Ascent of Stone Mountain on 2011-03-19

Climber: Tom Layton

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, March 19, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Stone Mountain
    Elevation:4940 ft / 1505 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the first peak on a 19-mile day hike, my longest ever.

Starting at the Grayson Highlands SP campground, I headed NW on Seed Orchard Road (signed as Bike Trail), crossed 3 creeks on stepping stones (including Quebec Branch, which I had been unable to ford in February), crossed the AT, and continued NE on Scales Trail. These are horse trails with easy grades.

At the Scales junction, the fields are wide open, and I made my way E to the summit, about 0.9 miles from Scales and 4.5 miles from the trailhead. Grand 360-degree view, which I had all to myself except for 11 of the famous Wilburn Ridge ponies.

After coming this far, you'd be wise to continue another half-mile E to Third Peak. Ignore the sign for Third Peak Trail (which is coming up from the valley N) and continue E through the gate to the Little Wilson Creek wilderness. Stone Mountain and Third Peak both crest in the 4920 contour, and because Stone is bald and Third is forested, it's hard to say for sure that Stone is higher. I can't verify the 4940 elevation for Stone Mountain, unless there's a 10-foot interval contour on a more detailed topo than the one I used. There's no BM on the rock outcroppings at the summit.

I returned to Scales jct and continued NW on the Crest Trail, which follows Pine Mountain toward Wilburn Ridge and Mount Rogers. See those peaks for the remainder of the trip reports.

Stone Mtn is my 9th peak of the 13 on the Virginia 4500 list. To-do list: Beartown, Balsam Beartown, High Rock (Buck Mtn), and Little Ridge.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:700 ft / 213 m
    Total Elevation Loss:420 ft / 127 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.7 mi / 9.2 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:700 ft / 213 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 620 ft / 189 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Loss on way in:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Route:Bike Trail/Seed Orchard Rd/Scales Trail/AT S/open
    Start Trailhead:Grayson Highlands campground  4320 ft / 1316 m
    Time:2 Hours 18 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:340 ft / 103 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:open field W to Scales Jct
    End Trailhead:Scales junction  4600 ft / 1402 m
    Time:22 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Grayson Highlands

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Stone Mountain2011-03-19 a700 ft / 213 m
2Mount Rogers2011-03-19 b1369 ft / 417 m
3Pine Mountain2011-03-19 c166 ft / 51 m
Total Trip Gain: 2235 ft / 681 m    Total Trip Loss: 2235 ft / 681 m

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