Ascent of Grandfather Mountain on 2009-08-08

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Saturday, August 8, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Grandfather Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5946 ft / 1812 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is a rugged mountain, privately developed such that it can be enjoyed by tourists, and at the same time providing strenuous, difficult, challenging hikes.

Grandfather Mountain is a privately developed, rocky, spectacular Mountain with a strenuous and difficult ridge trail leading to three Main Peaks .....MacCrae Peak(5840'), Attic Peak(5880') and Grandfather (Calloway Peak, 5964'). There are numerous trails and ways to hike to the these High Peaks.
It is very popular with the tourists primarily because of the road access to the very popular Mile-High Swinging Bridge spanning an 80 foot ravine to Linville Peak (5280'), the Nature Museum and the Animal Habitat. In 1994 UNESCO designated this Mountain as the Nation's only private owned Biosphere Reserve.

Access is from the BRP, North of Morgantown, at Mile 305.1, drive west on rte #221 for 1 mile to the Entrance. It has a 15$ per person entry fee. Drive up the paved road to the two parking lots on the ridge. If you are hiking park in the lot below the top one, I was told that the top lot is reserved for very short term parking, also there is construction in progress "a new Visitor Center".

The TH for the Ridge Trail is at the far end of the parking lot, an excellent trail map is provided here. Leave the TH on the Grandfather Extension Trail that meets up with the Ridge Trail in .3mi, follow the Ridge Trail over the three Peaks. The going is strenuous and difficult with lots of rocks, roots, vertical ladders and cables. You will need to scramble up chutes and jumbled-up rock walls and pinnacles ......... to the farthest Peak "Calloway" it is a Round Trip of 4.8 miles requiring 5-6 hours. I met 3 other groups going all the way to Calloway, and tons of hikers trying to get to the first peak only "MacCrae".

At Calloway, just below the summit, I came accross a beautiful Saint Bernard dog, cornered at the side of the trail above a vertical drop (he couldn't back up without falling) .....barking and very aggressive, couldn't get near him, I threw him some food and he immediately gulped it down, he remained aggressive.
I went to the summit and on the way down I gave him some more food. He remained distant, so I let him be. I informed those going up as I descended. At MacCrae gap I met up with 2 Park workers who were out looking for the dog, I told them where he was .... apparently the dog was reported lost 2 days ago and the local Ranger is on the case, he belongs to a man sick in bed, just west of the Mountain.
After this hike Rose and I walked up to the top parking lot and accross the Mile-High-Bridge to Linville Peak (5280').

We continued south on the BRP to Crabtree Meadows campground at Mile 340, where we overnighted after having dinner at the camp store.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:596 ft / 181 m
    Elevation Loss:596 ft / 181 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:496 ft / 151 m
    Extra Loss:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Route:grandfather ridge trail from attic peak
    Trailhead:Grandfather Visitor center  5600 ft / 1706 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:446 ft / 136 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Route:grandfather ridge trail sb to attic peak
    Trailhead:5600 ft / 1706 m

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