Ascent of Little Bearwallow Mountain on 2019-06-04

Climber: Henry Pharr

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Little Bearwallow Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:3963 ft / 1207 m

Ascent Trip Report

Tried to summit this peak two different ways. The first way was up the well maintained and beautiful Wildcat Rock Trail from the Florence Nature Preserve Parking Lot just south of Gerton, NC on Highway 74-A. I made it part of the way but had to turn back. If you want to know why, email me for details.

The second attempt on the same day was a bushwhack down from the summit of of Bearwallow Mountain to the northeast. I hear there are plans to eventually build a trail to connect the two peaks. For now, the route I took followed a number of cow trails down from Bearwallow Mountain around rock faces and some pretty impressive rock ledges to an open gap.

Unfortunately the views here are limited in Summer. I continued up an old man way on the County line to the partially open summit of Little Bearwallow Mountain. Views were limited here as well. Probably better in Fall and Winter. From here you can descend steeply down Wildcat Rock Trail to the highway or re-trace your steps up to the peak of Bearwallow Mountain. I chose the latter. Do not trust the topo maps on this trek. Slight drops on the map are actually sheer drop offs in certain areas and the last .5 mile back to Bearwallow Mountain's summit was much more challenging than expected.

I am continually amazed at how cattle can blaze trail better than most humans do. Just following their often muddy paths often leads you to the destination in a quicker, easier and more efficient manner than man made (or even worse - jeep track) trails and roads. We need to give these bovine friends more respect.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:570 ft / 173 m
    Total Elevation Loss:570 ft / 173 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:570 ft / 173 m
    Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:Bushwack from Trail
    Start Trailhead:Pull off on Maintained Road  3393 ft / 1034 m
    Time:1 Hours 55 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:570 ft / 173 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Route:Bushwhack to Trail
    End Trailhead:Pull off on Maintained Road  3393 ft / 1034 m
    Time:50 Minutes

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