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  1. #1
    New Member wfuballer21's Avatar
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    july 4th linville gorge trip report

    i noticed a trip report on the linville gorge recently and realized that i forgot to post my own trip report that i undertook this past 4th of july. i'm a member of the yahoo linville gorge group and posted this there:

    "okay, so as some of you know, i undertook my first big challenge in my
    short backpacking career this past weekend. At brad's suggestion, my
    friend and i hiked a loop at the Gorge starting from Pinnacle TH and
    taking the MST north to Spence, crossing the river and back down the
    LGT to Pinchin. all in all, around 20 miles in three days, highs and
    lows, and a trip i'll never forget. i apologize if this is too long,
    but it's my first trip report, and i'm not certain how detailed they're
    supposed to be!

    Day 1: we started at Pinnacle around 1 p.m. on friday. the weather was
    gorgeous with sunny skies and temps around 85 deg. a short walk from
    the trail head to the scenic Pinnacle was just what we needed to get us
    excited about the next 2 days. we climbed down the MST to the river
    rather quickly and took some pics. by that time, the weather had
    changed rapidly and we had experienced sudden bursts of showers, but
    had not stopped. seconds after taking pictures, the skies OPENED UP!
    before we could cross the river, we found ourselves huddled under a
    tarp and waiting it out. the rain ended as fast at it had begun and we
    crossed the cool, refreshing river with a rainbow just over us. AWESOME!

    we raced up to shortoff, through the burnout, sometimes struggling to
    find the path and markers. it was really something to see where the
    fires had reached and the death and life of nature was really cool. we
    just reached our first camp on the north side of Shortoff right at dusk
    and refilled our water and ate, and slept early.

    Day 2: the next morning, we awoke to much fog and damp EVERYTHING. we
    quickly ate some oatmeal and got on the move around 8 a.m. we stormed
    down Shortoff (the cooler temps definatly helped!) and passed a rather
    large group of hikers that we would later befriend and share a nice
    cold beer with at Table Rock. the climb up through chimney gap was
    definatly tougher than i had imagined. it's been a few years since i've
    hiked, but i tend to stay in relative good shape due to playing soccer
    and such. As we approached Table Rock parking lot, we were in awe of
    the great views on both sides of the ridge we were on. spectacular
    stuff. as mentioned before, we hiked up to Table Rock and shared a cold
    one with some really nice folks. the sun would break through
    occasionally burning out the fog in the Gorge, but for the most part,
    the weather remained humid and cool and rather foggy. we caught the LTR
    trail and it was pretty slippery going down due to the rains the day
    before. we stopped at the bottom of the trail to refill from one of the
    many streams. this is when our first bear sighting happened. a small
    black bear seemed as much surprised at us as we were at him when he
    came tumbling down the ridge just ahead of us. he arrived on the trail
    about 50 yds ahead of us and looked us over before retreating.

    the hike from there to spence was really nice. cool temps, amazing lush
    greenery, and the sound of water all around. the spence trail was short
    and we came to the walking bridge quickly. we stopped for a quick snack
    and continued on across to the LGT. we hiked south only a little while
    until we reached a camp site around Conley trail around 4 pm. we made
    camp, refilled water, and played in the river a while. the water was
    incredibly refreshing, since by that time, we were feeling pretty
    dirty. a good hearty meal, nice hot fire, and drying shoes concluded
    the night.

    day 3: i awoke to incredible stiffness. i believe this to be mainly due
    to the fact that i slept in a tent instead of my usual hammock. we
    broke camp early, skipped breakfast and got on the trail eager to reach
    the car. our original plan intended us to hike the LGT as far as it
    could go, then rock-hop the river and bushwack a short distance to the
    saddle of the MST and then up to Pinnacle. we decided we weren't too
    comfortable with that idea and to hike out of Pinchin. we would regret
    this later. the hike down the LGT was as fast as it could go-
    navigating slippery rocks and unstable roots was a chore and slowed us
    down considerably. as the day progressed, the sun finally showed it's
    face and the valley floor heated up immensely. by the time we reached
    Pinchin, it was HOT! later on, my car thermometer would read 93
    degrees. i had about 1 1/2 liters of water when we hiked up Pinchin. i
    didn't refill and that was probably the biggest mistake of the trip. im
    not sure how pinchin trail is compared to all the Gorge trails, but it
    was definatly the toughest i'd been on. the grade was so steep, many
    times i found myself on all fours crawling up the burned, barren,
    dusty, suity trail. i renamed it something i probably shouldn't repeat.
    i ran out of water about a 1/3 of the way up. things quickly went from
    bad to worse when i started getting extremely dizzy and experienced
    symptoms of, what i think, the beginnings of heat stroke. our pace
    slowed down so much. every shady spot was few and far between, but we
    managed to stop and cool our body temps down before we marched on. the
    top of the trail was the happiest moment of my trip. we headed on down
    kistler 105 to Pinnacle. not far down, (around Dobson i believe) we
    came across some young car campers. they had two BIG dogs which rushed
    me and scared me half to death. one of them bit me on the calf rather
    badly. the owners felt horrible and took us to their camp where they
    gave me water and dressing for my leg. i asked them for a ride to our
    car and they were happy to oblidge.

    we drove home a little bloody, incredibly tired and sore, yet we had
    this sense of accomplishment i cannot fully explain. theres several
    things i would do if i had to do it again, but all in all, it was a
    great moment in my life. i pushed myself in ways i never thought i
    could and am very happy with the trip. thanks to brad for all he's done
    for me in the weeks prior to the trip! and to everyone else here who's
    had a hand in my great loop and who's advice really made a difference!
    i hope this is legible and not too long.

    thanks,

    david"

  2. #2
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Thanks David! Great report!!! That's quite a trek you guys did. I've not done that loop myself, but I've done most of those trails.
    Though I've not done Pitch in trail, most people call it the most difficult trail in the gorge.
    Did you share this trip on the LG yahoo group a while back? I remember someone telling about getting dog bit on or near pitch in trail before.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  3. #3
    New Member wfuballer21's Avatar
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    yeah i posted it right after my trip and forgot to post here. i'm returning to the gorge this weekend for another loop with a friend. i'll post another trip report when i get back.

  4. #4
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Pinch In is awesome

    im
    not sure how pinchin trail is compared to all the Gorge trails, but it
    was definatly the toughest i'd been on. the grade was so steep, many
    times i found myself on all fours crawling up the burned, barren,
    dusty, suity trail. i renamed it something i probably shouldn't repeat.

    Yeah Man!!! Great to hear more Linville Gorge trip reports. Pinch In is the toughest, steepest in the gorge and that is why we always take it. Figure to see less people and get some time alone. Pinnacle is no slouch either.
    You should feel a terrific sense of accomplishment. Too bad you had to ground dwell but better that than nothin'.
    Shug of the Steep Slope
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  5. #5
    New Member wfuballer21's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Yeah Man!!! Great to hear more Linville Gorge trip reports. Pinch In is the toughest, steepest in the gorge and that is why we always take it. Figure to see less people and get some time alone. Pinnacle is no slouch either.
    You should feel a terrific sense of accomplishment. Too bad you had to ground dwell but better that than nothin'.
    Shug of the Steep Slope
    pinch in is tough- but beautiful!!! i imagine that if i hadn't hiked 20 or so miles the two days before, it wasn't mid day when i acended it, and i had water that it would be a MUCH easier climb for me. i intend to attack it again with a better game face- and WATER. the views were really great and, along with the rockjock trail, some of the best in the gorge.

    i'm going up there this weekend for another loop, but i wont be hiking pinch in. it wont be far from my mind, however if i come across a tough stretch.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Yosef's Avatar
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    great report!

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