Ascent of Plott Balsam Mountain on 2012-08-12

Climber: Shannon Dillmore

Date:Sunday, August 12, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Plott Balsam Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:6088 ft / 1855 m

Ascent Trip Report

Did this with Waterrock, Lyn Lowry and Browning. Manways, which aren't too difficult to follow, offer access from the summit of Waterrock. I made two mistakes. The first was doing this at first light, and the second was doing this in the summer with short sleeves. At first light there was a lot of dew and leftover rain from the previous day, and my pants were soon soaked. To add injury to insult, the manway from Waterrock to Lyn Lowry was largely overgrown with briars and lots of blackberries/raspberries. The manway initially leading from Lowry to Plott Balsam is very steep, but you soon meet up with a nice old jeep road that takes you within a quarter mile of the Plott Balsam summit. A ribboned route is relatively easy to follow to the summit. Unfortunately, it appears the adelgid has gotten to the pines on Plott's summit.

Make sure you keep your bearings on the junctions along the way. I took a half mile detour by following the wrong route on my return.

This took me 5 hours and 15 minutes, and I'm usually a pretty fast hiker. The overgrown manways really slowed me down.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2841 ft / 865 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.2 mi / 14.8 km
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2841 ft / 865 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.3 km
    Start Trailhead:3247 ft / 989 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km

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