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Ascent of Horn Mountain on 2014-09-22

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, September 22, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Horn Mountain
    Location:USA-Alabama
    Elevation:1924 ft / 586 m

Ascent Trip Report

An adventure in planning. I did not want to make this a drive up CHP. I planned it as a long hike in. I wanted to see if you could hike up the power easement off Taylor Road which would have made it a significant, nearly 1000 foot gain in a 2.7 mile RT clip, but finding that in the dark and analyzing it was risky so I stayed with my conventional route that John Mitchler described so well. As it turns out, the power easement from the top looks like it would have been fairly rugged with grow back.

I found Porter Gap easily off SR 77. The maintenance road to the towers is literally a fast gravel turn up, poorly marked, and right before the intersection with the two paved roads. Mitchler describes it as a challenge with a small rental vehicle but made it to the tower pull off. I did not risk it. about half way in the ruts around the cross drains were too deep for me to risk at daybreak in a rental car and I hiked it in. This road, CR 600-1 has some washouts so your luck is dependent on where they are in maintenance. On this day, it was a risk without a SUV. My SUV would have made the entire route with ease.

I parked at around elevation 1500 near the hard bend at mile 2.9 to 3.0. There was decent road above this washout and plenty of places to turn around but I did not know that in the dark. I began hiking at 6:20 AM

I soon came upon a Comm Tower near the bend at mile 3.7 where the road swings south. I saw a sloped small knob with fun rock on it and thought if I had time it might be fun to scamper up the side and play on some rock instead of a maintenance road all day. At the turn off to the Horn Mountain is a huge gate that you can easily walk around. The top has the picnic building and the fire tower is as described in other reports. I made the 3.2 miles and vertical ascent in 50 minutes - a good clip in the morning.

On the way back at he low saddle at elevation 1650, I found the flagging that takes you to the historic trails shown on the USGS map that goes to the west side of the range behind Horn Mountain. The trail is still there. I could not find where it ties back at the other saddle at elevation 1780. I will leave that for someone to explore that has more time.

I checked out the overlook at elevation 1585 on the USGS. Nice views and rock for photos but a lot of garbage from weekend warriors camping and littering. Yuck

I then went back to the middle tower and saw the same formation of rocks and no debris and decided to scamper up to see the top of the small knob that reaches elevation 1,700.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:769 ft / 233 m
    Total Elevation Loss:709 ft / 215 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.8 mi / 9.3 km
    Grade/Class:1
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Partly Cloudy
65F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:609 ft / 185 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 424 ft / 129 m; Extra: 185 ft / 56m
    Loss on way in:185 ft / 56 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:CR 600-1
    Start Trailhead:CR 600-1 at 1,500 feet  1500 ft / 457 m
    Time:50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:524 ft / 159 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 364 ft / 111 m; Extra: 160 ft / 48m
    Gain on way out:160 ft / 48 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:CR 600-1
    End Trailhead:CR 600-1 adjacent to point 1700  1560 ft / 475 m
    Time:40 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Talladega

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Horn Mountain2014-09-22 a769 ft / 234 m
2Horn Knoll2014-09-22 b165 ft / 50 m
3The Pinnacle2014-09-22 c353 ft / 108 m
Total Trip Gain: 1287 ft / 392 m    Total Trip Loss: 1287 ft / 393 m



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