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Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Help 1 Wk hike 9 people in SE on 02/28/2011 21:07:19 MST Print View

Hey everyone!

So I am in New York and I am trying to find a place to hike in the South East (NC, West Virginia, Tenessee, etc.) area for a week, approx. 50-60 miles from March 12. I am going to be leading a group there from my university, many without any backpacking experience. I thought first the Smokys but after calling I found out they have a group limit at the shelters of 8 and we are 9. I thought I would ask here for some suggestions. Not sure if this is the correct place to put this thread so if not I will gladly move it (to chaff?). Thanks!
Evan

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Help 1 Wk hike 9 people in SE on 02/28/2011 21:37:50 MST Print View

As long as you don't mind a shuttle, what about going southbound on the AT from VA603 to Damascus? If I remember correctly it is 64 miles and goes through the Virgina Highlands, Grayson Highlands State Park (wild ponies), a short blue blaze away from Mt. Rogers, the highest point in Virgina, near Whitetop Mtn, the 2nd highest point in Virgina, Buzzard Rock, the Virginia Creeper Trail, and the iconic trail town of Damascus.

There are also some good choices in Pisgah National Forest / Shining Rock Wilderness in NC but I don't have my map in front of me.

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Hike on 02/28/2011 22:48:34 MST Print View

Bradford-

Thank you very much for the recommendation! I will look at the maps in the morning to see about that route, although it sounds excellent. We might be able to get a shuttle I will have to check on that. I have looked at the pisgah national park map that I have but I wasnt able to see anything good in that distance range. I dont have the best map though so I will have to check my resources at base camp in the morning. Further suggestions also appreciated, I am meeting with my co-leader tomorrow to talk about options (we couldnt find anything this evening).
Thanks!
Evan

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Hike on 03/01/2011 18:33:39 MST Print View

For a shuttle from Damascus call Mt. Rogers Outfitters. There are multiple shuttle services in town primarily for shuttling bikes and riders on the Creeper Trail, but I am sure they would take a van load of hikers to 603 as well.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Snow? Help 1 Wk hike 9 people in SE on 03/01/2011 19:13:23 MST Print View

Hi Brad,

Is the snow all gone then right on up to 6K and on the northwest slopes? I've been trying to check via the "High on LeConte" site but the caretaker Alex has been off the mountain the last 10 days or so during this warm stretch. Nothing showing on any webcams. You have any up-to-date info? Thanks!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Snow? Help 1 Wk hike 9 people in SE on 03/01/2011 19:39:39 MST Print View

I was up on the AT in the Smokies on Presidents Day weekend and while there were some patches of snow here and there on the northwest slopes, nothing like a month ago. Anywhere that got much sun at all was completely snow free.

You can see my pics here to check the snow levels then:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2114886&id=1480185348&l=6642f7c944

You also might check this out which shows no snow on in the park even at LeConte:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/productview.php?pil=MRXRTPMRX

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Help 1 Wk hike 9 people in SE on 03/02/2011 07:41:30 MST Print View

Thanks Brad! Alex just got back on LeConte and reports the snows all gone there as well so I guess that's it for this winter barring some new system out of forecast range.

Youse guys in New York: There's another advantage to Brad's suggestion re: The Virginia section (other than the variety and scenery which is all great) in that it's A LOT closer and be relatively easy to access right off I-81. You can bomb right down.