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Ascent of Fisher Peak on 2021-10-21

Climber: Jim Jackson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, October 21, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Fisher Peak
    Location:USA-North Carolina/Virginia
    Elevation:3580 ft / 1091 m

Ascent Trip Report

FISHER PEAK HIKE TRIP REPORT – 21 OCT 2021

Greetings, fellow hikers. I want to thank Tom Layton, Richard Oestreicher and Powen Ru for their helpful TRs on Fisher Peak. Even with these previous TRs, I was still unsure about a few things before arriving at the TH for this hike. I am submitting this TR to supplement all the previous TRs. I took extra time on this hike to take a series of photos and to record various statistics. Many of you have GPS Trail Tracking devices, which would achieve better data; however, I do not possess one of these. So on this trip I only used my Fitbit and my iPhone XS, which included an App that provided GPS points and estimated elevations.

On this occasion, my wife and I were headed from Florida to Wintergreen Resort VA near Charlottesville to visit family. We stopped along the way and spent the night nearby at the Mt Vale Highlands venue in Galax VA. We made our reservation via airbnb.com. This venue is located at 3222 Meadow Creek Rd, Galax VA; GPS: 36.614007, -80.932751. The facility was first class and very comfortable; we highly recommend it, if you need accommodations in the area. It is located 8.0 miles from the TH.

From its intersection with SR 89 (7.5 miles south of downtown Galax), I drove north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. At 2.6 miles (MP 213.3) I turned right on SR 612, which is a gravel road. Just a short way after exiting the Parkway there is a fork; keep right here on Fishers Peak Rd. Given the negative comments regarding road condition in earlier TRs, I must assume there has been a significant road improvement project since 2019. In October 2021 this road was easy to follow and in decent shape. Most any 2WD vehicle can easily travel this road. If your vehicle has lower than average clearance, be sure to go a bit slower over larger bumps. There were no issues with my Toyota 4Runner 2WD. Along this road you will pass several Fiddlers Roost Cabins (rentals) as well as a few private homes. From the Parkway, my odometer said 1.3 miles to the TH, which is a locked gate across the road. The entire route to the TH is heavily wooded and there is no parking at the TH. There was just enough room on the north shoulder, so I was able to park my vehicle off the road beside the gate.

This is a road hike that follows the access road leading to several comm towers on the summit. On this hike, I found the road to be in excellent condition. The surrounding area is heavily forested and the hike was shaded all the way until it opened up on the summit. In the late afternoon on 21 October 2021, the sky was overcast and the temperature for the entire hike was about 64 degrees. There was a breeze above the trees, but fairly calm at road level. I hiked solo today; I never saw nor heard another human or animal. It was a very peaceful hike. I took longer than normal on the way in, in order to stop periodically to record notes and take photos. I began the hike at 3:59 pm (Eastern Daylight Time) and reached the summit at 5:49 pm (1 hr, 50 min); without stopping, my return to the TH took 57 min. By my non-precise measures, the distance from TH to summit was 1.85 miles (3.7 miles O&B). Elevation was recorded as 2862’ at the TH and 3564’ at the summit, for a net elevation gain of 702’. The road did include a few up and down sections, which I did not record.

Below is a list of 15 trail points that provide a general preview of the Fisher Peak Hike; each point includes GPS, time, distance, elevation and county. Yes, this short trail makes its way through three counties in two states. For a collection of photos that match each of these trail points, please go to the following web address: https://jamesj47.smugmug.com/Fisher-Peak-NCVA-2021/ . Despite my concerted efforts to keep complete records, I failed to capture a photo of the TH – my apologies. The last two trail points (14-15) are both located on the summit; the photo for point 15 is the view looking SW into NC. I hope you find this information helpful.

Trail Head (TH): GPS 36.562726, -80.842476, dist. 0.0 mi, elev. 2862’, time 3:59 pm, Grayson Co VA.
Trail Point 1: GPS 36.560660, -80.839722, dist. 0.17 mi, elev. 2916’, time 4:09 pm, Grayson Co VA
Trail Point 2: GPS 36.559313, -80.836970, dist. 0.36 mi, elev. 2959’, time 4:21 pm, Carroll Co VA
Trail Point 3: GPS 36.558513, -80.834724, dist. 0.55 mi, elev. 2973’, time 4:30 pm, Surry Co NC
Trail Point 4: GPS 36.557820, -80.832586, dist. 0.72 mi, elev. 3005’, time 4:39 pm, Surry Co NC
Trail Point 5: No GPS, dist. 0.81 mi, elev. NA, time 4:46 pm, Surry Co NC
Trail Point 6: GPS 36.558386, -80.830506, dist. 0.89 mi, elev. 3080’, time 4:52 pm, Surry Co NC
Trail Point 7: No GPS, dist. 1.11 mi, elev. NA, time 5:04 pm, Surry Co NC
Trail Point 8: No GPS, dist. 1.17 mi, elev. 3207’, time 5:08 pm, Carroll Co VA
Trail Point 9: GPS 36.560824, -80.825315, dist. 1.25 mi, elev. 3255’, time 5:13 pm, Carroll Co VA
Trail Point 10: GPS 36.562261, -80.823276, dist. 1.44 mi, elev. 3341’, time 5:26 pm, Carroll Co VA
Trail Point 11: No GPS, dist. 1.55 mi, elev. 3420’, time 5:34 pm, Carroll Co VA
Trail Point 12: GPS 36.561302, -80.822672, dist. 1.62 mi, elev. 3411’, time 5:37 pm, Carroll Co VA
Trail Point 13: GPS 36.559466, -80.823823, dist. 1.78 mi, elev. 3520’, time 5:45 pm, Surry Co NC
Trail Point 14: GPS 36.559794, -80.823225, dist. 1.85 mi, elev. 3564’, time 5:49 pm, Surry Co NC/Carroll Co VA
Trail Point 15: GPS 36.559794, -80.823225, dist. 1.85 mi, elev. 3564’, time 5:49 pm, Surry Co NC/Carroll Co VA

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The Fisher Peak trail is shaded and surrounded by forest nearly the entire distance, until it opens up on the summit. This photo was taken 0.17 mi from the TH (2021-10-21). Photo by Jim Jackson.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:718 ft / 218 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Grade/Class:Smooth/gradual
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Overcast, pleasant
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:718 ft / 218 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 3 km
    Route:Gravel road
    Start Trailhead:36.562726, -80.842476  2862 ft / 872 m
    Time:1 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:1.8 mi / 3 km
    Route:Gravel road
    End Trailhead:36.559794, -80.823225  3580 ft / 1091 m
    Time:57 Minutes



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