Ascent of South Wolfpen Ridge on 2021-01-16

Climber: Jack Forester

Others in Party:Holly Saxby
Date:Saturday, January 16, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:South Wolfpen Ridge
    Elevation:4561 ft / 1390 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dropped a car at Track Rock Gap and drove to Jack's Gap for the start up the Jack's Knob trail towards Brasstown Bald. We joked about some light snow on the drive over and there was no snow on the ground at Jack's Gap. Headed up to South Wolfpen Ridge we encountered snow on the ground, which eventually became icy trail. Luckily between our group of six, we had enough trekking poles and mini-spike crampons for everyone but one of our party. It wasn't too bad before South Wolfpen Ridge, but once you get closer to Brasstown Bald, I definitely would recommend crampons (in the winter), but trekking poles at a minimum. The paved trail up from the Brasstown Bald was not too bad, until you hit a hidden ice patch. Brasstown Bald was pretty much a white out, well, you couldn't see any view, anyway. It was 20F degrees, with howling winds. We had some food, then headed down to the Arkaquah. The paved trail was even more slippery on the way down, and we had one member take a really bad spill and hit her head on the sidewalk. She and her fiance decided to abort the rest of the hike and head directly back down the car at Jack's Gap. The remaining 4 left on the 5.5 mile Arkaquah over to Chimney Top, which was a pretty easy bushwack from the west direction, then over to Locust Log Ridge, which was not too bad of bushwack either. Beyond Locust Log Ridge, the trail is washed out before you hit all the switchbacks headed down to Track Rock Gap. The washout is probably not too bad with no snow or ice on the ground, but covered in ice, it was "interesting". We managed to use roots and rhodo branches to climb/slide down in a semi-controlled manner, then catch the trail again, then it was just trail and occasional ice patches and switchbacks down to Track Rock Gap. Total hike time was 5 hrs 11 minutes, total moving time was 4 hrs and 3 min. Had a bit of trouble with the Garmin watch "pausing" due to my gloves or something hitting the pause button at the beginning of the hike, but adjusted my gloves and no longer had an issue for the remainder of the trip.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Frigid, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Part of Trip: Brasstown Bald Trek (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1South Wolfpen Ridge2021-01-16 a 
2Brasstown Bald2021-01-16 b 
3Chimneytop Mountain2021-01-16 c 
4Locust Log Ridge2021-01-16 d 
5Buzzard Roost Ridge2021-01-16 e 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jack Forester
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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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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