Transylvania County High Point Trip Report

Chestnut Knob or Bald (6,000 ft)

Date: June 19, 2000
Author: Mike Beavers

This one was a nightmare. I do not every want to do this one again. I parked at Black Balsam Trail head which is about a mile off the parkway. (The trail up to Devil's Courthouse was closed because of nesting birds.) The trail map that I bought showed that the Art Loeb Trail came fairly close to the summit so we took this one which ended up being about a 4 mile hike. After the trail got as close to the summit as it was going to get, there was the marked but unnamed side trail heading towards the summit. I took this trail until it got as close to the summit as it was going to get. Then I started bushwacking my way to the top. I soon was trying to make my way through head high blackberry vines and blow downs. I had decided to wear shorts that day because of bald in the name I thought it would be a fairly easy climb. After I got about half way to the top I realized that I was in a big mess with blackberry vines, blow downs etc., but I was too close to the top to stop, so on I went. After I reached the top I walked around for a minute and I found a Vienna Sausage can stuck upside down on a dead tree limb. I wondered if someone form the group left it as a sign that they had been there. When I started down I decided to take a different route. Anything had to be better than what I bushwacked up. Boy, was I wrong. The way down was even worse. To top it all off my wife decided to wait on trail for me to return. She panicked after I had been gone for about fifteen minutes and started back down the trail looking for help. When I finally made it back to the trail she was gone so I had to go chase her down to boot. I made the top but my wife was upset with me, I lost my watch, my legs look I had been in a fight with a cat and lost, and I fell on and crushed my water bottle.