Cold Mountain overnight
When the occasion arises, I stop for lunch at a local Pub to have lunch and play Buzz-Time Trivia to keep my brain functioning. Over time I've come to know some of the local savants. While playing one day and sputtering about hammock hanging and hiking I mentioned the need to conquer Cold Mountain. To my surprise, two of my cronies said, "I'll hike it with you." And so the trip became real.
Both Darryl and John are newbs to hammock hanging but expressed an interest in trying it out so I agreed to outfit them for the trip :eek:
John is a local shoppe keeper so we got a late start on Saturday.
Darryl, John, and I, arrived at the trail-head with the intent of summiting the mountain and hanging there with a backup plan of camping at Deep Gap, time not permitting.
We set off on the Art Loeb Trail towards Deep Gap and Mother Nature blessed us with a short lived but heavy rain to set the tone.
The trail is lots of roots and rocks with some smooth patches so as not to totally demoralize hikers (Art was a sadist). The hike is ~4 miles and 1700' elevation gain to Deep Gap. It takes you through lush forest with beautiful wild flowers throughout. John and Darryl are both quite knowledgeable in the local flora and fauna, as well as the edible plants, so I got an education too.
We arrived at Deep Gap and decided to set up camp and summit in the early morning. The wind was a steady 20+ mph with higher gusts on the ridge so we chose to set up on the leeward side and thank God we did.
Following a memorable evening of good food, good conversation, several hours of star gazing, we turned in. There was a hellacious wind storm ~3AM which pulled all my stakes right out of the ground. (I had set Darryl and John up with their rigs running North-South so they would be protected on their first night in a hammock. This left me with only an East-West option but I kinda wanted to get the 'total effect' of the ridge and all it had to offer.)
Morning came and we grabbed a few supplies and set out to summit without our packs. The hike up is about a mile with another 950+ elevation gain.
The 'finger' outcropping.
A few rest stops to hydrate and take in the view of the Shining Rock Wilderness.
Victory is ours!!!!!!
It was cold and very windy at the summit.
We had to have 'a spot of tea' on the summit in celebration as John is a Britt. Thanking God and the mountain, for the gifts we received, we descended back to Deep Gap, gathered our gear and headed back to Camp Daniel Boone.
The ride back to H'ville was relatively quiet. HB once said, "A quiet ride home is a good thing and it's OK. You're just overwhelmed and processing the hike".
We arrived in town and had to have lunch with our favorite Angel, Amy. She's got a heart of gold and a smile that lights up the rainiest of days. We were greeted like heroes.
What a great weekend :boggle:
WOW RF ... what a nice surprise to see this report. It's been over 40 years since I've done the AL trail. Looks like a great trip even in the heat of this past weekend. Glad you had a good time and what a pretty smile to wrap the trip up nicely! That Amy looks like a gem.
Thanks pal ... great pictures. I like that "water bottle" your friend has on the trail ... the good old milk jug! Reminds me of my Scout days! ;)
Or was that a little "shine" in that jug? :lol:
Thanks Running Feather! Great report there. Glad you guys had a good trip, and sounds like you may have two more converts.
Nice pics RF, I think the last one is the prettiest!:lol::lol:
Good report, you know I'd have liked to join ya'll. Oh well, I'll be there at the hang this next weekend. Looks like it was a good time.:thumbup1:
The trail hasn't changed much. The roots got bigger and the rocks a little sharper.
Originally Posted by Hawk-eye
The only time we were hot was when the rain stopped and we were treated to sweltering 100% humidity for a short while but the clouds and wind came right back to keep us cool (and looking up for more incoming rain). Other than that the wind and the mountain kept the temps down.
Amy is a gem, and one of my favorite people. She is sharp witted, never misses anything and truly cares for her patrons. (The locals anyway.)
I was surprised to see John's water jug myself :scared: I'd never hiked with either John or Darryl, but I know they're smart cookies and would somehow cover the bases.
We did of course have a little 'livation' with us. (for medicinal purpose only)
Both have expressed interest in future hangs :D
Originally Posted by Ken
You were truly missed my friend.
Originally Posted by Hangin' Burrito
That was a great trip report. I really enjoyed the pictures. Those views from the top certainly make the effort worthwhile. have to add this trip to my short list.
Well worth it. HB and I had hiked from Black Balsam to Cold Mountain a few years ago but turned around at the water pipe, which is half way up the CMT, due to a setting sun :( Neither of us were adequately prepared for an overnight and I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than hike the Art Loeb in the dark :scared:
Originally Posted by swampfox
Did you find water along the way? There should have been three or four good sources on the way up from the BSA camp.
AntiKate and I hiked Cold Mtn two falls in a row back during the drought. We had to carry every drop of water we used.
The first time we did a day hike from DB BSA camp. The summit greeted us with a peek of the view, followed by a whiteout and a short but heavy rainstorm. (Yes, during the drought!)
The second time we spent the night on the summit after hiking from the parking lot south of Shining Rock, down the Narrows, across Deep Gap and up Cold Mountain. I hung in my hammock, and the rest of the crew were on the ground, near a hornet's nest beside the trail!
The 3,000' drop from summit to the SE foot of the mountain, east of Deep Gap, is particularly impressive to me. There is a trail leading in that direction from Deep Gap. That low area nestled up against the mountain is private land inside the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, and would be a very cool place to hide out. Somewhere near Cold Mtn they are trying to build expensive homes...