Ascent of Lebanon Mountain on 2010-10-08

Climber: John Hasch

Others in Party:A HP Konvention group of 10 - making 11 total climbers.
Date:Friday, October 8, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Lebanon Mountain
    Elevation:780 ft / 237 m

Ascent Trip Report

780+ ft.
including Lebanon Mountain

Friday, 10/8/2010

After completing the marathon drive to the Florida and Alabama state HP’s, I arrived at the Konvention HQ city of Sheffield late last night. I drove to the Emerald River hotel to identify its location. I then set out to find a local WallyWorld campsite, and I was pleased to find an urban campground just a couple miles from the hotel. I found a spot, sacked out for the night, and rose early this morning to join the CoHP trek well before the 7:45am meeting time. I met Roy Wallen in the hotel lobby, and we were eventually joined by 9 others for our day of county highpoints.

The 11-man expedition team consisted of myself, Roy Wallen (Massachusetts), Mike Schwartz (New Jersey), Kip Cassavaw (sp?, New York), 3 Oesers (Ken, Alexandria, Braxton, Tennessee), Fred Lobdell (North Carolina), Dave Covill (Colorado), Vince Kloester (Colorado), and Denis Dean (Alabama). We set off in two vehicles – Roy and Ken were drivers – and we arrived at the first Mississippi HP target’s parking spot about 40 minutes later.

The Northern Contour
Prentiss County has two candidate contours. Our first visit was to the northern-most candidate, near the Tippah-Prentiss county line. In fact, the road we drove and eventually parked alongside was the county line road. We parked very near the point at which the road turns from a NE direction to heading due west along the county line. From here, it was a jouney almost due south to the HP. I did not have a map, so I was mostly a tourist on this trip, following the leadership of those who knew the basic route of travel. Our understanding of the route came from trip notes generated by Bob Packard on a previous visit. I did have my GPS, and it was set with the destination coordinates, so I was able to know our general intentions and agreed when we had arrived at the HP. Our route took us east of a false summit (marked with a 712 spot elevation on the topo map). Eventually, we found a forest road that we followed to another forest road that climbed the hill to the ultimate HP area. A small rock cairn was constructed by Dave Covill and others.

For the return trip to the cars, we followed forest roads for most of the journey. For some reason (weight, overall lack of fitness?), I had a battle with this relatively easy bushwhack/climb. Constantly gasping for breath, I was one of the last ones to the summit. This was demoralizing when you consider two of the folks were older men who were using walking poles (Schwartz, Lobdell), and one was a 5-6 year-old (Braxton) whose father (Ken) navigated the hills while carrying the youth on his shoulders! On the way back, I borrowed some Gatorade from Mike Schwartz (I had left my pack with water back at the car). I was dragging much more than I should have been.

We ended up on the county line road about 1/4 mile west of where we had parked the cars. I had recorded the total trip as 3.45 miles, 498ft total gain split as 296ft from car to summit and 202ft of extra gain.

The Southern Contour (Lebanon Mountain)
We drove to the southern contour parking spot which was just outside the first of two chained, locked gates we encountered on this segment of the trip. Beyond the gate a short way was a trailer, and the occupants already knew we were there. Half the group crossed the gate and walked up to the trailer to get permission for the hike. I stayed behind with laggers. After permission was granted, the rest of us went through this gate and joined the others for the trip to the HP.

Much of this walk was along a farm/forest lane. We eventually came to and crossed the second locked gate. The road from here eventually wound its way around a pleasant woods pond before beginning its ascent toward the summit. Eventually, we came to a fork in the road, and it was decided to bushwhack straight up the hill rather than following either of the roads toward the summit. This involved some more huffing and puffing, and I was quite worn when I finally emerged at the top. A nice viewing deck with railings on three sides (about 20x20, as I recall) was constructed at the top to reward Lebanon Mountain conquerors with a view of the down-below.

I wandered around and stepped where others had identified the highest ground. After several minutes on the top, we returned down the hill the same way we had come. When we got to the road, I told others I was going to continue down the road and back to the cars. I arrived at the cars and rested for about 10 minutes before the rest of the group emerged. For this leg, I had recorded the total trip as 1.78 miles, 295ft total gain split as 266ft from car to summit and 29ft of extra gain. But that completed the first county of the day, so it was on to target #2, nearby Union County, Mississippi.

The two bushwhacks had really drained me, and I was not sure how much of the day I was going to be able to complete. The Bob Packard trip reports had mentioned gains totaling over 2000 feet for the three targeted Mississippi counties (Prentiss, Union, Tippah) for the day. This is not a big deal for someone in great shape. But for me, I could see I was going to have to pace myself to avoid getting sick(er). When we got to the Union County parking spot, I decided to sit this bushwhack out. I waited near the cars while the other 10 hikers made the journey to the summit and back in about an hour. I felt a bit humiliated, but I had to do what I felt was best for myself. I do not enjoy the low blood sugar, sick feeling that comes when I drain myself physically.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:793 ft / 241 m
    Total Elevation Loss:793 ft / 241 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:530 ft / 161 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 266 ft / 81 m; Extra: 264 ft / 80m
    Loss on way in:264 ft / 80 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:2 contours - car to each HP
    Start Trailhead:514 ft / 156 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:529 ft / 161 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 266 ft / 81 m; Extra: 263 ft / 80m
    Gain on way out:263 ft / 80 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:2 contours - HP to each parking spot
    End Trailhead:514 ft / 156 m

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