Sunday, November 4, 2012

2012-11-03 Roan Mountain Snow Hike

The first Snow Hike of the Season!
Roan Mountain TN/NC
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

I was originally planning to catch the last bit of Fall Color this year.  However, earlier in the week, Hurricane Sally swarmed up the east coast.  Sally's outer bands of rain hit a major cold front dumping several feet of snow over the High Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.

My buddy Andy heard reports of close to three feet of snow on Roan Mountain and easily convinced me to change my plans and join him for the first snow hike of the season!  As usual, Andy's dogs Boone and Kona would also be hiking with us, along with Andy's buddy Dave and Dave's dog Sasha.

Not knowing what road conditions would be like at the higher elevation, we agreed to meet in Marion, NC and squeeze all six of us in my 4x4 pick-up.  It turns out the roads were clear all the way to the trailhead, but it still was better that we took my truck as fitting three humans + three dogs + all our hiking gear into Andy's Corolla would not have been a comfortable option!

We started the hike at the Carvers Gap Trailhead located along Hwy 261 at the TN/NC state line.

The Carvers Gap Trailhead
It was just above freezing when we started the hike, but a strong wind made it feel downright frigid!  There was not that much snow at the trailhead , but once we started gaining a little bit of elevation and entered into the more shaded areas there was more than enough white stuff to exceed our expectations.

Kona in the Snow

We hiked the Appalachian Trail to the West towards the summit of Roan Mountain.  The trail was pretty well packed, but with a good foot of snow underfoot.  However, if you happened to step off trail into the fresh stuff, it was knee to thigh deep in places.

Dave, Andy, Boone, and Kona along the trail

We hiked to the Summit of Roan Mountain and then took a side trail to Roan High Bluffs.  The total hike was about 6 miles round trip with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain.  The scenery was spectacular!  I was definitely glad I made the long drive to experience this awesome Winter Wonderland!

Frosted Fence at Roan Mountain

 Appalachian Trail Sign


 Bare Ground next to 3 foot snow drifts

 Me at Roan High Bluffs

 view from Roan High Bluffs

 view through a Frosted Fence

 Dave and Andy along the Trail

 Boone catching a snowball

 view from Roan Mountain

Butterfly in the Snow

The complete set of photos is posted here:

1 comment:

wayne15575 said...

Awesome set Jack. Glad to see you all made it safe after all the bad weather you've had.