Hike Report 11/11/30

Hike Reports for November 2011

----------Wednesday Hikes----------

WEDNESDAY NO. W1104-740 Oct. 19
Six Waterfalls near Brevard *8:30 AM
Hike 5.8, Drive 100, 900 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Jack Fitzgerald, 828-685-2897, suejackfitz@bellsouth.net
WC100, P400 *Form carpools at Westgate and meet leader at Pisgah Forest Bi-lo at 9:00 AM. We will visit six waterfalls near Brevard, all on the Waterfall 100 Challenge: Maidenhair (new to the list), Dill and Upper Dill, Courthouse, Bird Rock and Catheys Creek. All are in-and-out hikes of 2.5 miles or less for each waterfall. Topos: Rosman, Sam Knob; also NatGeo map #780

Hike was canceled due to rainy weather.

WEDNESDAY NO. W1104-254 Oct. 26
Green Knob via Snooks Nose *8:00 AM
Hike 9 Drive 65, 3500 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA
Barbara Morgan, 828-738-3395, cell: 828-460-7066, barbc129@gmail.com
LTC *Form carpools at Westgate and meet leader at Ingles Parking lot at Exit 64 off I-40 at 8:20 AM. Starting from campground, we'll follow the trail over Snooks Nose and over the BRP to the Green knob fire tower, then return. 360 degree views from fire tower. Topo: Old Fort

    Wednesday was a drop-dead gorgeous day, and twelve hardy hikers joined me for this very difficult in and out hike from the Curtis Creek campground, to Snook's Nose, and on to the Green Knob Overlook on the BRP.  Some of us stopped there and lounged in the sun, and Steve Pierce led the majority of the group on up to the Green Knob Firetower

    We started about 9:00am and finished about 4:00pm.  The hardest part of the hike was the mile or so below Snook's Nose, where most of the elevation gain took place.  It was so steep that it was shocking to look down on the way back, and realize that we'd done that much climbing, and for so long!  The downhill seemed harder than the uphill. I think everyone involved deserves a medal!

    According to Steve's GPS, the official totals are 9.1 miles and about 3300' elevation gain, including the hike to the fire tower.  I really enjoyed the group of adventurous hikers!  Barbara Morgan

        Photos by Danny Bernstein

WEDNESDAY NO. W1104-270 Nov. 2
Cedar Rock Mtn. - John Rock Loop *9:00 AM
Hike 8, Drive 80, 2000 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Bruce Bente, 828-692-0116, bbente@bellsouth.net
P400 *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Pisgah Fish Hatchery at 9:40 AM. This trip features two of the spectacular bare rock faces in the Pisgah National Forest, with great views from both. Starting at the Fish Hatchery, we'll have our major climb up to Cat Gap and then on to Cedar Rock to enjoy the view during lunch. We'll return via John Rock. Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo map #780      

16 hikers enjoyed perfect clear weather on this hike, which started at the Fish Hatchery, then past Cat Gap and to the bare rock face of Cedar Rock Mtn. for lunch while enjoying the great view west towards the BRP.  After lunch, it was down past Cat Gap again and then a roller-coaster climb to John Rock for more views, this time with Looking Glass Rock in the foreground..   -reported by Bruce Bente

WEDNESDAY NO. W1104-308 Nov. 9
Ox Creek to Rich Knob 8:30 AM
Hike 8.2, Drive 25, 1850 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Laura Frisbie, 828-337-5845, laurafrisbie@charter.net
We'll hike the MST from Ox Creek Road and climb to Rich Knob via Rattlesnake Lodge.  Topo: Craggy Pinnacle  

WEDNESDAY NO. W1104-222 Nov. 16
Montreat Loop #3 Modified *8:40 AM
Hike 5, Drive 40, 1300 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Ames Tryon, 828-669-3805, Tryonaf@charter.net
*Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Ingles parking lot, off Exit 64 of I-40 at 9:00 AM. This hike will be a modification of the #3 Loop hike. The hike will start and end at the Greybeard trailhead parking area. We will hike the Greybeard trail for a short distance, then ascend a steep un-blazed spur trail to the Trestle road. The hike continues up the Trestle road until intersecting the Greybeard trail. Hike will descend via Greybeard and Harry Bryan trail to parking area. Topo: Montreat

This hike was canceled due to bad weather. It hike will be rescheduled in 2012.





----------Half Day Hikes----------

HALF-DAY NO. H1104-062 Oct. 30
Daniel Ridge Loop *12:15 PM
Hike 4, Drive 70, 800 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Bobbi Powers, 828-667-5419, bobbipowers@live.com
P400 Only meeting place: Ingles parking lot on NC 191 across from Biltmore Square Mall. This moderate loop hike has lots to C: fall Color, Creeks, Chasms, and a Cool Cascade finale. Second meeting place: Fish Hatchery parking lot at 1:00 PM. Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo map #780

      Wonderful day to enjoy the beautiful and diverse Daniel Ridge Loop - sunny blue sky, 14 congenial hikers, and Mother Nature putting on a great end-of-season show for us.  It was a beautiful outing!  Bobbi Powers

HALF-DAY NO. H1104-437 Nov. 6
Pilot Cove Loop *12:00 PM
Hike 4, Drive 80, 1000 ft. ascent, Rated C-B
Nonmembers, call leader: Ashok Kudva, 828-698-7119, cell: 828-674-1374, ashok.kudva@att.net
P400 *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at North Mills River parking lot at 12:35 PM. This (shortened version of CMC Hike #437) is a moderate hike up to the top of the cliffs on Fork Ridge, which provides beautiful views of Pilot Cove, Pilot Rock, Pink Beds, and beyond. Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo map #780

HALF-DAY NO. H1104-153 Nov. 13
Cove Creek / Caney Bottom *11:20 AM
Hike 5, Drive 80, 1280 ft. ascent, Rated C-B
Nonmembers, call leader: Tom Joyce, 828-885-2152, timinbrevard@webtv.net
P400 Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Pisgah Fish Hatchery at 12:00 PM. This is a pleasant walk in the valley below Looking Glass Rock. The trail follows a moderate grade as it wanders through the woods along a number of streams and cascades, and includes Cove Creek Falls as its feature attraction. Topo: Shining Rock

HALF-DAY NO. H1104-325 Nov. 20
Rich Mountain Fire Tower *12:30 PM
Hike 5.5, Drive 46, 1300 ft. ascent, Rated C-B
Nonmembers, call leader: Russ and Heather Cooper, 828-484-9562, cooper.hs@charter.net
*Only meeting place: Rose's parking lot (opposite McDonald's) off Exit 19B of I-26 in Weaverville. This moderate in-and-out hike features great views from the Rich Mtn. Fire Tower near Hot Springs. We follow the AT and then a short side trail to the fire tower and return via the AT. Topo:Hot Springs

HALF-DAY NO. H1104-513 Nov. 27
Craven Gap to Tanbark Tunnel *1:00 PM
Hike 4.6, Drive 6, 900 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Chris and Bonnie Allen, 828-645-0357, bonnie@allencats.com
*Only meeting place is at Craven Gap. A pleasant walk in the winter woods along the MST from Craven Gap to Rattlesnake Lodge and down an access trail to the BRP. Topo: Craggy Pinnacle

SUNDAY NO. A1104-738 Nov. 6
Woodlawn - Kistler Highway (Mountain Treasures hike #1) 8:00 AM
Hike 12.2, Drive 100, 3000 ft. (EB), 1200 ft. (WB) ascent, Rated AA-AA (EB), AA-B (WB)
Jim Reel, (WB), 828-738-0751, jimr57@yahoo.com, & Lisa Hart, (EB), 828-450-6986, tiw.south@gmail.com
The Dobson Knob Area is considered to be a Mountain Treasure by the Wilderness Society. This area features Old Growth Virginia Pine and some of the healthiest Carolina Hemlock left. This MST section crosses a bridge over North Fork River and RR tracks before ascending to Bald Knob and Dobson Knob and then a section of Overmountain Victory Trail, before ending (or starting) on Old NC 105. This hike will be a key swap and we will meet off I-40 Exit 86 at Loves at 8:45 to swap cars. Second Meeting Place: Ingles parking lot off I-40 Exit 64 at 8:20 AM. Topos: Ashford, Little Switzerland, NatGeo Map #779 

----------All Day Hikes----------

SUNDAY NO. A1104-716 Oct. 30
Pilot Mountain Cross-Country *8:30 AM
Hike 8.2, Drive 80, 1800 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Dave Wetmore, 828-884-7296, dwetmore@comporium.net
P400 *Form carpools at Ingles parking lot on NC 191 across from Biltmore Square Mall, and meet leader at Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo at 9:00 AM. This hike is a combination of old roads (some very old) and off-trail hiking. We'll begin by going southwest from Gloucester Gap, then do an off-trail climb with two short but steep sections from the south to Pilot Mtn with its wonderful views. The return will be mostly on trails and old roads. Topo: Shining Rock, also NatGeo map #780

      Twelve of us spent a beautiful fall day hiking to the summit of Pilot Mountain via its west ridge. Leaving Gloucester Gap, a long road walk took us to some old roads which led up to the ridgeline. From there it was mostly off-trail to the Art Loeb 200 feet below summit. After lunch we took the Art Loeb down to the little gap where we went south on an old road back to the ridgeline. From there we retraced our steps back to Gloucester Gap. The only thing of note was when the leader got lost for a few minutes. My thanks to Alan Frank who did an excellent job of sweeping in less than ideal conditions.—Dave Wetmore

SUNDAY NO. A1104-471 Nov. 6
Wagon Road Gap, MST to Big East Fork *8:00 AM
Hike 9.7, Drive 75, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated A-B
Tom Sanders, 828-252-6327, tsanders.avl@gmail.com
P400 Starting at Wagon Road Gap, we will follow the MST south to the connector to the Big East Fork Trail and follow that down to US 276. Short car shuttle. *Wilderness area hike, limited to ten hikers-call leader for reservations. Second meeting place: Cold Mtn. overlook (BRP M.M. 412) at 8:40 AM. Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo map #780

We were only six, but it was a wonderful hike.  We started at the Wagon Road Gap Overlook on the BRP and hiked south on the MST, going over Green Knob and Chestnut Mountain.  Both of these had sections of steepness, but they paid off with outstanding views south across Looking Glass Rock and other peaks and northwest along the ridge from Silvermine Bald to Cold Mountain.  The day, which had started out looking cloudy, cleared up and became beautiful and clear, a perfect fall experience.  Promptly at 12:15 we arrived at our lunch spot, beside the East Fork Pigeon River near where Dark Prong enters.  We then followed the East Fork Trail, admiring the waterfall, cataracts and rushing water gorges along the stream, one of WNC's most beautiful.  The trail ended at US 276, where we had placed a car.

SATURDAY No. A1104-578 Nov. 12
Flat Laurel Creek, Little Sam Knob, MST Loop 10:00 AM
Hike 7.5, 1000 ft. ascent, Drive 80, Rated B-B
Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, mwbromberg@yahoo.com
P400 This is a pleasant loop trail with views of Sam Knob, Fork Ridge and Flat Laurel Creek. We'll begin on the Flat Laurel Creek Trail, which ascends gradually until we are hiking next to the creek, where we will stop for lunch. Little Sam Knob Trail, with views of Little Sam Knob and Sam Knob, connects to the MST. A one-mile side trip to Devils Courthouse will offer good views before we return on the MST to our cars. Second meeting place: Contact leader.

SUNDAY NO. A1104-683 Nov. 13
DuPont Forest: Hooker Falls P.L. #2 - Five Falls Loop 8:30 AM
Hike 11.2, Drive 95, 1250 ft. ascent, Rated A-B
Danny Bernstein, 828-236-0192, danny@hikertohiker.com
WC100 This hike takes in five outstanding waterfalls, including some that were sites for The Last of the Mohicans. On the way, we'll climb to a ridge in the forest that gets fewer visitors. Second meeting place: Bi-Lo in Pisgah Forest at 9:00 AM. Topo: Standingstone Mtn.; also DuPont State Forest map

SUNDAY No. A1104-355 Nov. 20
AT: Devil Fork Gap to Carmen *8:00 AM
Hike 10.7, Drive 95, 2400 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA
Tish Desjardins, cell: 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
*Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at parking lot on US 25 at intersection with NC 208 at 8:45 AM. After the hike there will be a potluck supper in the nearby Bear River Community Lodge. Hikers are requested to contribute food for the supper. Food will be taken to a refrigerator before the hike. Please phone the leader to coordinate what food to bring. Hike along nine of the most scenic miles on the A.T., featuring two shelters, a historic gravesite and beautiful views from atop Big Butt. After Jerry's Cabin, the hike then goes down Fork Ridge trail to Carmen. Car shuttle. Topos: Flag Pond, Greystone; also NatGeo. map #782

"Ten of us had a gorgeous mild sunny day with temperatures in the sixties following the AT southbound with a visit to two shelters -- Flint Mountain shelter and Jerry's Cabin.  We also visited the Shelton family gravesite of which two of us on the hike have family members in prior generations who married into the Shelton family (myself and Les Love).  At approximately eighty percent through the hike, we came off the AT via the Fork Ridge Trail headed back to the cars.  We started the hike at ten o'clock and finished at four thirty and added a half hour of shuttling to the rest of the cars.  After the hike, we stuffed ourselves at the potluck feast (practicing for Thanksgiving Day)."  Tish

BACKPACK NO. B1104-739 Nov. 25-27
AT from Wallace Gap to Deep Gap *7:30 AM
Hike 21.3, Drive 82, 4640 ft. ascent, Rated AA-AA+
Paul Benson, 828-251-1909, pdbenson@charter.net
*Meeting place(s) to be arranged with leader. Wilderness area, so group size is limited to ten. Contact leader to reserve a space. This two-night, three-day backpack will follow the AT southbound through the remote Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area, and skirt the Big Indian Mountain Treasure addition to the Wilderness Area. The hike will be moderate, but winter backpacking experience is desirable. We should be treated to plenty of spectacular views from our ridgeline walk around the headwaters basin of the Nantahala River. We'll climb Standing Indian Mountain, highest point south of the Great Smokies. Starting at Wallace Gap, we'll cover 6.4 miles to the Big Spring shelter on the first day. The next day we'll hike about 10 miles to our camp at Beech Gap, and the final day will be about 5 miles to Deep Gap. Ten-mile car shuttle. Topos: Rainbow Springs, Hightower Bald; also ATC Nantahala Natl. Forest-Bly gap to Fontana Dam and USFS Southern Nantahala Wilderness maps

Scout Report: After exploring the Standing Indian area I have refined the route of the backpack to significantly reduce the length of the car shuttle while covering almost the same amount of the AT. Instead of starting at Wallace Gap where there is no parking we?ll start at Rock Gap where there is; this has the added advantage of reducing the first day?s hike by 0.6 mile. On the last day instead of going from the summit of Standing Indian to Deep Gap we will leave the AT at the summit and head down the Lower Ridge Trail.  This adds 1.7 miles of downhill hiking to the last day hike, but brings us out 1.8 miles from where we started, so we have a short shuttle on a paved road instead of a very long shuttle on a narrow gravel road.  We?ll cover 18.3 miles on the AT (my last miles to finish NC), and 22.4 miles total.  This is a very beautiful and interesting area mostly within the Southern Nantahala Wilderness so it's going to be an awesome trip!

SATURDAY NO. A1104-584 Nov. 26
Butter Gap Loop 9:00 AM
Hike 9, Drive 75, 2000 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA
Les & Catherine Love, 828-658-1458, lesrlove@charter.net
P400 We'll follow parts of the Cat Gap Loop, ALT, and all of the Butter Gap trail through the beautiful Grogan Creek watershed to Picklesheimer Fields. Second meeting place: Pisgah Fish Hatchery at 9:40 AM. Topos: Shining Rock, Rosman; also NatGeo. map #780

SUNDAY NO. A1104-409 Nov. 27
Jones Gap - El Lieutenant Loop 8:00 AM
Hike 10.3, Drive 95, 2200 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA
Carroll Koepplinger, 828-667-0723, carrollkoepp@bellsouth.net
Starting at Jones Gap State Park (NOTE: $2 entry fee per person), we will hike up the Jones Gap Trail along the Middle Saluda River, then the Bill Kimball Trail up through the boulders and forest, then a rock scramble to climb up and over the granite face of El Lieutenant. We'll continue on the Kimball trail, walk a short portion of US 276 to our return loop on the Tom Miller and Jones Gap Trails. Additional meeting places: NE corner of parking lot at Cracker Barrel at Exit 53 of I-26 at 8:30 AM; also Jones Gap State Park parking lot at 9:00 AM. Topos: Cleveland, Table Rock; also Mountain Bridge Wilderness map