Ascent of Buck Mountain on 2012-05-19

Climber: Tom Layton

Others in Party:Rickey Shortt
Date:Saturday, May 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Buck Mountain
    Elevation:4670 ft / 1423 m

Ascent Trip Report

There's much of Virginia I still haven't seen, but for now this peak ranks right up there with Wilburn Ridge among my favorites. The summit is a mile-long bald with dramatic rock outcroppings and 360-degree views that include many of Virginia's highest peaks as well as a number of NC landmarks, including Pilot Mountain and Elk Knob.

Please note that this mountain is privately owned, and you need permission and directions to hike up. The top is a working ranch, so this is not a peak you can sneak up on. Also, the jeep trails shown on the topo map may lead you into trouble. Email me if you need to know more.

This was a strenuous hike by my standards. Our 6.5-mile loop climbed about 1800 feet on the south side of the mountain. It looks like there is an easier way via a farm road on the north side (Sugar Camp Lane off US21 can be driven past the fords to 3600 feet), but that route is heavily posted and I was not able to get permission.

For what it's worth, this peak should be labeled as Buck Mountain rather than High Rock, which is just the name for the BM on the highest outcropping. Studying the topos, you'll notice that High Rock is very near the boundary between two quads. On both maps, "Buck Mountain" is printed farther out on the broad shoulder-ridges. If you're asking locally for permission to hike, call it Buck Mountain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1890 ft / 576 m
    Total Elevation Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1890 ft / 576 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1790 ft / 546 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Start Trailhead:2880 ft / 877 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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