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Spruce Knob, WV Highpoint Access in Winter

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Spruce Knob, WV Highpoint Access in Winter

Postby punchline » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:10 pm

Short cut up gully to 104.jpg
Short cut up gully to 104.jpg (538.93 KiB) Viewed 185 times
Greetings - I searched this forum for any intel and looked at the Spruce Knob page about access to this HP in the winter. I got most of what I needed but had 2 specific questions for anyone that is familiar with the area ...

I have a trip the area at the end of March. Assuming the worst case scenario that both Forest Route 112 and Forest Route 104 are impassable as they are not maintained in the winter and I may or may not have a 4-WD, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will snowshoe in. Although there was a trip report in winter indicating that it was about a 16 mile roundtrip, after reviewing other sources and also a cycling map, it looks like more of an 18 mile roundtrip from the start of Forest Route 112.

So, my questions are:

1. From a logistics standpoint to make sure I have enough time to do this, is the 18 mile roundtrip more accurate using 112 and 104?
2. When I looked at the topo map and also looked at the area on Google Earth, it appears that approximately 4414' there is an Overlook. Directly behind the overlook and up the hill it appears that there is a gully that cuts all the way up to 104, potentially knocking off a couple miles. I am assuming it would be all bushwacking based on what I can see off Google Earth, but does anyone know if that is feasible?

Note that I will be calling the Ranger Station to get the latest road conditions as it gets closer to the date and will be carrying winter gear and am experienced in the outdoors - this will be HP #48 for me. I have had to go to Humphrey's and Gannett twice so am able to make intelligent decisions about weather, routes and my safety - I am just wondering if there are any other options if I run out of time or if I should just punt on this one and wait ...

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Re: Spruce Knob, WV Highpoint Access in Winter

Postby nartreb » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:34 pm

I've never been there, but since nobody else is responding:

Looks like there's currently not enough snow to justify snowshoes, so you should make good time.

http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/interactive/ ... &js=1&uc=0

I wouldn't be surprised to find some water in that gully in springtime, but other than that, looking at the aerial photo it looks like open woods and easy travel on moderate slopes. Hell, I'd be tempted to try that next (much steeper and narrower) gully straight to the summit.
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