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Winter Carolina/Virginia Appalachian
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Green Thumb
Winter Trip N. Carolina/Virginia on 11/19/2012 10:36:22 MST Print View

I'm short of backpacking partners with fortitude. I'd really like to get out over my winter vacation for a 3-4 day trip. I'm targeting the week prior to Christmas. I'm in Raleigh,NC and would like to limit driving time to 5 hours or so to maximize time on trail. I haven't settled on an exact location/route so I am also up for suggestions. Right now, I can cover ~15 miles a day.

PM me if you're interested.

Edited by greenthumb on 11/20/2012 10:31:21 MST.

Jenny Simchock
(framelessbob) - M

Locale: R.D.U
winter carolina on 11/25/2012 05:41:18 MST Print View

We hike all winter. It is usually 3 days two nights. The 5 hour drive time is also out limit. You are in driving range of thousands of miles of trails. We have developed many loops and use some shuttles from central Va. south through N.c. to Georgia. Can't say yet about your scheduled time but I love to go.


Green Thumb
Update on trip plans on 12/04/2012 16:07:54 MST Print View

I settled on a route for this winter trip. I hiked a small section of the Art Loeb Trail a few months ago with my two year old son. We did a short overnight loop over Black Balsam Knob to Ivestor Gap and then came back around to Graveyard Fields via the Tennet Mountain trail and then up the MST back to the car on FS Road 816. Since then, i've been mulling over the idea of end-to-end hiking the ALT. Thus the plan:

Day 1: Davidson River Campground to Deep Gap Shelter via ALT ~15.6 miles

Day 2: Deep Gap Shelter to Daniel Boone Scout Camp via ALT ~ 15.5 miles
(Possible summit trip to Cold Mountain)

Day 3: Daniel Boone Scout Camp to Shining Rock Gap via Little East Fork Trail ~ 5.2 miles
Shining Rock Gap to Ivestor Gap via Ivestor Trail ~ 2 miles
Ivestor Gap to Bridges Camp Gap via Greasy Cove Trail ~ 4.2 miles
Bridges Camp Gap to Pigeon Gap via MST ~ 4 miles

Day 4: Pigeon Gap to Barnett Branch Trail via MST ~ 2 miles
Barnett Branch Trail to Black Mountain Trail ~ 3.9 miles
Black Mountain Trail to Davidson River Campground ~ 8.8 miles

Total: ~ 60.1 miles

I really didn't relish the idea of hiking the ALT twice in 4 days, so I cobbled together this route to get me back to my car and avoid paying for a shuttle. I'm finishing final exams next week and am looking to hit the ALT trailhead at Davidson River no later than 8am on Monday 17 Dec with a return date of the evening of Thursday 20 Dec. If weather is utter crap, then I have the flexibility to postpone the depart date to Jan 2nd.

I'm still looking for any one interested in walking with me. If not, i'll have a few days of solitude.

Edited by greenthumb on 12/05/2012 07:53:08 MST.

Green Thumb
Moved up on 12/13/2012 17:38:40 MST Print View

I almost had a classmate come along for this one, but he had to bail yesterday. Luckily, this gives me flexibility, so I decided to move up my trip to tomorrow. The weather outlook is much better than a departure on Monday. Hopefully i'll get lovely weather and great pictures. I'll be sure to write up a post trip report. This will be my first multi-day solo trip. I've done plenty solo overnighters, so i'm interested to see how I handle the longer duration isolation. Don't worry, my wife has a detailed itinerary and instructions to freak out when i'm not home at exactly 8pm Monday evening. :)

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Pisgah, Shining Rock on 12/14/2012 21:47:57 MST Print View

What an outstanding itinerary! I've done all of it west/north of the BRP and if you have any questions re: that part PM.

I hope you'll file a report. I'm interested in the parts south/east of the BRP. I've only done a small stretch around Cedar rock and Butter gap but plan to hike on the N side of 276 in the Pink Beds area around Xmas and am also curious about the stretch from Butter Gap to the BRP

I'm a tree hugger and you'll go through a couple noteworthy stretches. There's a nice patch of spruce/fir out past Shining rock near Stairs Mt. before the narrows, can't remember exactly; evidently the ridge got too narrow for it to have made sense to extend the narrow gauge rail out further back in the twenties when the place got cut over so a nice old growth patch survived out there on the way to Cold Mt. Also there's a nice stretch of big hardwoods out Grassy Cove Ridge just after the stretch through the "pygmy" forest which is also kind of enchanted.

Also you will be passing a bunch of 6000 footers and could make a very good start towards completing the Carolina Mt Club's 40 South beyond 6000 challenge. I found this program to be really rewarding in improving navigational skills off trail on the highest southern peaks and ridges and as an unexpected bonus getting one to the point where you can pretty much recognize and get oriented to any ridge you can see hiking above @ 5000 anywhere in western NC.

Green Thumb
Working on post trip report on 01/06/2013 17:43:03 MST Print View

Thanks for the input. I had an outstanding trip and ended up finishing the entire loop in three days due to lots of rain on day three. 25 miles in the rain isn't that fun, but I was super impressed by the my new Golite Malpais Trinity jacket and Tumalo pants. All day in the rain and totally dry on the inside. Not bad for $130 buck head to toe. Anyway, trip report in the near future. Beautiful trip in short.