Ascent of Coosa Bald on 2013-05-19

Climber: Dan Hildebrand

Date:Sunday, May 19, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Coosa Bald
    Elevation:4280 ft / 1304 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was one of those "good livin'" peakbagging treks. Faced with faulty GPS trail maps of the area and thunderstorms, I still managed to bag Blood, Slaughter and Coosa Bald in one shot!

I started at the Byron Reese trail head in Neels Gap and made it up the AT and Blood Mountain pretty quickly. No views, it was too misty to see anything. Watch some of those switchbacks, I guess the south doesn't believe in aggressive blazing, so I wound up exploring a few dead end-herd paths on the way up.

Jogging down the AT on the other side I managed to overshoot the trail I wanted (Duncan Ridge) and jogged down the Slaughter Creek trail (I was headed to Slaughter Mountain, that Slaughter Creek sounds reasonable, right?). After a while I looked up at Slaughter Mountain and realized I was headed away from it, which ended up being a 2.5 mile and 1000' of elevation reclamation. Oh well...

Once back on the Duncan Ridge trail I quickly made it to the Coosa Wilderness trail and up near the Slaughter Mountain summit. The bushwhack to the top wasn't so bad, and I found a sign near the heap of boulders at the height of land. I returned to the Coosa Wilderness trail via the north side of Slaughter (definitely the best way to hit Slaughter) and continued down the ridge to the north summit (it's right on the trail...)

What the hell I thought, it wasn't raining that hard, I'll hit Coosa Bald too. That's when the thunderstorms started, but at least the Coosa Wilderness and Duncan Ridge trails provided an easy route to the top.

I was pretty spent at this point and the thunderstorms were getting my nerves up (and soaking me) so I began to think about retreating via the roads and Vogel State Park. I decided not to and began retracing my steps. It was totally worth it when the storms (and clouds) cleared and provided some great views from Blood Mountain!
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