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Ascent of Mount Lyn Lowry on 2015-04-05

Climber: Marcus Lostracco

Others in Party:Morgan Harmon
Date:Sunday, April 5, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lyn Lowry
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6240 ft / 1901 m

Ascent Trip Report

This TR requires a story about our encounter the prior night with BEARS. I've added this to the end after the summary of the hike and access to Lyn Lowry.

Access the TH to Waterrock knob from the BRP mile marker 451.5 -park in Waterrock Knob Overlook area. Hike 0.5 miles to summit of Waterrock knob for a quick and easy SB6K peak. The trail then continues on the ridge, and actually is not a trail, more of a well-worn footpath. There is adequate flagging left by prior hikers, and the footpath is worn enough to be obvious. Also, this is a ridge hike, so there should be drops on either side of you at all (most) times. The trail is narrow and semi-technical, lots of roots and rocks and minor elevation change. Arriving at Browning Knob, we took a local tip to go view a Cessna plane crash site, which happened in 1983. To reach the plane crash, from Browning Knob plaque, retreat about 10 yards in the trail, and find a rather defined entrance that continues down the north face of the ridge. About 150 feet down and to the left, there is the crash site. A nice trail gem to include in this hike.

Continuing to Lyn Lowry, you'll pass through some private property, which kind of comes at a surprise. The trail leads into this rental home's yard... just continue past it and follow the trail to the summit of the big white cross. We took a break to meditate in the small patch of flat grass at the summit - a very nice place to relax. At this point it was 3:30pm, it had taken us 2 hours to hike 3 miles. We went at a leisurely pace, but by no means were going slow.

The original plan was to bag Plott Balsam mountain as well. It's another mile to reach the summit, however, it seemed like a bushwhack, and it was much too late in the day for us to attempt this. From reading other TR's, the RT time from Lyn Lowry to Plot Balsam should be budgeted for 2 hrs. I have to credit Morgan for being the voice of reason, as I know if I was on my own I would have ventured onward.

These mountains are very wooded, and views are uncommon, but spectacular. However, due to this woodiness, the trail gets dark as the sun goes down.

We reached our vehicle at Waterrock Knob at 5:15PM. We decided to bag Yellow Face, which is a quick, 35 minute RT hike from the opposite side of the BRP.

Overall a successful day of peakbagging, including 3 SB6K summits. Couldn't think of a better way to spend Easter Sunday.

Prior night camping experience:
Morgan and I had ran the Nantahala Hilly Half marathon earlier in the day at the NOC. We were pretty wiped out from this, and were really looking forward to a relaxed night at our campsite "Smoketon" - it was one of the only campsites open in the entire Smoky Mountain National Park this time of year. Despite being unprepared, we managed to get a nice camp set up. After getting our fire burning for a couple hours (it was a COLD night), we decided to venture off across the river to the campsite immediately adjacent to ours that was closed to look at the stars a bit. The moon was shining so bright that we didn't need headlamps. The campsite was beautiful, basking in the moonlight. I stood on top of a picnic table to get a different vantage point, and this is when we heard some movement in the woods, about 25 yards away from us. I looked up and saw 4 dark figures moving quickly through the woods, laterally, not gaining or losing distance from us... this was a mother black bear and her cubs. At first I felt joy, it was a beautiful example of wilderness, but I immediately realized the danger in this situation. We were frozen in place. When we stopped moving and making noise, the bears slowed down. I heard one of the cubs make a nervous sound. The family stopped moving. This was our cue to leave. We slowly got off the picnic table and started walking away, faster and faster with each step. The mother growled intimidatingly at us at one point. We picked up our pace until we reached the bridge, where we took off in full stride to get back to our fire... we were jacked up on adrenaline, and twitching from all parts of our bodies. This was a true encounter... we were wide awake at this point. Sleeping that night was difficult because of this, as well as our air mattress losing air, and the cold temperatures... not ideal. However, I'll always remember this experience. Fun fact: My first night in the Smoky Mountain National park I had a black bear encounter. This was Morgan's first night in the Smoky Mountain National park, and she had a bear encounter.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


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Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marcus Lostracco
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