Mt. Pugh – Scramble
RT: 11 miles
Elevation Gain: 5500 ft
Adventurers: Gabi, Aaron, Andrew, Teresa, Kirstin, Steven
Once again the weather man tricked us into thinking it’ll be a gorgeous day and we’ll get plenty of sunshine. With vision of all the magnificent views we’ll be getting today we arrived at the trailhead and found it partially hidden in the fog.
In was early in the day though and with 5500 ft of elevation we had to gain we figured the sun will have plenty of time to burn the clouds off before we get to our destination.
So we headed up. The first part of the trail took us through the forest where the mist around us made this otherwise regular forest walk more interesting. It was a long walk but the grade was rather gentle. We made a good time to the meadow where we finally got into some steeper terrain and slowed a bit. The flowers were plentiful as we switchbacked up the hill; however all the views remained hidden behind clouds.
We reached Stujack Pass and took a little break for lunch. With no views, some wind and very light drizzle, there was no reason to hang around there for too long and soon we were back on our feet making our way towards Mt. Pugh summit.
The route got more interesting once we left Stujack Pass and now we were scrambling our way up, getting around rocks, going over few somewhat sketchy exposed part or the trail, but for most of the ascend we had a great time and progressed slowly but surely to the summit.
Once atop of the mountain we took a deep breath and enjoyed the never ending thick layer of clouds everywhere around us. It was pleasurably warm and windless up there. We sat down to make our entries into the summit register and then a little while later we noticed a patch of clear sky revealing little bit of our surrounding. Curiously we watched as it made its way across the sky. The sunshine that came shortly afterwards, making the sky above us bluer and bluer, and it felt unspeakably good too.
It never completely clear but despite the fact we only got tiny glimpse of all the mountains around us, the summit itself held its own beauty making the trip very worthwhile. We stayed up for about an hour before the sun, traveling slowly down towards horizon, reminded us it was a good time to start heading back.