Ascent of Celo Knob on 2014-05-17

Climber: Marcus Lostracco

Others in Party:Whit Miller
Date:Saturday, May 17, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Celo Knob
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6327 ft / 1928 m

Ascent Trip Report

DAY 3 of NC SB6K mission:
re-do of the section we didn't get on Day 2 (Mt Mitchell crest trail to Celo Knob and down to Bowlen's Creek)
10:00AM - leave BMCG in AK's Excursion to Mt Mitchell picnic area.
11:11AM - begin hike. Immediately Austin's knees give out. I had lent him my boots, but the damage was done to his joints, he had to drop out. Whit and I walked with him back to the car, took a swig of bourbon, and returned to the action as Austin drove off.
11:34AM - begin hike again. Whit and I were on a bagging mission. We bagged Craig and Tom again, passing a big group of about 20 hikers from a Trail Life NC camp. Some amazing views today. We passed through Balsam Cone without even knowing it and reached Cattail peak within an hour. We were averaging sub 25 minute miles, going at a great pace, jogging the parts that we could.
1:15PM - reached Deep Gap - 3.7 miles in 1 hour 35 minutes (approx) From Deep Gap we continued and bagged Winter Star Mountain, which seemed ominous from prior to Deep Gap (we could see how far we were about to descend and then re-ascend), but it went by quickly as Whit and I conversed in French to kill time.
4:00PM - reach Celo Knob. This was a very gratifying moment. After bagging Gibbs and Horse Rock, we found the unmaintained trail that led to the summit of Celo Knob. We hadn't seen any people on the trail for the past 2.5 hours, but all of a sudden we heard a dog barking, from the top of Celo as we approached it... sure enough, a couple was on their way down - how crazy to find people on this part of our hike! Celo is a truly awesome peak. A great view of the mountains to the East and a fantastic resting area on the peak.
4:30PM - begin 4.5 mile descent from Celo Knob back to the car. Whit and I crushed this descent by running down it... it's a gradual enough downhill to get a full stride going. We were getting pretty savage and letting out barbaric screams as we destroyed this descent. Beautiful descent as well - follows a creek all the way down for the most part - we stopped and dunked our heads in at one point.
5:30PM - reach the car. This was a great feeling. Seeing the car after parking it there 2 days ago... we knew at this point we were done (we were incredibly exhausted at this point)
6:00PM - return to camp, pick up Austin, and drive to Grill on the Green for some excellent Schnitzel and Spaetzel and some victory brews.

Lessons learned:
- don't underestimate the effects of fatigue
- screaming like a barbarian is fun and gives you a rush
- this is an awesome hike
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
view from summit of Celo Knob (2014-05-17). Photo by Marcus Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marcus Lostracco
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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