Are you looking for a new trail running or hiking fitness challenge? Well today we have one for you living in the south east, with the South Beyond 6000 Challenge. Where participants are challenged to hike all of the 6,000ft peaks in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In total 40 peaks make the cut for the list based on the qualification standards (see below). With all but one being found in North Carolina or on the North Carolina – Tennessee border. So if you are looking for some motivation to get out and hit the trails. This may be the perfect challenge for you. Below we’ll go over the rules, mountain qualifications, a complete list of all the peaks on the list, map, and answer some of the most common questions. Let’s get to it!
The South Beyond 6000 Challenge (SB6K)
What is the South Beyond 6000 Challenge (SB6K)?
The South Beyond 6000 Challenge is to summit all the qualifying peaks over 6,000ft in height located in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
Who puts on the SB6K Challenge?
The challenge is put on and tracked by the Carolina Mountain Club. Here is a link to the official challenge page.
What criteria is used to qualify each peak?
There are two pieces of criteria that each peak must meet. The summit elevation is above 6000 feet above sea level. And there must be a drop of 200 or more feet to a saddle between one peak and another qualifying peak or, there is a distance between the peaks of .75 miles.
What are the rules of the South Beyond 6000 Challenge?
- You must summit each mountain on the list.
- Each hike must be at least 5 miles and include at least a 500ft assent to the peak.
*Note: This is not 5 miles per peak, but 5 miles per hike. Many of these peaks can be reached on the same route. This is totally ok as long as the complete hike meets the 5 mile, 500ft rule.
- There are no standard routes for each. But if you choose to do something unique make sure you are using some sort of gps tracker for your submission.
- You must keep track and submit an Accent Record, here is a link to the official copy.
- Your Accent Record should be submitted to [email protected].
- To receive the official completion patch, you must be a member of the Carolina Mountain Club. You can find the application here.
- All completions must be approved by the Carolina Mountain Club committee.
What Mountain Ranges are the Peaks in?
All peaks are located within six ranges; the Great Balsams, Black Mountains, Craggies, Plotts Balsams, Roan Highlands, and Smokies.
What Peaks are Included in the South Beyond 6000 Challenge?
Range: Black Mountains
- Mt. Mitchell, 6684
- Mt. Hallback, 6320
- Mt. Gibbes, 6571
- Mt. Craig, 6647
- Balsam Cone, 6611
- Cattail Peak, 6620
- Winter Star Mountain, 6212
- Gibbs Mountain, 6224
- Celo Knob, 6327
- Craggy Dome, 6080
Range: Great Balsams
- COLD MOUNTAIN, 6030
- SHINING ROCK, 6040
- GRASSY COVE TOP, 6040
- TENNENT MOUNTAIN, 6040
- BLACK BALSAM KNOB, 6214
- CHESTNUT BALD, 6040
- SAM KNOB, 6040
- HARDY, 6110
- REINHART KNOB, 6080
- RICHLAND BALSAM, 6410
Range: Plotts Balsams
- YELLOW FACE, 6032
- WATERROCK KNOB, 6292
- LYN LOWRY, 6240
- PLOTT BALSAM, 6088
Range: Roan Highlands
- Grassy Ridge, 6160
- Roan High Knob, 6285
- Roan High Bluff, 6267
- Clingmans Dome, 6643
- Mt. Collins, 6188
- Mt. LeConte, 6593
- Mt. Kephart, 6217
- Mt. Sequoyah, 6003
- Mt. Chapman 6417
- Mt. Yonaguska, 6120
- Marks Knob, 6169
- Mt. Guyot, 6621
- Old Black, 6370
- Luftee Knob, 6234
- Big Catalooche, 6155
Map of the SB6K Peaks:
Are there trails to all of the peaks?
No. While there are trails to many of the most popular peaks on the list. Many (roughly ⅓) will require a bit of route finding and bushwacking to make the true peak. We recommend taking a photo at the true peak for your records.
Is there a time limit to complete the challenge?
No. You can take as long as you need.
Do you get anything for completing the challenge?
Yes, upon completion and following all of the rules you receive a patch commemorating your achievement.
While peak bagging isn’t typically associated with the south east. The Carolina Mountain Club has done a great job in putting together and running this challenge over the years. Beyond the challenge involved with tagging so many peaks. Comes the motivation to help get others outside and experience this incredible part of the country. I know I have about 10 of these that I have knocked off over the years by chance. And this will be a great motivation for me to go see some places that were not initially on my todo list.
If you have or are currently attempting the SB6K challenge, I’d love to hear from you. So let me know about your experiences in the comments down below. And I look forward to seeing some of you on the trails!