Mount Mitchell Summit Log (#5633)
- Signed By: dan
- Date Submitted: June 20, 2004
Mt. Mitchell is a tough climb. It is certainly in the top 5 of the toughest climbs in the east. My number one choice for hardest in the east is the eastern approaches of Mt. Washington. The trails in New England are rugged from the bottom all the way to the top thanks to those Pleistocene glaciers!
Today was my second summit climb in preparation for some climbing out in Colorado. When you get up to the powerline switchbacks on Mt. Mitchell, you are staggering from the lactic acid buildup and really start to suffer. The trail becomes more rocky and difficult as you climb, so you shouldn't go too fast on those bottom switchbacks.
Conditions were much better today than in February 2000, when I had to contend with several patches of ice. Today I was trying to break 2 hours on the climb with a day pack (backpacking up Mt. Mitchell with a full load is an extreme workout), but I fell a bit short (and also took the longer Higgins Bald side trail), so I had to settle for a 2 hour 3 minute climb time. I didn't push the descent, but made it down in 1 hour 5O minutes. You really appreciate how much you have climbed when you complete the descent. I will be sleeping well tonight......