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Ascent of Catherine Knob on 2011-08-26

Climber: Dave Dunham

Date:Friday, August 26, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Catherine Knob
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4175 ft / 1272 m

Ascent Trip Report

For the third consecutive year I headed down to Laurel Springs NC to act as the USATF liaison at the trail 10km national championships. I try to make the most of these trips, so this time I plotted out five County high points I could bag the day before the race (I was also planning on running in the championships).

My 5am flight out of Boston had me arriving in Charlotte at 7am, giving me the entire day to drive north into the mountains. My first stop was Youngs Mountain, the highest point in Rowan County (1,090’). I parked at the base of the mountain in the Morning Star Baptist church parking lot and ran up the access road in 6:20 and back down in 4:47. I added on another 13 minutes to get a nice three mile run to start the day.

Next up was the highest point in Davie County, at 1,010’ it was actually a nice scenic farm with a bit of a view despite the low overcast. This high point was a “drive-up” and I just spent a couple of minutes at the two most promising highest points to ensure I reached to top. Then I was off to Forsyth County which was another drive up at 1,100’ in the town of Tobaccoville. This wasn’t very scenic, just someone’s backyard, which only meant a couple of minutes ensuring I’d hit the highest point before heading off.

My fourth stop of the day was the nicest, the very scenic Hanging Rock State park. Moores Knob at 2,579’ is the highest point in Stokes County. This was the run I was looking forward to! The parking lot at the beach was at 1,690 feet so I’d be getting a nice 900’ of climbing to loosen up prior to the big race. I plotted out a 5 mile loop that had me on the summit in 1.5 miles by climbing up the Moore’s Wall loop trail which had a lot of stone steps. I enjoyed the climb despite the heat (high 80’s) and humidity and was on top in 22:44. I spent 3 minutes on top checking out the view from the observation tower and finding the benchmark. The downhill was a bit rocky but all in all a nice loop. It took me 33:21 to run the downhill 3.5 miles. I took it pretty easy, hoping to avoid beating up my quads. Total time for the very scenic run was 58:54. I stopped in the visitors center and got a few postcards and a refreshing ice cold Coca-Cola before heading off for my final point of the day.

I reached the Alleghany County high point (Catherine Knob-4,175’) around 3 pm and checked out the possible route off of Cheek Mountain road. There was a vehicle parked at the track that leads to the top, so I decided to continue on to Doughton Mountain road and parked in the saddle (3,520’). It was still a good three mile run with over 600’ of climb and descent. I took it pretty easy and tagged the summit in 16 minutes and was back down in 12 minutes for a total time of 28:08. I checked out the family cemetery that was located just above the road and then called it a day and headed off to Laurel Springs.

I had a good race the next day, taking 14th overall and top 45-49 for a gold medal in the national champs.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:655 ft / 200 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:Dirt access rd
    Trailhead:3520 ft / 1072 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:16 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:12 Minutes



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