Ascent of Mount Hardy on 2018-04-19

Climber: Ed Wandall

Date:Thursday, April 19, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Hardy
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6120 ft / 1865 m

Ascent Trip Report

Do NOT go this way! Parked just east of Mount Hardy Gap at the overlook/rest area. Left thegreatexplorer in the car and headed north across the Blue Ridge Parkway in an effort to bushwhack to the Mountains to Sea Trail. I have a GPS track, if anyone wants a 'how not to hike Hardy' route. Anyway, I found a gap in the foliage north of the BRP and started generally north. I came across the trickle that feeds the Bubbling Spring Creek pretty quickly. It was just a step across, but the other side was covered in low scrub interspersed with briar patches. It was a hard 20 minutes to get through this and find the infrequently used MtST. Once I was on the trail, I headed west, passing some relics from the logging days (old railroad rail, cables, etc.). I continued on until I was on the lower saddle of Hardy. Since the mountain is Middle Prong Wilderness area, there are no blazed trails. The MtST is easy enough to follow, but the trail to the summit is just a manway and easy to miss. I did find it (I think) but it kept petering out so I generally tried to say as high as I could on the saddle, and keep moving up. Eventually I got to the top, being re-routed by a bunch of deadfall. At the top of Hardy you will find a benchmark marked "Black", which is worth a search as it is probably the actual high point. The listed summit of Hardy (which this site uses) is further south closer to the drop to the BRP. The topos show a trail, but again, it is more of a manway than anyithing. I stupidly decided to follow this trail south down to the BRP, instead of backtracking the way I came. Big mistake. The whole south side of the mountain is covered in deadfall and a bit sketchy. It is pretty steep, and with the deadfall, it would be easy to turn (or break) an ankle or leg. If you do go this way, head more to the east, as the old trail pops in and out of the deadfall on this side. I eventually got back to the car after probably 2 hours.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:820 ft / 249 m
    Total Elevation Loss:820 ft / 248 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:820 ft / 249 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 620 ft / 189 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:Bushwhack-Mountains to Sea Trail
    Start Trailhead:Overlook  5500 ft / 1676 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:620 ft / 188 m
    Route:Bushwhack down south face
    End Trailhead:5500 ft / 1676 m
    Time:45 Minutes

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