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Ascent of Big Cataloochee Mountain on 2019-11-02

Climber: Garth Brown

Date:Saturday, November 2, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Big Cataloochee Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6155 ft / 1876 m

Ascent Trip Report

I have done 7 of the 12 peaks over 6,000 ft. in the Smokies in one day (VERY STUPID – make it a long 2 day trip and I think you could bag this with the other 7) and that left 5 to do. We are planning on doing 4 in one day (starting at Alum Cave trailhead and finishing at Clingsman), which left one all by itself, Big Cataloochee. I talked two coworkers into going with me to bag the peak. We started at Sterling Gap just at dawn and hiked up to the ridge. We turned left, going down the Mt. Sterling ridge trail. We stopped at the intersection with Balsam Mt Trail and planned to eat lunch at the Laurel Gap shelter, but I thought it was right at the intersection and did not know it was another 0.3 miles down a trail so we did not make it to the shelter. After lunch, we headed back down the Balsam Mt Trail and went about 0.5 miles to the second set of creeks. We then headed due north heading up to the summit. The bushwhack was steep, but at least there was no brush to walk through. It had a lot of trees to pull yourself up on. Once on the summit, we took pictures and rested before heading down. We then went back due south to the trail and headed to Mt. Sterling. Before Mt Sterling, we only saw a few people. Once on Mt. Sterling, it seemed like a huge crowd as lot of people do shorter day hikes up to there. We then headed back down to my truck and did all told about 17 miles.
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Carin on Summit (2019-11-02). Photo by Garth Brown.
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Summary Total Data
    Trailhead:Mt Sterling Gap  
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Garth Brown
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




Other Photos

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Profile from Laurel Gap to Mt. Sterling (2019-11-02). Photo by Garth Brown.
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Big Cataloochee as seen from Mt Sterling tower (the peak in left-center) (2019-11-02). Photo by Garth Brown.
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Another view of Big Cataloochee (in the left) over towards Mt. Guyot (2019-11-02). Photo by Garth Brown.
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GPS of summit and creek to the south, which we came up (2019-11-02). Photo by Garth Brown.
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