Paddy Mountain, 3 High Heads, South Section, Virginia

Kids, don't try this at home. Really, I mean that.

If you are thinking of doing what I just did, you better know your GPS and you better be in shape. This is NOT the trek to try out hand-me-down Garmin that your brother gave you because he bought a new one.

I spent the better part of the summer planning this little caper. I looked at every angle of Paddy Mountain trying to figure out a way up and down. I looked at the aerial imagery and the USGS TOPOs and determined there was no easy approach. There is a reason this mountain is untrailed: It's a pile of rocks, and where there are no rock there is mountain laurel that is intertwined in one big knot.

Although I didn't take this route, the easiest way to the peak may be from the south ridge, you might start where the Tuscarora Trail turns westward. My route was counterclockwise, I went up the west slope and down the east side. I went up a rock slide I went down a rock slide. Naturally, I decided to err on the side of stupidity and didn't take a cell phone or a PLB. It didn't matter, if I had fallen there would have been no way to get me down anyway. I would have been turkey vulture snack food. I did not take any pictures of the rock slides because I was having enough trouble keeping my balance, I wasn't going to start fooling with my camera. You are going to have to take my word they exist.

Lucky for me I had planned everything quite carefully, my DeLorme PN40 was loaded up with the USGS Topos 1:24 which proved very helpful in deciding the route. Every contour counted. I was very happy I summited and even happier when I saw the minivan. Damn I'm good.

Paddy Mountain 3 High Heads

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