Madison County Highpoint Trip Report

Sandymush Bald

Date: November 17, 2008
Author: Brian Bockhahn

I came in from the LBEEC/eastern side as in Patrick Craft’s trip report. I called several times and left messages but never heard back. The posted signs were blank so if the property changed hands, I trespassed I guess.

I walked in from the yellow guard rail gate and up the logging roads. I had a map but the roads were not on any I've seen so just allow plenty of time. Most of the lower ones seemed to either short cut or loop back but I found it easy to just head uphill on the widest and most rutted log road. At one junction with a piece of exhaust pipe in a tree, I turned right and then around the hill, then went left up a four wheeler track re-joining a log road. I think all the other roads would lead up there eventually though. From then on, the briars thickened but my only problem was the increasing rain and sleet. When the last logging road ended at a sort of T turn around, it was time to head uphill. Either I was in a different spot than Patrick or he's a mountain goat -- or both. Anyway, it was very steep uphill jaunt and I laid out some pink flags as I went. The mossy wet rocks were slippery as was the fallen wet foliage. It seemed like a lot more than 100 yards and it just got steeper. Nearing some rhododendrons, I climbed a series of rock ledges that were neat. Then I saw sky and finally the barbed wire fence. Hopping it, to my right/north was the grassy bald and a white stake. I went left a short distance to the summit. The west wind blasted me with sleet and blew my pack cover off my pack and into the rhododendrons. I didn't bring my camera but settled for a rubbing of the BM.

Going down was tough, slipping and sliding in the wet leaves, a few times hanging on by a tree in a self arrest. I slid past most of my pink flags so they are still up, the same ones I used at Pasquotank six days earlier, crawling in a hot sunny swamp! What a diverse state.

2 hours up, 1.5 hours down.