Claw your way up Bearwallow Mountain this Saturday: the Bearwallow Beast 5K race in Gerton, North Carolina, is one of the region’s toughest. Runners climb steep asphalt, gravel roads, and singletrack trail to the summit. It’s one of the most rewarding finishes in the South: beer and bluegrass, along with breathtaking views, await the finishers atop Bearwallow.Bearwallow Mountain is one of the crown jewels of the Hickory Nut Gorge, and its summit will be forever protected thanks to efforts of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. Support their work in safeguarding Appalachia’s mountain treasures by joining the fun this weekend. You don’t have to be a runner: everyone is invited to join the mountaintop festivities, which include bluegrass hoedowns, local food and beer, and raffle. Festivities begin at 1:30; the race takes off at 2 p.m.