Ascent of Rich Mountain on 2012-10-27

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Saturday, October 27, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Rich Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:3782 ft / 1152 m

Ascent Trip Report

I investigated several approaches for this one. The route I describe here is the one I eventually used.

On US-276, 0.5 mile W of the junction with Cascade Lake Rd in the town of Cedar Mtn, turn N on Rich Mtn Rd, which is paved. Call this point mile 0.0. At 2.7 miles the pavement ends; the winding gravel beyond is no problem for any street legal vehicle. At 3.9 miles, turn L on Fox Tower Rd. At 4.5 miles the road reaches the top of a hill and begins to dip to a gate with no sign. Though the road is narrow, I was able to turn around and park near the crest.

I hiked beyond the gate. The road climbed gradually and reached a very tall radio mast. I veered L past it and the road condition worsened. Soon thereafter I turned L at a junction. Be sure to note this junction and turn R at it on your return trip; I didn't at first, and found myself descending below the mast until I realized my mistake. The road eventaully ends at an anchor for one of the guy wires that stay the mast. Pushing through a brief line of brush, I entered open forest on the upper N flank of Rich Mtn. After a few minutes I reached a road that was in good driveable condition; I'm not sure where this road originates, but it's probably one of the other approaches I investigated which is heavily posted. I turned R and followed this road uphill until it soon reached the summit, which harbors a small radio facility and a small deteriorating forest hut whose condition is somewhat less than habitable.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:432 ft / 131 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Trailhead:Fox Tower Rd  3350 ft / 1021 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:20 Minutes

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