Ascent of Bird Knob on 2015-10-22

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, October 22, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Bird Knob
    Location:USA-West Virginia
    Elevation:1864 ft / 568 m

Ascent Trip Report

A bushwack and track to 2 areas ..... 2 miles, 3:15 hours RT for both areas including the 14 mile drive between the areas, and the chat with Wetzel.

There are 2 candidate high point areas for Clay County, I went to both using Michael Schwartz's TR which still applies. I had an interesting visit all per this full report.

BIRD KNOB .... bushwack, 1 mile, 70 minutes RT.
From the village of Belva, Junction of Hwy #16/39, we traveled north on #16 for 6.84 Miles to a left turn on Independence Road (CR#10), in the Hamlet of Independence. We zeroed our odo.
0.00M ... left hwy #16 westbound on CR#10.
1.86M ... turned left on Bird Hollow Road (CR#10)
3.54M ... past by MB#1657 "Willy Bird" on the right. Perhaps the peak is named after this Willy Bird.
3.73M ... arrived at Michael's pullout on the right, pavement ends, rough dirt continues, parked here with the summit to the south. Prior to doing-so we drove the very rough road to a locked gate, deciding to turn back.
I climbed the moderately steep slope generally south about .2 miles to the ridge where I found an old track. Turned right and followed the track up the ridge .3 miles directly to the obvious peaked summit with a rock cairn at the PB coordinates. The deciduous woods (colorful on this day) are open with no undergrowth, fairly easy going. The summit offers limited views through the trees.
After looking around I finally found one only BM "USGS BIRD, No1, 1961 (with arrow)" embedded in rock on the rock ledge 18 yards south of the cairn. Couldn't find the others.
I ascended in 30 minutes, descended in 20.
We drove back out to Independence and continued north.

ONE AREA 2 MILES SOUTHEAST OF FOLA ON CLAY/NICHOLAS COUNTY LINE (1,840+ ft) ..... track walk, 1 mile. 50 minutes RT
From CR#10 we drove north on #16 for 5.5 miles to a right turn on Upper Sycamore Creek Road (CR#24), we zeroed our odo.
0.00M ... We left eastbound on CR#24.0.
1.93M ... past Payne Hollow Road on the right.
2.49M ... pass-by Baptist Church.
4.54M ... pavement ends, dirt begins.
4.66M ... driveway on the right signed "#4788, W Neal", at GPS 38.33602,-81.07919, according to topo maps just past the Clay/Nicholas County Line, but no evidence on the ground.
We went up to the house and met Wetzel Neal, a beautiful elderly gentleman who was very helpful and full of information.
He is of the opinion that his house is in Nicholas County, even though all of his taxes and utility services are paid to Clay County. His daughter lives up the road.
After a long chat he suggested I take the route described here which is the route shown on the satellite image heading eastbound to the ridge.
Wetzel asked me, "How long will you be."
"Oh, perhaps an hour."
He smiled, "Just in case I have to come looking for you."
From the front of Wetzel's house I walked a track north 100 yards to a right turn on a track that I climbed easterly (moderately steep) .3 miles to a track on the ridge (38.33538,-81.07499), where I turned left and followed the track north .2 miles directly to the obvious summit.
The topo tells us that the Clay/Nicholas Boundary Line goes right over this summit, however there is no evidence on the ground, except for red blazes on 2 large trees at 38.33759,-81.07410, which is very close to the Line.
I stomped the whole high ground to ensure my HP and called it good.
I should note that the whole area east of this summit ridge in Nicholas County has been stripped mined and graded, there is evidence of rejuvenation.
When I got back to the house Wetzel was spraying around his house. "I'm spraying for lady bugs, they're a real problem this year, the dam things are in the house."

We drove to Beckley, where we will stay at a Microtel for the next 2 nights.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1332 ft / 405 m
    Extra Gain:430 ft / 131 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:visit to 2 areas from CR10 & 24
    Trailhead:CR10 & 24  1392 ft / 424 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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