Tue, Jan 24 2012 - Awesome Hightower Bald Explorer (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Mark
Participants:Mark, Joyce T., Allan, Tony C, Charlie Cottingham, Jean

Write Up:
Well, the name really fit..... Awesome! It was a gorgeous sunny day for an exploration through one of the most rugged and remote areas in the state to summit Georgia's third highest peak, Hightower Bald. We arrived at the trail head... oh yeah, there are no trails.... at about 10 AM. We began our hike from a parking area near Shoal Branch. After less than a half mile of relatively flat hiking, we tackled the first of two incredibly steep hills, with only a slight reprise of ¼ mile in-between. Overall, we gained over 1600 feet of elevation in one mile that required some "four-on-the-floor" scrambling in places. We then made our way along a ridge line, with a continuous 4,000+ foot elevation, towards Hightower Bald. After a stop at Montgomery Corner, a unique jog in the GA/NC border, we made our way up to the 4,568 foot summit of Hightower Bald. We then headed down the, somewhat precarious, south side of Hightower to get to the top of the cliffs for some spectacular views to the south and west. From that point we then made our way down, down, down 2,000 feet of extremely steep terrain, visiting a bonus waterfall on the way back to our vehicles.

We had an adventurous exploration, with great weather, visiting several 4,000+ foot overlooks, Montgomery Corner, locating a rarely found Geocache, summiting the 4,568 foot Hightower Bald, reaching the top of the cliffs, and discovering a hidden waterfall. Yes... awesome!

These are a couple links to photos of the hike; thanks to Joyce and Tony: