Ascent of Cheoah Bald on 2017-12-14

Climber: Bradley R

Date:Thursday, December 14, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cheoah Bald
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5062 ft / 1542 m

Ascent Trip Report

How I chose this hike: Wanted to get a peak on the 5,000 foot list. I took my last vacation days of the year, so wanted to get something that was further away than normal.

Parking: I placed "Stecoah Gap" into Google Maps and it took me directly to the trailhead.

The drive: Since it was a long drive for me (2.5 hours) I wanted to split the drive up. I left the house at around 10 PM the day before (12/13) and only stopped to fill up with gas. The roads were empty making for a easy drive. On the way I saw 4-5 shooting stars. Then after parking and getting ready to sleep I saw probably another dozen. Turns out it was the Geminids Meteor Shower, a nice surprise. I slept in the back of my Honda Civic. The sleep wasn't great as there really wasn't enough room to stretch out. I did get about 4.5 hours of sleep waking up at maybe 6:30 AM.

The Hike: I started south on the AT hiking about 5.5 miles. There are no trail intersections and I saw no one. There are also no views except for at the trailhead and the top. The trail is a little rooty and rocky, but overall I think it's smoother than many mountain trails in the western NC. Most of the trail was icy, I had yak-trax, but it never got slick enough that I felt I needed to put them on. The first 3.1 miles are up and down, then for the last 2.4 miles it is pretty much a constant climb.
Over the first 3.1 miles the elevation difference is only about 500', but the hike has been quite a bit more strenuous than this leads on, from all of the ups and downs.
Over the last 2.4 miles you gain roughly 1,400', averaging almost 600ft/mile. From the peak the are view points in several different places allowing many nice views. The snow is old, so it's no longer in the trees, but does add to the winter views.

I return via the same route, running into one group of AT thru-hikers. The were hiking from north-south, so they were getting quite close to finishing. I reach my car after 11 miles of total hiking.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3314 ft / 1010 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3314 ft / 1009 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.8 km
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3314 ft / 1010 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1914 ft / 583 m; Extra: 1400 ft / 426m
    Loss on way in:1400 ft / 426 m
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Route:AT South
    Start Trailhead:Stecoah Gap  3148 ft / 959 m
    Time:3 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1914 ft / 583 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 8.9 km
    Route:AT North
    End Trailhead:Stecoah Gap  3148 ft / 959 m
    Time:2 Hours 47 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Bradley R
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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