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Ascent of Balsam Beartown Mountain on 2018-07-21

Climber: Will Waller

Date:Saturday, July 21, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Balsam Beartown Mountain
    Location:USA-Virginia
    Elevation:4710 ft / 1435 m

Ascent Trip Report

I park the car at Walker Gap and headed north while strange the heading south on the Appalachian Trail. After going up to Chestnut Ridge, I proceeded to go behind the shelter to the latrine from there I descended through some tall undergrowth until I realize that there was an Old Forest Road which paralleled The Descent. Once I reach that road it made it quite easy to descend into the Gap. Skirting by the hunting cabin I continued on that Forest Road until it began to climb the mountain. You should stay on that Forest path through a rhododendron area with some large boulders. You will begin to descend and when you do look for some orange surveyor's tape and cut over the ridge to another Forest Road. Take a left and continue on this and you'll be treated to amazing views into Burkes Garden. When that Forest Road Peters out into a area with very minimal undergrowth that's when you'll begin an extremely steep slog up the side of the mountain. I don't know if there's any better way to say it but it's really rough. Once you reach the ridge stay close to the edge of the ridge because that'll keep you away from the Rhododendron difficulties that I experienced the first time I climb the mountain. Everything else is fairly straightforward. You may want to look at the person with the GPS track because on his return to the car at Walker's Gap he includes a very helpful way to skirt having to climb Chestnut Ridge again. He stays high on the pasture and I found this to be a great way to avoid having to have unnecessary elevation gain and loss.
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