One peak that I wanted to bag, and one that has been on my to-hike list for many, many years is Big Butt Mountain. It's one of those peaks that many people ignore because it's not quite a 6,000-foot summit. My GPS reading came out at 5,961 feet which is, I think, pretty accurate. I calibrated it as nearly as I could before I hit the trail.
One thing that is strange to me is that the summit is clothed in hardwoods and rhododendron rather than spruce and balsam trees like most of the rest of the Black Mountain high summits. What's different about this mountain from other Black Mountain summits that are at, or above, 6,000 feet in elevation?
|Yeah, this is a "trail". Unofficial manways like this one tend to get overwhelmed by vegetation when people don't use them. Fortunately for me, something was using this one to help me find my way. That something was...|
|...a bear! The Black Mountains are dense with bears. This pile of bear scat was sitting in the middle of the manway. Which actually makes it, I would reckon, a bear trail.|
|Most of the rhododendrons on the summit were in full, glorious bloom.|
|I had been told that there are no views from the summit. That information is correct, as the top is fully clothed in dense vegetation. This was the closest thing to a long-range view to be had up there.|
|This ancient, gnarly birch tree was perched just below the summit. Birch trees at such altitudes tend to get twisted into weird shapes and end up looking really strange.|
|There were a few rhododendron blossoms still waiting to unfurl at the summit.|
No pesky humans! No blabbering companions! No slobbering dogs! Just me and the sounds of the wild forest!