Skirted the north side until we reached an easier area to climb up from the west. The west face of the mountain is the easiest to climb by far, I'd recommend climbing up that way if you don't want to face Class 4 moves. Great climb.
My sons, Ben & Zach, and I hiked from the Sunset Parking Lot. We left the trail and ended up going a little north before returning to the E/W Trail at the N base of Crabeyes. We bushwhacked our way to the NE side of Mt Mitchell and ascended to the top via the somewhat gradual slope that extends from the peak of Mt Mitchell to the north. Saw a gray fox on the N slope return trip. A (3) hour hike in, (1) hour on the mountain, and a (2) hour return trip to the parking lot.