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Ascent of Big Pinnacle on 2013-11-24

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Just me
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, November 24, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Big Pinnacle
    Location:USA-Virginia
    Elevation:5040 ft / 1536 m

Ascent Trip Report

This documents my ascents of the Big Pinnacle which I ended up doing three times on this loop hike. We had already enjoyed the pinnacle view from the first ascent straight out of the parking lot since the Visitor Center was closed for the season and cold weather that came in. But Karen was chilled and decided to go down with Willie (our puppy) while Daniel and I finished scrambling around on a nearby rock formation. When we caught up to where she was supposed to wait she was gone. We worried she took the loop back down the way we had come earlier and forgot to get back to the car we had to ascend a little to the junction with the Big Pinnacle Trail.

We took a wrong turn rushing to catch her and ended up back near the top of the Pinnacle so I continued up and looked around for the second time that day (nice views!!) Then we rushed down the main trail towards the parking lot thinking we would catch her but we did not. We got worried that she went the other way and would be a mess in this weather so Daniel went back up to the junction of the two trails to see if she was coming back and I ran down to the car. BUT she was there at the car with the puppy shivering! Ut oh! I let her in with the dog and ran back up the mountain again and yelled down to Daniel huddled in the junction weather shelter where the main trails come together. Seeing that I was above him by 50 feet or so and only had only about 60 feet to the summit of Big Pinnacle, I ran up and tagged it again and met Daniel at the junction of the connector trail and we ran down to Karen and Willie.

As a result, I was able to take this simple hike alternative and stretch it to a 3.3 miles; over 1000 feet of gain; grabbing both peaks at least once; and checking out how the dog would do in frigid weather. I was surprised how Willie with his very short FL hair did well for most of the hike full of energy and excitement. We had a plaid dog vest on him and a scarf for warmth but at the end of the day, he was starting to get tired and cold and was happy to get his Weimerauner body back into the warm car.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:90 ft / 27 m
    Total Elevation Loss:360 ft / 109 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Frigid, Very Windy, Clear
10F at trailhead. Colder at top and wind chill
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:90 ft / 27 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Route:Big Pinnacle Trail
    Start Trailhead:saddle between two pinnacles  4950 ft / 1508 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:360 ft / 109 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Big Pinnacle Trail
    End Trailhead:Parking lot above Massie Gap  4680 ft / 1426 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Haw-Pinnacle-Wilburn

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Big Pinnacle2013-11-24 a460 ft / 140 m
2Haw Orchard Mountain2013-11-24 b265 ft / 81 m
3Big Pinnacle2013-11-24 c90 ft / 27 m
4Big Pinnacle2013-11-24 d360 ft / 110 m
5Lower Wilburn Ridge2013-11-24 e360 ft / 110 m
Total Trip Gain: 1535 ft / 468 m    Total Trip Loss: 1535 ft / 469 m



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