Ascent of House Mountain on 2017-07-30

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Sunday, July 30, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:House Mountain
    Elevation:2080 ft / 633 m

Ascent Trip Report

House Mountain has two summits about 0.8 miles apart that both top out in the 2080 contour on the USGS topo map. One of these is the highest point in Knox County, and LiDAR says the southwest peak is 32 feet higher. The Knox GIS map has 4-foot contours that indicates the SW peak reaches 2112 and the NE peak 2080.

There are still good reasons for COHPers to visit both spots. A clifftop near the NE peak has a spectacular panorama, including a clear view of the SW peak, which doesn't appear to be noticeably higher, especially once you account for the trees. Also, the NE summit (about 100 yards beyond the overlook) is crowned by a 10-foot high boulder that doesn't register on LiDAR. It begs to be climbed and offers firm handholds. It's challenging for folks like me who lack the skills or guts to climb rocks, but I got my hand on top of the highest outcropping and called it good. My first Class 4 ascent!?!

For such a small mountain, the trail was fairly strenuous. We climbed the Mountain Trail (blue blazes) to the Crest Trail. The blue trail is 1.0 miles and climbs 500 feet, in addition to the 0.2 mile approach from the parking lot. This is a steep and eroded trail, particularly the six switchbacks as you approach the crest.

At the saddle, a trail sign says the overlooks are 0.8 miles SW and and 0.7 miles NE. The actual peaks are closer than the overlooks. The NE peak is 0.5 miles from the trail junction. It's one-third of a mile to the SW peak, which was formerly the site of a fire tower. The footings and steps remain. There is a major boulder near this summit, too, and we thought it might be a contender for the COHP. Vince Kloster climbed it and determined that it was not quite as high as the main summit.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1160 ft / 353 m
    Total Elevation Loss:240 ft / 72 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1120 ft / 341 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 920 ft / 280 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Mountain Trail to Crest Trail
    Start Trailhead:Hogskin Road trailhead  1160 ft / 353 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Gain on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Tom Layton
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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