Ascent of Mount Guyot on 2019-06-08
|Others in Party:||Can't Find ClimberID br>Steve C.|
|Date:||Saturday, June 8, 2019|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-North Carolina/Tennessee|
| Elevation:||6621 ft / 2018 m|
Ascent Trip ReportA friend and I decided that we wanted to try and summit Mt. Guyot, which would be straightforward. Then in studying the maps, we saw several other peaks nearby (well that is relative) and we decided to do something absolutely stupid. We set a goal of doing 7 of the 12 peaks over 6,000 feet in one day (as recognized by Southern Above 6000). Well we did it, but it sure was not the smartest decision we could make. Unless someone is an ultra-marathoner, I would never recommend that hike to anyone.
We ended up with three people and left the parking lot at Cosby Campground at 5 AM heading up the snake den trail with headlamps. We made it to the AT and then headed south towards the first objective, Old Black. After 7.5 miles, we headed southeast to bushwhack to the summit. Going up Old Black was a very thick bushwhack through a lot of briars. The briars were so thick that you could not see someone 5 feet away. Unless someone came with a chainsaw to clear off the brush on the top, you could not even see the ground and hence no cairn exists. Once on the summit, we had to stand on fallen trees to see above the briars and with the clouds there was no view.
We then took a bearing south to head back to the AT and once on the trail, we headed to the next objective, Mt. Guyot. Once we were just north of the summit, we took a bearing and headed south. It was a steep hike, but compared to Old Black, it was more off trail hiking than bushwhacking. We found the cairn and benchmark without much difficulty. We then headed northwest back to the AT and headed south.
As we were heading south on the AT, we stopped at the Tri-Corners shelter to refill on water. We continued south towards Mt. Sequoyah. This was the easiest summit to find as the summit and cairn is about 10 feet off the trail. After this we headed back north towards Mt. Chapman.
As we were on the AT near the summit of Mt. Chapman, we kept an eye out for the best place to get through the deadfall. We eventually found a place and headed west to the summit. It was a rough bushwhack through a mix of deadfall and briars. The cairn was harder to find in the middle of briars. We then headed east back to the AT.
At this point, it was 12:30 and the smart thing to do would have been to head the 11 miles directly back to Cosby with 4 of the 12 peaks over 6,000 ft. in the Smokes. We could have been down and had a nice early dinner on the way home and we would have done a long hike. Nope, we decided to be stupid. After Mt Chapman we headed north back to Tri-Corners and east on the Balsam Mt. trail. We opted for Mt. Yonaguska over Tricorner Knob as its a few feet taller. We then found a very small break in the trees and headed northeast to the summit. It was a tough bushwhack with a mix of briars and deadfall. Once near the summit, the cairn on Mt. Yonaguska was straightforward to find. We also found flagging tape and followed it most of the way back down heading west to the trail.
Once back on Balsam Mt. trail, we headed east to a sharp bend where the dilapidated Hyatt Ridge trail was found. The trail is no longer maintained and was filled with a lot of deadfall that we had to go around. We followed this south and some flagging for about 3/4 of a mile until the trail really seemed to head down and going away from the summit. At this point, we were worried that we were on the wrong trail as it was going down as we were losing a lot of elevation. We headed up the hill to the ridge line and followed that heading south. It took a while, but we finally found the cairn marking the summit of Marks Knob. We also found flagging and followed this to the west back to the dilapidated Hyatt ridge trail and then a mile north to the Balsam Mt. trail.
At this point, we really should have turned around and been good with 6 of the 12 peaks. Nope, we continued to head further east away from the car towards Luftee Knob. We went until we were just south of the peak and headed north off the trail. We were tired, so the mixed bushwhack took some effort. We found the cairn on the summit and were happy to be there. It was 5:30 in the afternoon and we had been going for about 12 hours. We followed some flagging east off the summit until we were back on The Balsam Mt trail.
Now came the hard part of having to return back to the car and go about 12 miles. That really took its toll and slowed us down. Heading north on the AT, we had to climb past Guyot and we really slowed down. Then on the Snake Den trail, one in our group was in fear of hurting a knee and was unable to put much weight on it. This brought the pace down to a crawl and severely slowed us down. We finally made it back to the car about 2:30 AM and had been out for more than 22 hours.
While we can now say we did seven of the peaks, it for sure was not the smartest thing we have ever done. Our GPS put us at about 36 miles.
I guess that is what makes people outliers.
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