Ascent of Little Pisgah Mountain on 2012-10-28

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Sunday, October 28, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Little Pisgah Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4412 ft / 1344 m

Ascent Trip Report

On US-74A, just 0.2 mile SE of Hickorynut Gap "point 2878" on the Buncombe/Henderson county line, I turned E on little Pisgah Rd, which is narrow and gravel, though my rented Hyundai Accent did OK. Just 0.3 mile later I reached a junction, where both ways to go were gated but neither was signed. I backtracked a ways to a pullout where I could park and began my hike from there.

Returning to the double-gated junction, the left way went downhill and the bright fuchsia colored gate looked private, so I opted to continue straight ahead. The road climbed gradually, usually traversing the R side of the SW ridge of Little Pisgah Mtn. Although one sign said no trespassing, several others only said no unauthorized vehicles and contained language suggesting the land was a wildlife preserve, so I didn't worry that I might be doing something illegal. At (35.4938°N, 82.3384°W) I reached a junction where I made a sharp L turn onto a road which was initially a rock slab, though it was mostly covered with leaves at this time. After about 5 minutes I came to a junction that provided me with 3 choices. I opted for the one on the R, which was in the worst condition of the three but headed the most steeply uphill. After about 5 more minutes the road joined a road that was in better condition, which I strongly suspected was the middle branch of the previous junction. A few minutes later, at (35.4982°N, 82.3380°W), was a junction at which a R turn would put me on a road that traversed the S face of Little Pisgah Mtn. I opted to continue straight ahead uphill.

After several more minutes, the road topped out at an open grassy field with a house on the R and a sign on the L indicating a private residence. The sign appeared to refer not to the house I saw, but to some other place out of sight behind the fence. My position was ~4050' and ~½ mile NW of the summit of Little Pisgah. I made a sharp R turn around the house I could see, continuing on a road the traversed the NE side of the NW ridge of the mountain. At (35.5038°N, 82.3375°W) I reached a junction where a side road turned sharply R and headed slightly uphill. The side road is somewhat obscure and a person not looking for it could miss it. The road gained the crest of the NW ridge of the mountain and climbed it to the summit, which is crowned by a radio facility.

I was a cool, crisp, clear day, and I had good views. Mt Mitchell dominated the view to the N, and Bearwallow Mtn stood out prominently to the SW.

After returning home, I examined the overhead photo of the mountain. It shows an unmapped road, appearing to be in good condition, that climbs to the summit of the mountain from a mapped road as it passes through the 3800- saddle ½ mile E of the summit. If access is not a problem here, this is probably a better way than the way I went. Instead of making the sharp L turn at (35.4938°N, 82.3384°W), continue straight ahead across the S and E sides of the mountain, then head up the ridge from the 3800- saddle.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1512 ft / 460 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:Little Pisgah Mtn Rd
    Trailhead:Little Pisgah Mtn Rd  2900 ft / 883 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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