Pilot Mountain, Pinnacle, North Carolina
Elevation:  2421'
May 2, 2015 - Pilot Mountain is a remnant of the Sauratown Mountains, ancient 
quartzite outcroppings 250-500 million years old.  It is a metamorphic monadnock
rising to a peak 2,421 feet. The Saura Indians, the region's earliest known inhabitants,
called the mountain "Jomeokee", meaning "great guide".  Visible from everywhere around,
I guess the native Americans knew what they were talking about.  Ignoring the crowds
that visit today, the place feels spiritually special, and I couldn't help but reflect on its 
timeless and sacred beauty while climbing.


I've driven past Pilot Mountain for years with great wonder, so was glad to finally ascend
its slopes to satisy my curiosity.  What I found entirely surpassed my expectations; living
a mere two hours away, I expect it will now be a regular destination when I get the urge
to play on rocks.  Beginning at the Visitor Center on a fine sunny Saturday morning I
parked the car and jumped on the blue-blazed Mountains-to-Sea Trail for a three-mile
climb to the parking lot on top.  The expansive views to the south were checkered with
the freshly plowed red soil of farmer's fields for as far as you could see.  Climbers were
assembling in the morning hours at the top of the ledges, setting their ropes before
rappelling down to spend the day sending a variety of pitches up the exposed rock on the
south side of the mountain.


I chatted a bit before making my way around the Ledge Spring Trail that would take me
below to watch climbers of a variety of talents practice their art up and down the face of
the rocks.  It was enjoyable running the highly technical trail around the south side of the
mountain, but spending time looking at the climbs was most fascinating to me.  This is a
place I am not likely to come back to for a trail run, but for sure I will return with a rope,
harness, and hardware to jock about on the rocks.  I finished my brief time here with about
seven miles of running before heading out to Mount Rogers in Virginia for a furtherance of
the day's adventure running up Virginia's highest peak.

Overall there are about 80 named routes ranging from 5.5 to 5.13.  As soon as I can find
someone to belay me I will head back.  Below are some of the pix I returned with.