Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Roan Mountain in March


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Dj Riddle
(Dj3452) - F

Locale: Smokies
Roan Mountain in March on 03/07/2011 12:29:07 MST Print View

I want to go backpack from Carvers Gap next weekend, is it going to be too early to go hike up there? I have never been, but the park said it would be suitable next weekend, as it is suppose to be in the 60's. We were going to hike a few mile in on Friday "NIGHT" and then hike all day Saturday and retreat Sunday. Does this sound legit? I have never been to the area, what would you guys bring for warmth? THANKS!

Bruce Warner
(magicrabbit) - F

Locale: Midwest
Carvers Gap on 03/07/2011 17:46:16 MST Print View

Weather should be fine. A really nice hike is from Carver Gap North on the AT. This will take you over 'The Humps' which is one of the prettiest places on the southern Appalachian Trail. About 14 miles from Carver Gap to Tenn Rt 19E. Make arrangments to have breakfast at Mountain Harbour Hostel on 19e. It is truly the best breakfast on the entire AT. www.mountainharbour.net they also do shuttles in the area.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Roan Mountain in March on 03/07/2011 18:05:12 MST Print View

It should be a great time to go. I would guess you would be in the mid to upper 20's for the lows and highs in the high 40's or lower 50's. That is my favorite area on the AT (in the 700 miles I have done). I wouldn't leave your car at Carvers Gap or 19E though as they are both notorious for break ins. I would leave my car at Mountain Harbor Bed and Breakfast / Hostel which is 3/10 mile west of the trail.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: 10T 524631m E 5034446m N
Re: Re: Roan Mountain in March on 03/07/2011 18:18:56 MST Print View

A beautiful time of year to do it. Plan on the possibility of rain and temps down to 20.

A.

Dj Riddle
(Dj3452) - F

Locale: Smokies
Roan Mt on 03/07/2011 18:27:25 MST Print View

Thanks for the tips guys. All I have is a 40 degree bag and a few cheaper heavier rated bags from walmart. Maybe I could double up or find an excuse to buy a 20 degree down bag. I guess we will head north on friday night and just camp along the trail whenever we feel like it. Then head to the get hostel eventually. Thanks for clearing my worries and the advice. I can't wait!

Are there bears in that area? Should we keep are bags away from us?

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Roan Mt on 03/07/2011 19:29:10 MST Print View

I don't think a 40 degree bag will cut it this weekend without supplemental clothing. If you have clothing to wear in the bag you might be alright, but I would probably take a 20* quilt/bag.


That area isn't known for having massive bear problems like some other areas of the AT, but you should still hang your food just in case.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
bag on 03/07/2011 19:41:39 MST Print View

I don't think I'd be caught out anywhere on the AT this time of year without a solid 20* bag, and plenty of R-value beneath me. You might luck-out, but this time of year is very unpredictable and can dip into some pretty cold temps at night. A 40* bag, unless being wielded by the likes of someone of Skurka-like manliness, has no place on the AT this time of year.

Dj Riddle
(Dj3452) - F

Locale: Smokies
Roan on 03/07/2011 19:54:03 MST Print View

Lucky me, I found a 0f swiss army sleeping bag in the garage, just tested it out, i think it will suffice, still bringing the 40 for a liner!...I must say, this thing is soooo bulky, i just kissed my light load away.....

Still, do we need to worry about bears here or can we leave our food with us?

Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
RE:Roan Mtn on 03/07/2011 20:48:05 MST Print View

I was on Roan in January. Low first night was 1.8 degrees and wind up to 40 mph. Oh and 4 foot of snow. Slept warm and toasty in my hammock with a 0 degree Mamba top quilt by Warbonnet. Had two JRB under quilts. As someone else said the hike north is your best choice. No views from Roan High Knob. As for bears do what makes you comfortable. I never hang my food anytime and keep it in a trash bag under my hammock. You will be extremely lucky if you should see a bear. Backcountry bears in the east are shy except maybe New Jersey.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: RE:Roan Mtn on 03/07/2011 21:07:15 MST Print View

Don't forget TN/NC and GSMNP, some very adept and sometimes audacious bears around there...

As for the swiss army bag, sounds like perhaps a Walmart special (or other non-gear shop brand), I'd be cautious of the rating, it would probably be a 30 deg bag at best NEW (my experience with such brands/ratings), and if it's old, the synthetic fill has likely degraded. This might just be my inner gear nut, speaking in the ways that rationalize some of my unnecessary purchases, though.

Either way, have a good time!

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: 10T 524631m E 5034446m N
Re: Roan on 03/07/2011 23:07:37 MST Print View

Also, Overmountain Shelter is a fun place to stay in March, without all the crowds - a big ol' barn that has platforms you can sleep on and look out over the valley. About halfway between Carvers Gap and Roan, I think.

.

.

Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
RE: Overmountain Shelter on 03/08/2011 15:37:42 MST Print View

Overmountain Shelter is north of Carvers Gap at Yellow Mtn Gap. Roan Mtn is south of Carvers Gap. Beautiful views from Overmountain Shelter.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Roan Mountain on 03/08/2011 18:33:58 MST Print View

There's going to be snow Thursday night maybe into Friday morning but should not be a lot and might very well melt out by Friday Aft. Then a beautiful weekend. Yellow Mt Gap and the Over Mountain Shelter are lower but Friday night could be chilly.

Any bears in that area are suicidal but I guess you can never tell. (look at it in Google Earth.........not exactly in the middle of a big wilderness and I believe they shoot bears in them parts)

Yellow Mt Gap/ Over-Mountain Victory Shelter: besides being the route taken in the Revolution by the Over-Mountain Men en route to answering Ferguson's threat to kill their children, ravish their wives and daughters and lay waste to their homes and farms by fire and sword if they didn't swear allegiance to the King or something similar (which they answered at King's Mt by essentially wiping out his entire force in one of the Revolutionary War's most significant victories, turning again the tide toward Independence ) was also very likely the major trans-mountain route for Native Americans between around Wytheville Va to the North to somewhere south of the Smokies and as such would have been a major route indeed. I believe it may very possibly also be the route into what is now Tennessee taken by De Sota in 1540 as it is now known that De Sota very likely visited Xualla or the Berry site at the eastern terminus of this possible route from whence he then departed to cross the range. A route that includes this pass is both the most gradual, level and the most direct and open trans-mountain route for foot traffic and just happens to have 2 major pre-historic sites at each end..Xualla on the east and Watauga Old Fields at Elizabethton Tn (original European settlement in Tn.)on the west...... And the fact it was the favored trans-mountain route by the soon to be Tennesseans and even Virginians from up the Holston Valley towards Bristol and Abingdon is telling. Actually that sunrise photo of Dale's looking east and maybe a hair SE is a bit of an illustration. The Mt in the near foreground is Elk Mt and then way in the distance the ridges south of Grandfather Mt and north of the Linville Gorge area around Jonas Ridge. Down current day 181 below and east of those would be Xualla. To the west, the other way it's a gradual 4 miles down into open fairly level country in Tennessee

Anyway a beautiful hike and lots of history at that shelter!

Edited by obxcola on 03/08/2011 18:43:40 MST.

Dj Riddle
(Dj3452) - F

Locale: Smokies
Roanneee on 03/09/2011 11:11:13 MST Print View

Thanks for the input, we will bundle up. I will be posting pictures after the trip with a review, thanks for the help!

Dan Briggs
(dbriggs9) - F

Locale: Southeast
Roane on 03/09/2011 11:43:45 MST Print View

Looking forward to seeing your report. I'm also going to that area, but March 24th-April 2nd. Going from Erwin, TN to Damascus. Really hoping it doesn't get too cold.
Enjoy your hike and stay warm.
Dan

Patrick S
(xpatrickxad) - F

Locale: Upper East TN
Re: Roanneee on 03/09/2011 11:44:57 MST Print View

Thats about a 40 minute drive from me. I'm up there constantly. I would not hesitate to park at Carver' Gap and I do it all the time. I haven't heard of anybody having a problem with break ins or vandalism there in years. But as parking at any trail head I would take the normal precautions.

As far as bears go I don't think I've ever seen any evidence of them up there. I'm sure they're there, but they lay low. I've run into more bear hunters in that area than bear scat. I hang my food everywhere, but if I was in a jam and couldn't I wouldn't lose any sleep over it there.

Have fun! Its a beautiful spot for sure and even though it can be crowded you'll miss the crowds this time of year.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Roan Mountain in March on 03/10/2011 05:41:14 MST Print View

Just FYI: Getting to Carver's Gap Friday Morning might be tricky!


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR SNOW..WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO
10 AM EST FRIDAY.

* TIMING: RAIN CHANGING TO SNOW SHOWERS BY AFTERNOON THEN CONTINUING
INTO FRIDAY MORNING. THE SNOW MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES.

* ACCUMULATIONS: SNOW ACCUMULATIONS BETWEEN 3 AND 6 INCHES ARE
POSSIBLE...GENERALLY ABOVE 2500 FEET.

LOCALLY HEAVIER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE HIGHEST ELEVATIONS...MAINLY ABOVE 5500 FEET. IN THESE AREAS...SNOWFALL TOTALS MAY REACH 8 INCHES.

* WINDS: NORTHWEST WINDS BETWEEN 10 AND 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH
ARE EXPECTED...WHICH COULD PRODUCE BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF THE
SNOW TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS: ROADWAYS WILL LIKELY BECOME SNOW AND ICE COVERED
ACROSS THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS...SUCH AS HIGHWAY 441 ACROSS THE
SMOKY MOUNTAINS...INTERSTATE 26 AT SAMS GAP...AND ACROSS HIGH
KNOB IN WISE COUNTY VIRGINIA.