Russell County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: March 2004
Author: Ryan Richardson

Beartown Mountain (P = 1,489+ ft) is the 23rd most prominent mountain in Virginia. According to the CoHP website, Bob Packard, Fred Lobdell, Ron Tagliapietra, and Kevin Williamson climbed it back in 2000. Ron called it the "Toughest in the East". I've never hiked in the northeast so I can't say. It's by far the toughest in Virginia though. In his trip report, Fred Lobdell said that it should not be attempted alone, which I took as a challenge. Plus, I did it in early March to qualify as a winter ascent (though, due to unseasonably warm weather, there was no snow).

I took a different route than Packard et al, approaching the 4,560-foot "Junction Knob" (as Ron called it) from the south instead of the east. This was more direct but required a class 3 climb up the very steep south face. It would be class 4 in snow.

Found the remains of the two crashed planes, although the bushwhack to the highest point was not pleasant.

Round trip time 7.25 hours with a net elevation gain about 2,400 feet.