
Total Trip Gain: 2877 ft / 877 m    Total Trip Loss: 2877 ft / 876 m

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