Hike Report 110923

Hike Reports - September 2011

------------Full Day Weekend Hikes-------------

SATURDAY NO. A1103-053 Aug. 27
East Fork Pigeon River Swimming hike *8:30 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 75, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Barbara Morgan, 828-460-7066, barbc129@gmail.com
P400 *Wilderness area, limit 10, so contact leader for reservation. The East Fork of the Pigeon River is a great place to be on a hot August day. We'll hike in the morning, and on our return, we'll have a chance to play in one of the many pools or just lounge on the rocks before heading back to the cars. Bring swimsuit, towel, etc. Second meeting place: Big East parking area on US 276, north of BRP at 9:15 AM. Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo. map #780

Nine hikers joined me Saturday to hike along and swim in the East Fork of the Pigeon River on a day of uncertain weather due to the passage of hurricane Irene off the coast, but the weather was great.  We enjoyed being on the shady side of the river on the hike up to a broad rock area where we had a snack break.  I and four others wanted more hiking, so we headed on up to the boundary of the wilderness area, about a mile upstream..  The other five wanted to have more time to swim in  the wide, deep pool across from Shining Rock Creek.  Led by Ray Sanow, they started back down the river to the pool opposite Shining Creek.  It proved to be a great place to swim and watch the trout in the pool.  A great group of people and a refreshing and relaxing day! Barbara

SUNDAY NO. A1103-128 Aug. 28
Sam Knob Loop * 8:45 AM
Hike 9.8, Drive 90, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated A-A
Ashok Kudva, 828-698-7119, cell: 828-674-1374, ashok.kudva@att.net
SB6K, P400 *Form carpools at Westgate the Ingles across from Biltmore Square Mall, and meet leader at BRP Cold Mtn. Overlook at 9:10 AM. We'll start at NC 215 and follow the MST, with a side trip to Devil's Courthouse, to FS 816. Then we'll loop back and ascend Sam Knob (6040 ft.) with its 360-degree views, then follow the Flat Laurel Creek Trail to NC 215. The stream crossing at the end may be a wet crossing if it has rained recently. Topos: Shining Rock & Sam Knob; also NatGeo map #780

Seven hikers assembled for the hike at the Cold Mountain Overlook with only one hiker from Asheville. Closure of I240 around Westgate for repair during the weekend discouraged many hikers. Weather was perfect and mountain views were great. The stream crossing ¼ mile before the end of the hike showed very low potential to be a wet crossing under moderate rains contrary to the description in the database.  Bruce observed large rocks recently installed  to promote crossing the stream to be the probable reason.  There was enough room at the trail-end to park 4 cars.  Walking the last 0.6 mile on the paved NC 215 was the lowlight of the hike. Sim Wright eliminated a part of it by leading  us through some unnamed trail to connect with MST and the trailhead . We recommend a short 0.6 mile car shuttle as the routine for this hike in the database.  After the hike 4 hikers enjoyed a great supper and fellowship at  Carrabbas restaurant near the airport.   Ashok


SUNDAY NO. A1103-113 Sept. 4
Cold Mtn. (Bernard Elias Favorite Hike series #12) 9:00 AM
Hike 8.8, Drive 65, 2800 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA
Ted Snyder, 864-638-3686, tedsnyderjr@bellsouth.net .
P400, SB6K The lower end of Bernard's old route is blocked, so we will shift to the trailhead on Little East Fork, which is the route that CMC has used recently. Trails are poorly designed and rough. Allow much more time than for a comparable trail. Encompassing long range views from the rocks atop Cold Mountain. We will play “identify the peaks.” *Wilderness area, limit 10, so contact leader for reservation. Topos: Waynesville, Cruso; also NatGeo. Map #780

The trip was full, with the Wilderness Area limit of ten persons. There was no waiting list. One person failed to show at Westgate. The trip operated with nine persons.                                                                                                                                       The weather prognostication was ominous. Tropical Depression Lee threatened to drop four inches of rain on Asheville starting late Sunday. We set out under cloudy skies. At lunch on the top of Cold Mountain there was a light spray, and most of the nearby peaks and ridges were swathed in mist.  As we made our way down we heard occasional thunder in the far distance. The weather held, and we started hiking.                                                                                                                                                   The leader had scaled the round trip mileage at 8.8 miles. Bearers of GPS devices scored the round trip as between 11 and 11.5 miles. There is no doubt that the trip was noticeably longer than advertised.  Even the oldest member had to strength to keep up and complete the trip.                                                                                                                                                         Yellow jacket season was upon us, and a sharp lookout for little stingers was maintained. We shared information back and forth with other hikers we encountered. We were able to bypass the only serious activity. Only the leader was stung, as was appropriate for a person in his position.    Ted Snyder. 5 September 2011.

SUNDAY NO. A1103-401 Sept. 4
Laurel Mtn., Slate Rock Creek Trails *9:10 AM
Hike 8, Drive 55, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Marianne Newman, 828-257-2136, marianneln@att.net
P400 From Yellow Gap, we'll hike up the Laurel Mtn. Trail to Sassafras Gap, and then turn downhill to the Slate Rock Creek Trail, following this pretty mountain stream down to Yellow Gap Rd. Short car shuttle. Second meeting place: North Mills River Recreation area parking lot ($3 pkg. fee) at 9:40 AM, but call leader first. Topo: Dunsmore Mtn.; also NatGeo. map #780

SUNDAY NO. A1103-250 Sept. 11
Douglas Falls-Locust Ridge Circuit 8:30 AM
Hike 9, 2200 ft. ascent, Drive 60, Rated A-AA
Bruce Bente, 828-692-0116, bbente@bellsouth.net
SB6K, WC100 After viewing Douglas Falls, we'll climb to and onto the MST to the BRP Greybeard Overlook (nice lunch stop with great view). For SB6K fans, a one-mile round trip side hike to Craggy Dome can be done during our lunch stop. We'll continue on MST through blueberry fields to Locust Ridge, then bushwhack down mostly open woods to cars. Short car shuttle. Topos: Montreat and Craggy Pinnacle; also NatGeo map #779

15 seasoned CMC hikers enjoyed the Douglas Falls - Locust Ridge loop in perfect hiking weather (sunny with temp in the 60s).  The falls had enough water to be appreciated and only three people got stung by yellowjackets.  We had a long lunch stop at Greybeard Overlook and three hikers peakbagged Craggy Dome for their SB6K.  On the bushwhack down Locust Ridge, the leader got a little off-track, but not enough to cause another mutiny... Bruce Bente


Black Balsam Loop via Graveyard Ridge Trail & ALT
Hike 6, Drive 70, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, mwbromberg@yahoo.com
P400, SB6K This late summer hike includes great views. New hikers: take note that there is a 200 ft. altitude gain over 1/4 mile early in the hike and two more uphills, each with about 500 ft. altitude gain, in the last leg of the hike. Begin from FS 816 on MST, then left on Graveyard Ridge Trail to Ivestor Gap. Return on Art Loeb Trail over Tennent Mtn. and Black Balsam. We’ll stop at the high points to enjoy great views! Second meeting place: BRP Cold Mtn. Overlook (M.M. 412) at 10:55 AM. Topos: Sam Knob, Shining Rock; also NatGeo. map #780

SUNDAY NO. A1103-074 Sept. 18
Tanawha Trail 8:00 AM
Hike 13.3, Drive 150, 2600 ft. ascent, Rated AA-AA
Michael and Kathy Cornn, cell: 828-458-1281 or 828-458-1282, mcornn@aol.com
One of our best hikes when the weather cooperates. A fragile and ancient ecosystem, rhododendron and laurel tunnels, hardwood coves, boulder fields and great views make this a special hike. Car shuttle. Second meeting place: Ingles parking lot off Exit 64 of I-40 at 8:20 AM Topos: Grandfather Mtn., Valle Crucis; also NatGeo. maps #783 and #779

Even though we lost the sweep for almost three hours, the group of 13 had an
animated, but abbreviated hike on the Tanawha trail. The day was shrouded in
fog so we didn't miss the views at lunch because there were none. Toward the
end of the hike we all rested in a pasture full of golden rod and ironweed.
We sat around a deserted campsite under a canopy of large trees. What looked
like an oversized yellow jacket-  the size of a quarter- climbed up
Michael's leg. The insect was lethargic from the cold. A hiker with a guitar
approached and hiked past. John commented that the hike was full of
oddities. Ten of us ended the hike at Spears Barbecue  with a toast of
gratitude.  Kathy

Paul Benson, cell: 828-273-2098, pdbenson@charter.net
Fontana overnight - we'll do two sections of the AT just south of scenic and interesting Fontana Dam (see descriptions below.). Since this is a relatively long drive from Asheville, the leader is planning a Saturday and a Sunday day hike, with the option of staying in the Fontana Village area where there are a variety of accommodations available ranging from shelter space in the "Fontana Hilton" AT shelter to real beds in Fontana Village.
SATURDAY NO. A1103-497 Sept. 24
Yellow Creek Gap to Fontana Dam 7:30 AM
Hike 7.8, Drive 200, 1100 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
We'll hike the first section of AT south of Fontana Dam, beginning at Yellow Creek Gap and heading northbound, descending approximately 2100 ft. to Fontana Dam, and conclude with a visit to the spectacular Fontana Dam visitor center (if the national terrorist threat level is not too high). 12 mile car shuttle.
SUNDAY A1103-456 Sept. 25
Yellow Creek Gap to Stecoah Gap 9:00 AM at Stecoah Gap
Hike 8.5, Drive 190, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
We'll begin at Yellow Gap this time, heading southbound to Stecoah Gap on the second southbound section from Fontana Dam along an up-and-down path over the Cheoah Mountains, with a short side trip to Wauchecha Bald to view what remains of the old fire tower. 10-mile car shuttle.

SATURDAY NO. A1103-367 Sept. 24
Art Loeb, Grassy Cove Ridge to Bridges Camp Gap *8:30 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 65, 1650 ft. ascent, Rated A-A
Brenda Worley, 828-684-8656, clworley@bellsouth.net
P400, SB6K *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at BRP Cold Mtn. Overlook at 9:10 AM. Wilderness area, limit 10, so contact leader for reservation. Beginning with a climb up to Black Balsam (6214 ft.) we’ll follow the ridgeline to Tennent Mtn (6040 ft.) and Ivestor Gap. Then we’ll hike down Grassy Cove Ridge to the Big East Fork of the Pigeon River. Two stream crossings, one or both of which will be wet. From there we’ll hike to Skinny Dip Falls, and then end at Bridges Camp Gap. Car shuttle. Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo. map #780

SUNDAY NO. A1103-273 Sept. 25
Boogerman Trail and more 8:30 AM
Hike9.5, Drive 90, 1300 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Mike Knies, 828-628-6712, knies06@att.net
900M A lush forest with giant old-growth trees, stone walls and a root cellar make this a favorite loop hike in the


Half Day Hikes - September 2011

HALF-DAY NO. H1103-347 Aug. 28
Twin Falls 12:45 PM
Hike 6, Drive 80, 1000 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Sawako Jager, 828-687-2547, baiko70@aol.com
P400, WC100 *Form carpools at Westgate, Ingles on Rt 191 and meet leader at Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo at 1:25 PM. This is a moderate hike in the Pisgah National Forest, starting on the Buckhorn Gap Trail, taking the Twin Falls Bypass to view two nice waterfalls, and then completing a loop on a Forest Service road and the Clawhammer Cove Trail with its beaver dam. Second meeting place: Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo at 1:10 PM. Topo: Pisgah Forest, Shining Rock; also NatGeo map #780.

In spite of the last minute change of the first meeting place due to the weekend I- 240 construction work, seventeen hikers including three new hikers showed up.
Because of the shortage of time, I altered the returning trip from Clawhammer Cove Trail to via Avery Creek Trail which gave us relaxing,scenic and pleasant hike by the cascades in the woods.
We saw some late summer wild flowers such as Lobelia,White Wood Aster,Pale Touch-Me-Not, Foxglove, Erect Golden Rod and enjoyed lunching by Twin Falls.
Thank you Marcia & Bobbi for guiding hikers to the third meeting place, Joe-san being a sweep and everybody for making this trip fun! Sawako

HALF-DAY NO. H1103-478 Sept. 4
Graveyard Ridge / MST Loop 11:00 AM
Hike 4.4, Drive 70, 900 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, mwbromberg@yahoo.com
P400 Beginning at Graveyard Fields parking lot, this hike makes a loop around Graveyard Ridge via the MST. Portions of the trail are rocky with lots of stepping up and down. Opportunity for blueberry picking near the end of the hike Second meeting place: BRP Cold Mtn. Overlook at 11:40 AM. Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo map #780

HALF-DAY NO. H1103-463 Sept. 11
Big Ridge Overlook to Elk Pasture Gap *11:00 AM
Hike 4.4, Drive 50, 750 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Bobbi Powers, 828-667-5419, bobbipowers@live.com
P400 *First meeting place – Ingles on NC 191 across from Biltmore Mall. An in and out hike on part of the Shut-in trail along the MST between two overlooks on the Parkway. Long pants advised b/c trail is overgrown in spots. Second meeting place: BRP Big Ridge Overlook (MM 403.6) at 11:20 AM. Topo: Dunsmore Mtn.; also NatGeo map #780.

  On a sunny Sept. 11 at 11 o'clock, 11 hikers met to enjoy the late summer wild flowers and to admire the enduring stonework of the Shut-in Trail.  On an otherwise solemn day, we celebrated our good fortune to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature.  It was a rather leisurely hike with many stops to admire flowers, vistas, and to get "the scoop" on Rock Tripe from Dwight McCarter.  (FYI, it's edible, large patches of it are many hundreds of years old, and it contains an antibiotic!)  Bobbi Powers


WEDNESDAY NO. W1103-132 Sept. 21
Mt. Mitchell from Black Mtn. Campground *8:00 AM
Hike 12.5, Drive 103, 3600 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+
Rich Sampson, 704-453-9059, sampson_r@bellsouth.net
SB6K, LTC First meeting place - Westgate. Second meeting place - Mt. Mitchell overlook (MM 350) on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 8:45 AM. From the Black Mountain Campground, ascend by MST to Mt. Mitchell and return. Topos: Celo, Mt. Mitchell, Burnsville; also USFS South Toe River Map.