Grayson Highlands - April 2013
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Justin C
(paintballr4life) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Grayson Highlands - April 2013 on 05/18/2013 22:24:52 MDT Print View

A group of friends and I make our way down to Grayson Highlands in VA once a year. It is about an 8 hour drive for us, but it is well worth it. We had an awesome time like usual and only had about one day of rain which was a plus, considering they were calling for a chance of rain showers everyday we were there. We didn't have a large number of miles planned, so we could just take it easy (it is our vacation after all). I also got to test out some new gear, which is always a plus. We parked at Masseys Gap and started hiking.

Parking Lot

Me
*Me with my new Laufbursche Huckepack.

Woods

We got to see some longhorn steer this time around. I had heard they were sometimes there, but I hadn't seen any there before. Honestly, I wish they weren't there because they tear up the terrain and you have to watch for the "cow pies".

Longhorn

Scenery

We got to camp just in time before the rain started and it rained all night and until the next night. The next morning we basically got up and just hiked all day because all it did was rain.

Needless to say we didn't get very many pictures during the day.

Trailstar
*My cousin and I shared our MLD trailstar.

We altered our route so we could stay in a shelter for the night to help dry off our gear and just warm up.

Shelter
*Our little "hobo village".

Exlight
*Me warming up in my Ex-light and quilt.

Night

The next morning we awoke to the first real sunshine of the trip. Our group decided to split up for the day so some could lounge around in camp and the others could get started hiking (I was in this group). Both groups had maps and we knew where our next camping location was. My cousin, uncle, and I got packed up and started hiking.

Me

Water

We ended up doing our toughest hike I have done in this area; the Cliffside trail is around 700 ft or so and it is straight up without any switchbacks. It was a ball-buster, but was nice since we didn't have alot of mileage on the agenda.

Cam and I
*My cousin and I, he was using his Zimmerbuilt pack which he loves.

Me

We got to our camp destination and setup and waited on the rest of the group to meet up with us.

Storm

Clouds
*The clouds were reflecting the sun and made this awesome picture.

Shoes
*Here's a pic of my Inov 8s. They were brand new, definitely not anymore!

Trailstar

Alsek
*Katabatic Gear Alsek quilt.

The next morning we woke up to some fog, so we lounged in camp for a while. When the sun started coming through we got going.

Pic

Mountains

Group

It was our last day there, so we went to Wilburn Ridge which is my favorite area in the park.

Group

Cam

Huckepack

Me

After we got off the ridge, we hiked back to the car for the journey home and Ruby Tuesdays!


QUICK GEAR REVIEW:

Laufbursche Huckepack - I really enjoyed this pack! The closure system is probably the best I

have used. The shoulder straps are not anywhere near as comfy as my Zimmer packs though.

Black Diamond Carbon Poles - I got fed up with my LT4s not always locking, so I figured I would

give these a try. They worked flawlessly. They are heavier, but I think these will be going with

me from now on.

MLD Trailstar - My cousin and I went on this a few years back and I still really enjoy it. We

were going to bring our MLD Patrol shelters, but we figured if it was going to be raining alot

the extra space would be nice (and it was).

Steripen Adventurer - Second time using it and I like the simplicity of it. Alittle heavier than

my aquamira drops, but no funny taste either.

Katabatic Alsek Quilt - I love this thing! I have used on multiple trips and it is very warm. The

attachment system is great as well.

Katabatic Bristlecone Bivy - Mostly just used it as a groundcloth on this trip, but I do like it.

Goosefeet Booties - My all-time favorite piece of gear!

Inov 8 Flyroc 310s - I had to buy a new pair for this trip as my others wore out. My favorite

shoe, unfortunately they have discontinued them! That sucks!

Edited by paintballr4life on 05/19/2013 06:28:03 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Nice Report on 05/18/2013 22:35:04 MDT Print View

Thanks for posting that, nice report. Looks like you did the loop counter clockwise? I think I've been to Grayson Highlands at least nine times, maybe more. The only other place in the southeast that I like as much would be Shining Rock Wilderness.

Justin C
(paintballr4life) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
re: on 05/18/2013 22:36:37 MDT Print View

This was out fifth trip and every time we are there is it different weather! I've heard good things about Shining Rock. I will get there eventually.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re re on 05/18/2013 22:40:53 MDT Print View

"different weather"

Yeah I have noticed the weather up there can change fast. Once the weather forecast said 1 inch of snow had fallen. Also it had been warm for the week before so previous snow should have melted. Well when we got there we found 8 inches of snow up top. Either they got a lot more snow (and the weather was wrong) or snow from previous storms had never melted (and the weather was wrong).

Another time we got rained on when we didn't expect it, and another time we had really, really hard wind.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Grayson Highlands - April 2013 on 05/25/2013 18:12:45 MDT Print View

I always like to hear about Grayson Highland, which was one of my favorite places to hike when I living in TN. The weather does change up there, and usually for the worst.
Tom