Ascent of Snowball Mountain on 2021-05-01

Climber: Bradley R

Others in Party:BW
Date:Saturday, May 1, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Snowball Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5360 ft / 1633 m

Ascent Trip Report

How I chose these Peaks: Lane and Snowball were on the NC 5000' list and Snowball Northeast is on the NC Lookout Tower list.

The Plan: Was to meet Barrett at the Snowball trailhead at 6AM and shuttle down the Parkway (BRPW) to an access to the Mountain to Sea (MTS) trail. Hike up to Lane, meeting the MTS, then following the MTS to the Snowball Trail (very close to the trailhead where we left one vehicle. Use the Snowball trail to bag Snowball Mountain and Snowball Mountain Northeast (plus Little Snowball and Hawkbill Rock in between), the turn back and return to Snowball trailhead and shuttle back to the second vehicle on the BRPW. We followed this well.

Getting There/Parking: I placed Snowball Trailhead into Google Maps and it took me directly to the trailhead where we met, parking on the side of the road. We drove to the BRPW and parked at a pull out just outside of the area signed as an Asheville Watershed area (where parking on the shoulder is discouraged). We parked on the BRPW at approximately 35.677192, -82.431616.

The hike:
We began by walking, leaving the car at 6:09AM, on the BRPW for about 2/3rds of a mile, gaining 150'.

Barrett spotted the use trail off the BRPW up to Lane Pinnacle. The trail was easy to follow, but didn't seem heavily used. It was steep, probably the toughest part of the hike heading straight up Lane. This section gained ~800 feet in another 2/3rds of a mile. From the top there were nice views, and an outcropping nearby allowed even clearer views Southeastern direction. (1.25 miles total)

From Lane we continues NE on the MTS trail. While on the MTS we had several views to the SE as we were following the ridgeline between Lane and Snowball. After about 1.4 miles the MTS briefly comes out at the BRPW, this is the saddle between Lane and Snowball, we had lost ~500'. We continued on the MTS now gaining elevation another 0.6 miles and 250' of gain and we come to the intersection of MTS and Snowball trails. (3.25 miles total)

Turning left on the Snowball trail we continued to climb up Snowball Mountain, reaching Snowball in ~0.6 miles and another 450' of gain. This was the highpoint of the trip. I don't recall any views at Snowball, but there was an overlook at a switchback about halfway up. (3.8 miles total)

Continuing on the Snowball trail in another 0.7 miles we reached Hawkbill Rock. This provided the best overall views of the day. We sat here and chatted for a while, while snacking and taking in the views. From Snowball we had dropped ~500' before a short gain to be at Hawkbill. (4.5 miles total)

Staying on the Snowball trail after another 1.65 miles we completed a short off-trail to Little Snowball Mountain. In this area we saw a group of half a dozen or so Blue Jays, this section also provided a nice area of wildflowers, white and red trillium, plus a blue flower I need to ID. Continuing on trail another 0.5 miles we reached the site of the fire tower that's no longer there at Little Snowball Northeast. (6.65 miles total)

To complete the hike we headed back out the Snowball trail. Just past the intersection of Snowball and MTS was the trailhead and my truck. (10.2 miles total)

All stats are based on Snowball since it was the highpoint of the hike.

My phone's GPS failed badly at tracking the route, the attached route is heavily repaired.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2723 ft / 829 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2017 ft / 614 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.2 mi / 16.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1723 ft / 525 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1173 ft / 357 m; Extra: 550 ft / 167m
    Loss on way in:550 ft / 167 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.2 km
    Start Trailhead:BRPW pulloff  4187 ft / 1276 m
    Time:1 Hours 31 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1467 ft / 447 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 467 ft / 142 m; Extra: 1000 ft / 304m
    Gain on way out:1000 ft / 304 m
    Distance:6.3 mi / 10.2 km
    End Trailhead:Snowball Trailhead  4893 ft / 1491 m
    Time:2 Hours 55 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Snowball Mountain

Complete Trip Sequence:
 Hawkbill Rock2021-05-01 c 
1Lane Pinnacle2021-05-01 a 
2Snowball Mountain2021-05-01 b2723 ft / 830 m
4Little Snowball Mountain2021-05-01 d 
5Little Snowball Mountain-Northeast Peak2021-05-01 e 
Total Trip Gain: 2723 ft / 830 m    Total Trip Loss: 2017 ft / 615 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Bradley R
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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