Ascent of Beech Mountain on 2018-11-07

Climber: Henry Pharr

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Beech Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5480 ft / 1670 m

Ascent Trip Report

A formidable peak - not the climb, but more the logistics. However, the payoff in terms of views is worth it.

Unless you own or have access to the Land of Oz there are limited options for getting to the to the top of the pinnacle rocks at the summit. Couple of pointers:

1. DO NOT try to access the rocks from curvy Skiloft Road. After winding my way up a series a 180 degree steep hairpin switchbacks, I encountered a pylon and a very angry homeowner who did not take any pity on a hiker trying to summit and take a few pictures. Let's just say the only sentence I got out in full was "Yes, I am leaving now." If I had been granted permission to park at the top, that would have put me within 300 yards of the summit. And the slow winding reverse down the road almost wore out my brakes and my nervous system.

2. Previous reports have recommended taking Summer Road off of NC 184 to the summit. Bad news. You will get about 50 yards and then there is a gate with scary signs warning not to trespass.

However, if you set your GPS to the Emerald Outback Trailhead on North Pinnacle Ridge Road, you will find a parking lot and the trailhead for a series of paths maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain. The western sub peak affords some tremendous views to the south and west. Definitely worth a day trip (or two).

None of these go to the summit of Beech Mountain, but one trail will get you close to where you can bushwhack to the top of the boulders at the HP. Remember you are on private property, so do not take any keepsake yellow bricks home with you!

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:246 ft / 74 m
    Total Elevation Loss:246 ft / 74 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.4 mi / 2.3 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Clear and Calm day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:246 ft / 74 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:Road Walk, Maintained Trail, Rock Scramble
    Start Trailhead:Pull off on Maintained Road  5234 ft / 1595 m
    Time:50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:246 ft / 74 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:Rock Scramble, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack and Roa
    End Trailhead:Pull off on Maintained Road  5234 ft / 1595 m
    Time:15 Minutes

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