Ascent of Hawksbill on 2003-11-28

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Beth Cousland
Date:Friday, November 28, 2003
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:4050 ft / 1234 m

Ascent Trip Report

The weather had been cold and rainy all morning, but we got a little lucky here as the rain let up, and all we had was the cold and mist. Not surprisingly, we were the only people here, our car the only one in the lot. We started our hike at 2:30 p.m. Fortunately, it's not a long hike, and we hoped the weather would behave.

We bundled up and started walking the good trail into the forest. Normally this would be a profusion of green leaves, trees, undergrowth, brambles and so forth, but on this cold, blustery November day, everything had closed up for the winter. Combined with fog and winds, this made for a spooky, interesting little stroll.

The trail gains steadily for about 0.6 mile, then levels and drops slightly to where it meets a fire-access road. The remainder of the hike is up this road, where it ends at a shelter called the Byrds Nest #2. It took us about 20 minutes to cover the distance. The summit is another 50 feet along the trail past the shelter and up to a viewing platform. I'm sure the views down the valleys below are something to behold, but on this day all we could see was gray fog. We snapped more photos of fog, and sought out the top "natural" rock before heading down. We were back to the car quickly, a round trip of 45 minutes.

From here, we started heading back north along the Skyline Drive. About 4 miles north of Hawksbill Mountain is an old resort called Skyland that was built about 100 years ago and pre-dates the National Park. While it no longer is a private resort, the Park maintains it as a destination, and it has a restaurant, gift shop and an attractive lobby with a large fireplace. In the surrounding areas are camping areas, stables, and Park offices. We stopped here to dry out and warm up in front of the fireplace, and buy souvenirs. The rain had picked up and was coming down hard.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:400 ft / 121 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Trailhead:3650 ft / 1112 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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