Bit of a bushwhack. Super overgrown forest. Pretty but at times, frustrating. Short on time, wish I could have gotten Celo.
Hiked up Woody Ridge, which turned out to be not as difficult as I had imagined it. It wasn't an easy trail, but from all I had read about it I guess I thought it would be more difficult. Turned left onto the BMCT and then bushwacked through thick vegetation to the summit.
My goal was Mt Mitchell to Celo Knob and return in one day. This is as far as I made it - the perpetual wind never warmed and continuing on would have meant a much colder windy night return. My attire was thin summer garments. In the end this was good as the return took its toll on me.
Took Woody Ridge trail up to crest, then manways to top of Celo and Gibbs. Very rugged and steep trail, good views on rock outcrops and crest. Very enjoyable, 5 hours round trip.
Beautiful trail with amazing views.
Cool bushwhack - luckily we had clear skies or we might not have ever found it. The day before, in total fog, I couldn't see 20 feet in front of my face. We had great views from most of the 'whack up - also, crazy crawling under bushes and stuff. Paired with Celo, one of the most fun outings in recent memory.
Some maintenance has been done to the lower section of the Woody Ridge Trail, so it's not quite as confusing ascending (the NFS could put up a few more signs, because it's still confusing descending. Also a lot more blowdown on the upper part than I remembered. The trail rut and sign where this trail meets the Black Mountain Crest Trail have both disappeared. Today there were no clouds and we could see Gibbs Mountain; we walked on the BMCT and when we found the west ridge of the mountain (about 15 minutes on the BMCT), we also found a pink ribbon trail. This bushwhack did have quite a bit of cane (the blackberries tasted pretty good, though).
Wow, what can you say about the first three miles of this hike other than PAINFUL! The Woody Ridge Trail is not for the faint of heart. This is definitely one of the toughest routes on the East Coast. Swith-backs were obviously not a concern for the designer of this trail. The high point for Gibbs is a short bushwhack off of the Black Mtn. Crest about 5 min. or so left of the confluence of the Woody Ridge & Black Mtn. Crest Trails. An unmaintained man-way (left) marked w/pink ribbons leads to the highpoint of this ridge.
but a really fun bushwhack!!
Great peak. I have climbed twice, both on Woody Ridge trail. My first trip up was April 12, 2001; with my, then 4 yo, son. Beautiful day, shorts and t-shirt. My son kept getting whacked in the face as I carried him around in the child carrier backpack. I can still hear his voice, " I want my mommy, I want to go home." See my route description.
I finally climbed to the top of Gibbs Mountain on July 3, 2005. I found the hike to be far more tough than I had supposed from examining my topo map. The route was not as crest-oriented as I had hoped, dropping off time and again into deep gaps that forced me to reclimb the slopes to regain the ridges. One of the most exhausting hikes of my life.
The weather did not cooperate in the form of clear skies, and so I was left to slog through a very thick mist and endure a long pouring rain for much of the hike. I hit several high points along the route, bushwhacking time and again to make sure I got the right summit. I never saw a benchmark, but I took several GPS readings to check to see if I got the right peak.