Pignut Mountain is a free-standing mountain on the eastern side of the Shenandoahs. There are no trails to its summit though it can be seen from many areas of the park. I have been looking at this beautiful mountain for years and had always wondered what it would be like to climb it. Saturday I mapped out the shortest way to its top off of the Hull School Trail and set out to find out what was up there. You could see the entire ridgeline of the Shenandoah ridge from the top of Pignut. The bushwhack was steep but a great deal of fun.
Sunday I had agreed to meet Binli who I had met a few weeks ago over at Overall Run for a hike on Old Rag. Binli clearly has more friends than anyone else, as she amassed a fairly large group of hikers with whom she works, long time friends and people to whom she easily endears herself after quick meetings on mountains. The lady is obviously very popular.
The day weatherwise was spectacular, not a cloud in the sky and the Shenandoahs were awash in beautiful fall colors. It had been many years since I climbed Old Rag, and I had a great deal of fun with the rock scramble at the top. A word of warning for those who go, the Park Service does charge an entry fee at the parking area, however, your National Parks Pass will get you in for free if you have one. The view is a wonderful 360 degree offering: You can see the Shenandoahs to the West, Doubletop Mountain to the South, Deal and Dulaney Mountain to the Southeast. One of the Binli's coworkers, Jim, was the speediest hiker but we all very impressed with a couple who claimed to do no exercise at all but were able to handle the hike valiantly. Although this hike only entails 7-8 miles it can be pretty strenuous due to the 2500 ft. elevation change. Here is our group picture near the top.
After we finished our hike, Binli and Michael invited everyone over to their beautiful home for a wonderful delicious dinner and post-hike party. I hope Binli invites me on a few more hikes.