Ascent of West Wildcat Top on 2018-06-03

Climber: Chris Gilsdorf

Date:Sunday, June 3, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:West Wildcat Top
    Location:USA-North Carolina/Tennessee
    Elevation:4280 ft / 1304 m

Ascent Trip Report

A drive-up from the west. Tagged this on the way home from a fizzled attempt at catching sunrise from Max Patch--was in the clouds virtually the entire time there.

I came in from the Hartford, TN exit. You can take the shortcut up one-lane, paved, Black Mountain Rd, or just stay on the more well-maintained Big Creek Rd. At New Prospect Baptist Church, turn R onto Grassy Fork Rd, which will eventually become gravel. At the end of the valley, after passing a few rustic homes, the road begins to climb quite steeply--this will be a challenge in a passenger car like mine! Low gear will be a must, and even then, the washouts and steep grade will be too much for some to want to take on without high clearance or 4WD. I persisted, however, and the road brought me right to the FAA facility on the summit. No gates or negative signage except for the fenced-in facility itself. The clouds had started to break apart, so there were some nice views back toward Cammerer and the northern Smokies, as well as off to the west. I returned the same way for about an hour roundtrip from the freeway.
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