Ascent of Roane County High Point on 2017-08-23

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Roane County High Point
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:1560 ft / 475 m

Ascent Trip Report

Assuming you accept the findings of the WVA LIDAR surveys and you have a Jeep or similar vehicle, I found a new route to the Roane county high point that leaves a walk of less than 15 minutes round trip. The WVA LIDAR data (listed several years ago on the Yahoo CHP discussion board) lists the height of the southernmost of the three Roane C. hp. candidates as respectively 8 ft.+ and 18ft. higher than the two more northerly spots. I therefore elected to do only the southernmost spot.

It was an adventure--as these things frequently are in West Virginia. From I-79 I took WVA 16 to County 17 (sorry I didn't clock it on my odometer but I'd guess maybe 5-7 mi.). My map shows a County 28 forking off to the right from 17 and running just below the hp. I wandered up and down 17 searching for 28, stopped a couple of people who didn't know what I was talking about, then found two teenagers who said there was such a road 30-40 years ago but it’s now completely impassable. I kept looking. Near where the road should have been on my GPS map, I entered a driveway. They knew what I was talking about and told me to go down the next driveway back up the road. There (signed Red Mud Lane) I found two teenagers who knew about the road, thought my Jeep could make it, and there were no access issues because it still was a public right of way. The start was around their barn. As I looked at it, I expressed doubts. The track started out barely as wide as my Jeep with deep muddy ruts, about a 30 degree angle uphill into dense weeds. They asserted that this was perhaps the worst part of the route and if I made it up the beginning I should have no trouble if I proceeded with caution. Well why not—isn’t that why I bought a Jeep? It did get a little better after that first piece but there were big rocks aplenty as well as numerous foot deep mud puddles—not for the faint hearted. I reached an intersection in a mile with straight ahead going down and right (and on my GPS heading) through an aged gate with a hand-painted sign with what I assume was once a resident’s name. Shortly I reached a meadow with the first safe place to turn around. I parked there. The track continued up to a house (recently if still not occasionally occupied. From there remnants of the track went up to just below the high point knob. Round trip walking from my parking spot was about 12 minutes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:180 ft / 54 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Hot, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:180 ft / 54 m
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Start Trailhead:1380 ft / 420 m
    Time:7 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    Time:5 Minutes

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