Ascent of Dicks Knob on 2020-12-05
|Others in Party:||Jack Forester -- Trip Report or GPS Track|
|Date:||Saturday, December 5, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||4600 ft / 1402 m|
Ascent Trip ReportParked at 34.9695, -83.5068 FS 54 with Jack Forester, Josh (other brother) and Shanna near the river crossing which is FS 32c and is gated. FS 54 would be ok for an SUV, it was a little tough in my Chrysler T&C minivan's clearance. I had to get out and move a loose rock that had gotten entrapped under my van due to uneven road.
We opted for a loop adventure since we were driving 2 hrs for the hike. Our loop ended up being 17.08 miles per Caltopo/ 15.92 per Garmin.
Started with Chestnut which had an amazing view (~1hr). Car to Chestnut split off to left was 52min. Great campsite up top. Easy hike on old FS roads.
Headed to Dick's Knob from Chestnut. Took 1hr 3 min fr. Chestnut summit (~2 hrs from car) but had long stop (maybe 10 mins) to switch socks and deal with blister. No real view to see.
Next we headed to the highest point on the NC/GA line on the way to Little Bald in NC. Hit that at about the 3 hr mark. Dick's to Little Bald was mostly walking through Rhodo but was high and just zigged and zagged on the west side of ridgeline to avoid briars up top. This was my highlight of the loop. It was heavenly with the white snow and the contrast of the burnt rhodo. There was a nice campsite I believe between Dick's and Little Bald in a quiet spot out of the wind.
We arrived at Little Bald through spotted remnants of snow about 3hr 15 min and it's a little difficult to navigate the rhodo there. There were a lot of NC Bear sancuary signs on the way. Tall thick but manageable. No view but we roamed around trying to find the high point. There is a campsite not far from the peak there. Actually, maybe 2. We saw one going out (notice the small out and back on gpx) and also the squiggle for a break on the way back from peak.
Headed to NC AT from there. We followed the best visual path which was slightly diff. than what our proposed path was. I don't remember anything eventful once we turned North from LB except finding the initial descent line. Once we got off L.B peak, nothing too thick from my memory.
AT (~4hr 15 min fr car) was a nice but short reprieve from the bushwack. We debated whether Timber Ridge was worth it. If briars are your thing...then there is a entire peak for you here. It was just hold your hands up high and push through. I have big feet and don't support leave not trace when it comes to briars....so there is a descent path knocked down after 4 briar haters going through. Your welcome. This sidetrip added about 10 min.
Carter's Gap shelter ~5 hr 20 min Nice shelter if you need one. We left the trail hesitating to get Ridgepole after an ascent report said they guy would not return. I expected that to mean all briars on the way up. We headed up close to the shelter basically. The ascent was weaving through thick Rhodo. Somewhat hard to get through. The top (5 hr 45 min) had a limited but decent view for a mtn with no trail up it. After studying the orange/red descend slope map toward Grassy Ridge and weighing our options, we (as in 2 of the 3 decision makers) opted to try the slope from lack of doing orange/red Caltopo slope angle, I suppose. I learned. Never again. This was by far the worst underbrush I have bush whacked through. The top 1/4 was high rhodo that was burnt out but super steep. This was just slow go but you had places to stop your descent. BEAUITFUL views of Grassy Ridge slope. There were rock outcroppings that made great stopping spots for photos with the black silhouettes of burnt out remains of rhodo on the hillside. Then it turned into avoid the rock drop offs by skirting around them. THEN, we kept heading to far right and had to keep cutting left to stay on the Ridgeline toward Grassy Ridge. This took FOREVER to get down and the thick underbrush that made it really hard to stop your foot from turning as you were heading down such a steep incline. We finally decided to cut a hard right and get to the trail as short as possible. From the peak to the trail took us 1 hr 10 min to go .4 miles to the trail(~ 7hr fr car to trail). Found the trail maintenance crew's chainsaw hidden away on the way down. That would have been helpful on the way down. ha From this point, it was smooth sailing all the way up Grassy Ridge(7 hr 20 min) and down to Patterson Gap via trail the entire way (45 min fr summit). Steep trail descent down. So thankful for the local that cleared the trail over Grassy Ridge. THANK YOU!!!
|Summary Total Data|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack|
| Start Trailhead:||Coleman Rd FS 54 |
|Ascent Part of Trip: Dicks Knob, Grassy Ridge|
Complete Trip Sequence:
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Holly Saxby
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