We tried to do a loop tried this summer up the Crooked Arm Trail and over the Scott Mtn Trail....it was closed then and is closed now. The GSMNP web site said it was open, signs at the trail head said closed-but we still tried, tried until 2 in the morning. After realizing the trail was impassable we turned back to CS 6, hung hammocks, and let a pit we dug slowly fill with water. The next day we re-routed over Rich Mountain on the Indian Grave Gap Trail then using the Rich Mtn Loop trail we completed the loop back to Cades Cove.
We were greatly shocked by the weather. We both carried winter loads (yep, checked the forecast before we left) and backpacked in 38-62F temps.
Tried something new with the Gredemeer modded Caldera Cone and loved it, something I'll be repeating.
Also have now used the Gredemeer Alc. Stove several times and now consider it at 7 grams the perfect adjunct stove to have on hand. For a while I thought it was solely a pressurized stove requiring you to place the pot on this chimney stove-I was wrong. You can certainly do that and enjoy even greater efficiency but you can also just put it inside the caldera cone and enjoy that same efficiency without regard to the pot sitting directly on top of the stove.
Gredemeer has these available for those interested-just shoot him a PM.
No need for the sock for warmth the first night so I put it in complete tarp mode. Second night to block a breeze from hitting my face I pulled up the SEEP half-way.
After the 2 mile attempt in the wee hours of the morning on the gnarly Scott Mountain Trail the second days hike found us both very tired and sore-the second night I slept 11 hours.
Still a beautiful time to be in the park despite the heat: