Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
The Thankgiving Break backpacking trip is now split into two halves. The first half will leave on Saturday morning (19th) and return to Charlottesville on the 23rd (possibly the 22nd). The second half will run from the 22nd to the 26th (this group will meet us at a predetermined location). While the location is not yet set in stone, we will probably tramp the Appalachian Trail through part of North Carolina and Tennessee. Highlights will include Roan Mtn, Jane Bald, the Hump Mtns, and the Overmountain Shelter (descriptions below). We will be between 5500 and 6300 feet most of the time. [now for the fine print] The balds offer no protection from the weather. It would not surprise me to find snow up there. Please read the information at the following address to see what kind of clothing you should bring:
If you do not have adequate clothing but are interested in going, email me and i might have enough extra gear to help you survive. We will be covering 6 to 7 miles per day. Terrain on the balds is generally easy. Some other parts of the trail will be technical, and the climb up Roan is quite strenuous. If the ground is snow covered, 6 or 7 miles could seem like much more. Of course, this will make it all the more fun! If it’s looking like this location will be too risky, i will have alternate, more forgiving locations on standby…
Places of interest:
for some random photos see:
Built in 1983, this large red barn has been converted into a shelter. The barn sits on the edge of a meadow that extends down the mountainside and has views of the Hump Mtns. We will stay in the Shelter for one night.
Roan High Knob Shelter
Rebuilt in 1980, this shelter was originally a fire warden’s cabin. At 6,275 feet, it is the highest shelter on the entire Appalachian Trail. We will stay here one night.
Roan Mtn is generally the coldest spot, year round, on the southern Appalachian Trail. There is a good possibility of snow up here.
The “Balds” (Little Hump, Big Hump, Jane’s Bald, Grassy Ridge,Doll Flats)
“Though the southern Appalachians do not rise above treeline, there are many balds, the origins of which remain a mystery to scientists. Some point to the harsh conditions at high elevations, while others claim Indians cleared the mountains for religious ceremonies. Many believe extensive grazing and cropping led to treeless summits, and still others say it’s the work of spacemen.” Elevations range from 5500 feet to over 6100 feet! We’ll enjoy frigidly spectacular 360 degree views among the company of some Texas Longhorn Cattle.
Gas if you can drive
a seat in a car
Food: Saturday’s Dinner, All meals from Sunday to Tuesday, Wednesday’s breakfast
Gear: backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, headlamps, water filter, cooking pots/stove
(see http://www.guanotronic.com/~gshim/outdoors/layers.htm )
cup (if you want hot chocolate / coffee / tea)
water bottle (1-2 liters)
toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
money for food on the way there and back
any extra snacks you may want