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Ascent of Chestnut Bald on 2000-05-26

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Friday, May 26, 2000
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Chestnut Bald
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6000 ft / 1828 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was pushing 5 p.m. when I started the hike up Chestnut Bald. Although the day had gone very well, I had put in about 8 miles of hiking already, and a lot of driving. I still had energy, but I was also getting tired. I followed a paved path up a steep slope, hanging a left where I crossed a footbridge over the Parkway, catching the "Mountains to the Sea" trail. I stayed on this trail until it gained a broad ridge, then started to drop.

The summit is just 0.2 mile off the trail directly up-slope, but the growth is very thick, with high grass, logs galore, and brambles. Veteran east-coast hikers know to wear long pants, but I was in shorts, and I would suffer. The hike up went quickly and I gained the top in little time, but in the meantime I shredded my legs badly.

Even up top I couldn't be sure I was at "the top", so I paced the ridge bit until I was satisfied that I had probably stomped on it at some point. Then I descended back to my car, bleeding like crazy. It's also no small wonder that I didn't get bit by a snake either. Or get a load of ticks. What was I thinking?

I was glad to be back down, and really ready for a shower, a beer, and a warm bed. But my day's work was not yet finished. Richland Balsam down the road was still on my agenda.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:560 ft / 170 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Trailhead:5440 ft / 1658 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack



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