Hawksbill ScramblingI recently made a quick weekend trip to Linville Gorge with my brother Jim and my nephew Dave. One of the main things I wanted to accomplish on this trip was to get in some scrambling somewhere on the cliffs of the Gorge. Fortunately Dave and I were able to get in about a good hour of scrambling on the cliffs of Hawksbill Mountain, and what follows is essentially a photo trip report of us having a great time on Hawksbill on a beautiful North Carolina Saturday morning. Happy Trails!
Since we planned on hiking up Sitting Bear in the afternoon we parked at that trailhead and used the Jonas Ridge Trail to get to Hawksbill. We made the quick hike up to the summit and I immediately started looking for some cliffs to go exploring on. It wasn’t difficult to find some. As we would discover, there are a large number of cliffs and ledges on Hawksbill that allow for good scrambling opportunities. As for you climbers, Hawksbill offers a number of what I would assume are some challenging technical routes.
My brother Jim was content to just enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Gorge high up on a summit perch. And the summit of Hawksbill is a great place to do that. Actually, Hawksbill’s summit offers one of my favorite views of the Gorge, particularly looking south.
So while Jim relaxed on the summit, Dave and I went exploring. First, we headed down some cliffs on the west edge right from the summit proper. We unfortunately didn’t get too far down. We found ourselves on a narrow ledge that offered some good exposure. Eventually the ledge narrowed enough to make us a little uncomfortable so we retreated back to the summit.
The summit proper was a little crowded on this Saturday morning so we moved to another quieter viewing location. This spot was great as we had the view all to ourselves, and we saw what looked like a good set of rock outcroppings to try and scramble down to.
For the descent we used the narrow ledges to our advantage, making much of the descent more of a hike than a scramble. Descending some of the cliffs would have been a little rich for our blood so we also did some bushwhacking to avoid some downclimbing.
Eventually we reached a point where it made sense to turnaround and head back for the summit. Dropping any further would have put us into the woods.
For the ascent we chose more of a frontal assault of the cliffs. There were a few in particular that made for some excellent scrambling.