Ascent of Fork Mountain on 2019-03-14

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, March 14, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Fork Mountain
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:3294 ft / 1004 m

Ascent Trip Report

As far as I can determine Fork Mountain is the 8th highest named highpoint in South Carolina. The trailhead is located from the large parking area for the Walhalla Fish Hatchery where I was .68 air mile from the summit. I tried to follow Tom Layton's trip report, but this took me past a private residence and I didn't feel comfortable tramping around their home in order to access the southeast ridge of Fork Mountain. I returned to my car and tried the East Fork Trail, even though I knew this trail doesn't even come close to the summit; however, the East Fork Trail quickly has a fork to the right on a boardwalk which leads over a river to a gate for the fish hatchery. The gate was locked; however, there was a path next to the hatchery's high chain linked fence that allowed me to hike west to an open area and start climbing the steep southeast slope of Fork Mountain there. The worse and steepest part of the climb was here where there were thorns and a very steep embankment to ascend. After I reached the summit ridgeline the grade was much better and I was even able to follow an intermittent hunter's path or game trail. I reached the summit after covering .8 mile in 56 minutes. It was late in the day, so I hurried back down to my car in 41 minutes before it got dark. Fork Mountain was the last summit I needed to have climbed the 12 highest named highpoints in South Carolina.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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