What a bummer! I was looking forward to trying to chase you from here in Colorado.
I climbed that Mount Guyot, not the one in Colorado, about 25 years ago, with one of my sons when he was maybe 12 years old, and another young man, about 18. It was summer, and our main concern was weather. I think we started on the TN side from near the trailhead for Mount Cammerer. There was a good trail most of the way, and the last part of the route was on the AT. Then we left the trail and hiked up through some difficult terrain. Even after all these years I remember:
Part of the upper route appeared to be the remains of an abandoned, unmaintained, overgrown trail dating from long ago. We actually found a rotten sign along the AT, and we decided to leave the AT at that point - that was correct, and it saved us much effort.
It was like hiking on a sloping swamp, with our boots going over a foot down into the muck, until we were almost knee-deep in wet, living material like nothing I’ve seen on any other summit, for much of the remaining ascent - very slow and strenuous.
There was no sign of the summit point, only a very broad high area, with none of the usual visual markings we associate with summits. I remember no rocks on top. It’s like an un-mountain.
At the time we believed that Mount Guyot is the third highest prominent USA summit east of the Mississippi, and it may well be. Mount Mitchell and Clingmans Dome are higher. We felt very proud to have climbed it, and it was obvious from the top that very few people make the effort. Hope you can join the club…
The descent was easier than the climb, but I still remember wading through all that biomass - moss, bog material, living things dark and mysterious. Perhaps in winter it will be frozen and no problem.
We three were in good shape, the weather held, and we did very well - it was a long, humid, summer day. In bad weather it would be a very bad place indeed…rather like the Moors of Scotland.
Please be sure to take GPS so you can find the summit. If clouds roll in, hitting the AT will not be too hard, as it winds partly around the mountain. Use a compass or GPS.
Whoever first activates this strange peak absolutely MUST write it up and post notes on the Summit Page for others.
Mount Guyot may be the strangest high peak in the East, and I look forward to when someone activates it!