Ascent of Big Knob on 2011-11-13

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, November 13, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Big Knob
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:945 ft / 288 m

Ascent Trip Report

9:00 AM parked at the AME Bethel Grove church. An entire county road named after the church. Cool. Has some suspicious eyes upon us as we deliberately walked around the gate and up the roadway collecting fall color all the way up. Caught peak color on this as the only location on our trip at the correct altitude and latitude to do so. Collected at least 6 species of oak, hickory, cherry, and others in various shades of yellow, orange, and red for Karen's students to ID trees of the SE.

This was an interesting county HP for several reasons:

The main tower was amazing. We made sure to stay far away as possible as I am sure the owners do not want people back there. Still, it is a structural engineering marvel to be so tall and so skinny and with support wires that radiated out forever. I read in a CHP report that it is 1,200 feet? I dont know about that but it is staggering high.

Second, the fall color was the best we has seen in years. Finally the old abandoned fire tower was flanked by nice boulders of rock and was a sweet site. There was a "no tresspassing" sign on the guard shack and a warning that you are on camera? - the fire tower itself still has a sign saying enter at your own risk. We risked it as the wooded steps looked well secured (except the one that was missing) although the floor in the lookout house is a bit sketchy.

Nice views. An unexpected fun trip for a simple County HP. This would make a nice park site and hike with a restored fire tower if they could secure the road so the towers were not an issue.

Additional ascent vertical due to climbing up to the wrong tower on a small sub peak before noticing we had turned the wrong way at the saddle; and climbing the fire tower
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:255 ft / 77 m
    Total Elevation Loss:65 ft / 19 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
44 F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:255 ft / 77 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 190 ft / 58 m; Extra: 65 ft / 19m
    Loss on way in:65 ft / 19 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:maintenance access road
    Start Trailhead:Bethel Grove Church Parking lot  755 ft / 230 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0.5 mi / 0.8 km
    End Trailhead:same  

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