Ascent of Mount Pisgah on 2012-03-06

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Pisgah
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5721 ft / 1743 m

Ascent Trip Report

This hike was more difficult than it should have been because most of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina was closed today. While officially these are either weather or construction zone closures, a forest ranger I spoke to today admitted they are really mostly a function of reduced budget allocations. With limited winter time staff, they don't really have the manpower to maintain full access, and it's easier just to close off large sections for long periods of time rather than actually attempting to monitor road conditions accurately. Another consequence of the absurd so-called "starve the beast" (to feed tax cuts for the rich) conservative Federal budget politics.

Since it was such a beautiful day, when I hit the road barrier at the intersection of rt. 151 and the Parkway, I decided to park and walk up the road (several other hikers and bikers had done the same--there were already about 7-8 other cars there). My GPS put the distance to Little Pisgah Mt., my first objective for the day, at 1.21 mi. With bends in the road, plus the need to go slightly beyond the peak to hit trail access it was actually about 1.8 mi. each way for the road walk. I found a trail access right on the Parkway not to far after the second tunnel saving me the walk up to the Mt. Pisgah trailhead parking.The first few hundred yards are rocky but not much elevation gain. I had marked a waypoint for Little Pisgah in my GPS and I bush whacked from the Mt. Pisgah trail up to Little Pisgah at the closest point (less than a quarter mile according to GPS but more like a third of a mile of actual climbing.

From my return from Little Pisgah to the top of Pisgah was about 0.75 mi. with 700 feet elevation gain e.g. fairy steep, but the trail includes lots of constructed rock steps and really only takes a bit of persistence. On the top there's a nice platform where I ate my snack and enjoyed the magnificent albeit hazy views.

All of my data on time, distance, and elevation gain includes my walk up and down the Parkway as well as on the Mt. Pisgah Trail, but not the detour to Little Pisgah which I tabulated separately
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1486 ft / 452 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1486 ft / 452 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Start Trailhead:rt. 151  4235 ft / 1290 m
    Time:1 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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