Did you find water along the way? There should have been three or four good sources on the way up from the BSA camp.
AntiKate and I hiked Cold Mtn two falls in a row back during the drought. We had to carry every drop of water we used.
The first time we did a day hike from DB BSA camp. The summit greeted us with a peek of the view, followed by a whiteout and a short but heavy rainstorm. (Yes, during the drought!)
The second time we spent the night on the summit after hiking from the parking lot south of Shining Rock, down the Narrows, across Deep Gap and up Cold Mountain. I hung in my hammock, and the rest of the crew were on the ground, near a hornet's nest beside the trail!
The 3,000' drop from summit to the SE foot of the mountain, east of Deep Gap, is particularly impressive to me. There is a trail leading in that direction from Deep Gap. That low area nestled up against the mountain is private land inside the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, and would be a very cool place to hide out. Somewhere near Cold Mtn they are trying to build expensive homes