Ascent of Charlies Bunion on 2020-07-04

Climber: Scott Leslie

Date:Saturday, July 4, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Charlies Bunion
    Location:USA-North Carolina/Tennessee
    Elevation:5560 ft / 1694 m

Ascent Trip Report

Bagged as part of the beautiful Sweat Heifer-AT-Dry Sluice Gap Loop.

From the Kephart Prong trailhead, I ascended up to the Kephart Shelter where I dropped my pack off. Took a nice rest before heading up the Sweat Heifer Creek Trail. The trail is steep at first but levels off after awhile. Found the remains of what looked to be a car about 2/3rds of the way up on the left. Spent some time alone at a large cascade. I saw only 4 people coming down. Upon reaching the AT things got a lot more crowded. Ran out to The Jumpoff, but the views were obscured by clouds. Continued on the AT and took a short break at the Icewater Springs Shelter. Continued on to the Tourist Bunion and admired the partly cloudy views.

To get to Charlies Bunion (also called The Real Bunion to distinguish it from the Tourist Bunion), watch for a circular patch of gravel with a rock in the middle of it - the rock has an AT blaze on it. There is an amazing view to into the Dry Sluice Valley to the right. From this circle, a very obvious manway goes up to the left. I followed this up to the top. Fantastic views up here; better than the Tourist Bunion in my opinion. And no people either!!

Went back down to the AT and descended back to Kephart via Dry Sluice Gap-Grassy Branch trails. The descent is steep and a little hard on the knees. Spent the night at the Kephart shelter with one nice gentleman and a couple of mice.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Sweat Heifer Creek Trail/Appalachian Trail
    Start Trailhead:Kephart Prong Trailhead  
Descent Statistics

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