McDowell County Highpoint Trip Report

Pinnacle (5,665 ft)

Date: December 22, 2007
Author: Shannon Dillmore

Unfortunately, the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed so I had to take a circuitous route. This entailed heading north to US-19, then heading east through Burnsville and south on NC-80. NC-80 intersected with the Parkway and I headed west, climbing into a thick fog. I had no problem finding a parking spot near the white gate on the BRP due north of the summit.

The trail mentioned in previous trip reports, not maintained but quite obvious, led to the summit. The trail had a few spots of ice on it but these were easily avoided. A final bit of scrambling found us at the top after just over a half mile. The dog, never an enthusiastic scrambler, struggled with the rocks a bit. Couldn't find the benchmark but we didn't look long as there were no views. It was pretty windy and 35 degrees and we needed to find a camping spot for the next day.

Overnight, we backtracked all the way to Asheville via NC-80 and US-19. All nearby public campgrounds were closed for the winter, so we took a private ground for $20 just north of Dellwood on US 276. The rest of the patrons were in RVs or trailers on small lots in this campground. This seemed to be a drunken camper convention. Sleep was OK until a storm system moved in, dumping rain at 3:30 am and lifting and tossing our tent around. By 7 am we began packing up but I put the dog in the car as it was pouring. Everything got filthy and wet, so I crammed it into the trunk and set off.

Hike statistics: round trip 1.1 miles, 500 feet of gain, 40 minutes.