Ascent of Lane Pinnacle on 2013-06-22

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, June 22, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Lane Pinnacle
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5230 ft / 1594 m

Ascent Trip Report

The shortest route to Lane Pinnacle would involve parking on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Potato Field Gap near milepost 368. This is in the "no-stopping" zone that protects the Asheville watershed. Parking on the west side of the BRP would be technically outside the watershed drainage, and there were a couple of cars parked there when I passed by.

Rather than take a chance on getting towed, I parked further up at Beetree Gap, on the access road to the Craggy Gardens picnic area. This made my hike a round trip of 4.0 miles with a total climb of 790 outbound and 440 on the return. From Potato Field Gap, it would be 2.8 miles climbing 790 outbound and 180 return.

The white-blazed Mountain-to-Sea Trail is easy to follow. The first 0.6 miles was freshly weed-whacked. The rest was slightly overgrown and a good place to pick up ticks, though evidently none liked the taste of me. The trail follows the top of a cliffline that towers over the Parkway, so there are some nice views along the way. No scary exposure, but there are a few ledges where a misstep could be awful. There are two short ladders on the steepest sections.


0.0 miles/elevation 4880 Park at Beetree Gap

0.1/4880 MST turns left (Snowball Trail continues straight)

0.6/4620 Potato Field Gap. MST follows the BRP shoulder for about 100 yards southbound. If the roadside has not been mowed recently, you may have to watch carefully to find the MST junction.

1.3/5000 Formidable outcropping where I saw turkey vultures nesting.

1.6/5160 Subpeak with a small campsite on top and clifftop views nearby.

1.8/5060 Saddle

2.0/5230 Lane Pinnacle. A triangle on the topo suggests there is/was a benchmark, but I couldn't find it on the ground nor on the USGS datasheets. There is a small rock cairn on the highest ground. The summit is overgrown but there is a clifftop view just a few feet to the south, overlooking Asheville's Bee Tree Reservoir a half-mile below.

On the NC5K list, this was my 53rd peak out of 184.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1230 ft / 374 m
    Extra Gain:440 ft / 134 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:Beetree Gap  4880 ft / 1487 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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