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Ascent of Cheaha Mountain on 2010-05-10

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:none
Date:Monday, May 10, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cheaha Mountain
    Location:USA-Alabama
    Elevation:2405 ft / 733 m

Ascent Trip Report

Flew from Orlando to Atlanta on business in AL getting up at 4:30 AM, without eating ..rushed to airport landed in Atlanta, rented car then drove to trail head in a little over 2.2 hours. Decided to make it a real summit since i hate drive up summits and i am training for my Mount Whitney trip this summer. Found a great way to bag this peak that is not a boring way to hike it.

Park at the lower campground at Cheaha Lake (road BM is around 1264). Pay $1 user fee parked in back lot by playground and community building. Field in back allows for a NE ascent.It was chilly so wore a long sleeve around 50 degrees and overcast when i started. For fun started the clock at the water edge at EL 1260

Rhododendrons were in bloom! Busted up the 1150 ascent in 31 minutes and then climbed the 40 foot tower all in 35 minutes (1.5 miles). I note that the this trail which ascends the SW face is steep in sections with lots of pine roots and rocks. Class 2 trail with some places where you have to put a hand down for balance. Near the top it is very rocky and with nice slabs and ledges (better rocks surprisingly than most peaks in GA and NC) and if you head east there is some simple but fun class 3 scrambles. Best views are off these ledges overlooking Cheaha Lake. The rounded crest of a top is anticlimatic with cabins, rental properties and antenaes everywhere.

I had the mountain to myself not seeing anyone the entire climb up or down accept maintentance people at the top. On the way down i startled a herd of white tail deer (around 7) that were content letting my chase them down the mountain. Even with photographs and stopping to admire the deer and someviews and do the tower i had this sucker bagged and back to the car in 50 minutes total (3 miles and around 1180 feet total).

Extra ascent (tower was about 40 feet)

It was cloudy on ascent and cool (51 degrees) but sunny and warm on descent around 65 degrees. But then it rained all the way driving to Huntsville.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1185 ft / 361 m
    Elevation Loss:1185 ft / 361 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Grade/Class:class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
cool and overcast to sunny and clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1185 ft / 361 m
    Extra Loss:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:lower lake TH
    Trailhead:Cheaha Lake at picnic area  1260 ft / 384 m
    Time Up:31 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1145 ft / 349 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:same
    Trailhead:same  1260 ft / 384 m
    Time Down:20 Minutes



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