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  1. #1
    WV's Avatar
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    VA>2014 Mt. Rogers Hang, Grayson Highlands SP

    Home safely. Let the trip reports begin! I'll think about mine while I walk Freia and unpack.

  2. #2
    slowhike's Avatar
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    From bits & pieces I've herd it sounds like a great trip with some interesting details to be herd when folks get rested up.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  3. #3
    Dutch's Avatar
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    I had a great time. Enjoyed all the food but that hot chocolate really hit the SPOT. I can't thank enough all the people that contributed to put it together. All the food, raffle donations, camaraderie was excellent. I got to go out on some hikes and I enjoyed them immensely. I can't say enough good things about his community.
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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    8th Annual Mt Rogers Winter Hang Spreadsheet

  4. #4
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that everything went well, including covering the expenses & more.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  5. #5
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Rob (Firewalker) & I Left SW Ohio on Wed at 0600, which is surprising as that is when we had planned on leaving.
    As we were going to be "early" & this is VACATION, we took our time, stopped a few times too many for fuel but arrived at Grayson with less cramped legs. We left the ranger station at 1518, so decided that was WAY too late to attempt a summit of Mt Rogers. That turned out to be a good,,,,, no GREAT decision as once we unpacked to the point of shouldering pack, it was after 1600!
    Once set up at our chosen sites at the group campground, we built a small fire & had dinner. Sat & watched backcountry TV for a while & made plans to day hike the summit tomorrow.

    Thursday AM,,,, I'm not sure when either of us arose, but I was up first & I think it was after 1000. Rob says it was cold out, I have no opinion but I did, as usual, wake up a few times to cool off.
    There was a light snow overnight (about ¼” on Jeep) so it made EVERYTHING look better. No, no pictures, didn’t keep camera warm overnight, then didn’t think of it.
    So we built another fire to dry out some of the wood & build a bed of coals for when the others arrived & fussed around camp till around 1500. Around then I wanted to go see Quebec Branch because after wading it last year,,,, well I HAD to. On the way we took a quick side trail (Wilson Creek) to see Wilson Creek. WOW, I got to come back in the summer just to wade in that creek. I’m not a fisher, so,,,,
    Got to Quebec & headed back. By our return there were cars in “our” parking lot so the fun had begun.
    The fire had been stoked & food was being prepared & shared. I did start to notice that it was a bit chilly out, even had to put on my StayPuffed coat.
    If you hadn’t noticed, we didn’t go to Mt Rogers today either. Am starting to think it is not going to happen.

    Friday: Up a little earlier, maybe, I don’t know I’m on vacation! Breakfast yesterday was about the average calorie content of what I normally eat all day, today’s was nearly twice that.
    After some socializing with new & OLD friends, Bonsaihiker, Firewalker & I felt like a hike, so off towards the Pinnacle for us on the Stamper’s branch trail. As we climbed the first “major” hill, Rob & I decided we were to old & out of shape,,, OK, too out of shape, although I still maintain that Round is still a shape. So, anyway Scott suggested we head to Massy Gap & over to the Wise shelter.
    As we got to Massy Gap, I realized that after last year I NEEDED to do that hike, more I think than I ever needed a hike in my 57 years of hiking. Sort of attaining Closure if you will.
    I highly recommend this loop hike: Stamper Branch to the park road, turn right (1/4 to ½ mile) then right onto the Rhododendron trail up to the AT, AT to the Wise shelter & then back the abandoned road to the Group campground. Yes, there is a road walk involved, but worth it to me!
    As we were hiking Scott told us of seeing a very short pony stallion “with an attitude” he & family had seen last time there! Let me tell you, the pony they named Napoleon” is, to his mind at least 10’ tall. He is master of all he surveys & has a fairly substantial harem (I counted at least 10 mares). And, the views along the entire route (not so much on the road) are worthy of any I have hiked through.
    Along the way; we climbed rocks, took pictures, talked & looked.
    When we got to the bridge over the upper reaches of Quebec branch, (where the trouble really began last year) I was happy to be there. Granted, this was the 6th time I had hiked that stretch, but it was like an old friend, even after,,,,,,,,,
    Anyway, we got to the Wise shelter only to see an old friend JJ, taking a break. So, we had a snack & chatted a bit. I was VERY happy to note that the Wise shelter had been re-roofed, the area cleaned up a bit & some of the abused vegetation was bouncing back from what the Tourons had done to it. Seriously people: burning live bushes & trees because you are too stupid & lazy to walk a few feet to get firewood?
    ANYWAY: walked back to the Group campground for yet more food!

    Saturday: Up before the crack of noon,,, maybe! I have no idea what I had for breakfast, but I assure you it was a bunch! Scott & I decided to take a walk, as it had snowed a bit we decided to test walk our snowshoes “for real” yea, 2” of snow isn’t enough, but we enjoyed it. After less than ½ mile, the snowshoes went into the pack & we continued down Wilson Creek with the goal of doing it’s full length. It is a BEAUTIFUL hike along a large stream, but we determined that it is not for beginners. See the pictures below for some of the views, and as usual, the pictures do NOT do the views Justus!
    As you may have guessed, the “Pot Luck” pretty much started on Thursday, but it went in to full force around noon on Saturday. There was,,,,, a LOT of food, enough that even after the 2 hikes the sorest part of my body is my jaw muscles! I feel I was chewing for most of the day Thurs AM to Sat PM.
    As the Food vanished, ticket sales for the raffle began. There was some good stuff there, I got a set of Wristies & happily wore them the rest of the day.

    Saturday PM: Well, a bunch were leaving, & Rob & I were Planning on staying till Sunday, with breakfast at the Log House being our primary goal for staying. Through a series of casual conversations, Scott, Rob & I decided to also leave, partly due to reports of a severe winter storm heading towards our homes. So, we headed out in caravan. I still had stuff (Hang related) to tidy up so it took a while for me to even start taking down camp. And in following the theme of this weekend, I again lost a piece of gear, , , maybe.

    Rob & I made it to my house around 0230 on Sunday, & I again got something to eat. Then I got a shower, & ate again.

    All in all I had a GREAT time!

    Pictures,
    Tuesday:
    Pic 1: my Pulk in my backyard, pre trip.
    Wed:
    Pic #2: Back end of Jeep near the group CG. The log cabin is the country store (closed in winter)
    Thursday:
    Pic #3: View from the overlook just up the road from the Ranger's station.
    Pic #4: Rob & I at the overlook, doing the tourist thing.
    Pic #5: Rob checking out Wilson Creek

    More pictures to follow.
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    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  6. #6
    BigLazy's Avatar
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    Great report Doctari! I definitely agree that round is a shape as I represent that remark. :-) Glad you all had a great trip.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bonsaihiker's Avatar
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    Had a great time, lots of hiking. Thursday night around the fire I started to feel cold, but Dutch, 2Q, James and I hiked up the road to see the Wise shelter by moonlight. It was an incredibly beautiful hike and afterward was the best night's sleep I've had in a very long time.

    Friday was a good long hike up Stamper's branch, then to Massie Gap and along the AT to Wise and back with Doctari and Firewalker. We were fortunate enough to see the same herd of ponies my family fell in love with in September, headed by the tiny stallion we call "Napoleon." After dinner the temps started dropping quickly. Sleep that night was good until I got up at ~3:30 to water the trees. Couldn't warm up after that for some reason, but I did sleep off and on the rest of the night.

    Saturday morning at 7:40 my thermometer read 4.4 deg. F. Dutch made the morning better with some amazing French toast with unbelievable homemade marmalade. Then a trip to the Ranger's station for water and use of a WARM bathroom. The hike that day was with Doctari on the Wilson Creek trail upstream (next time we will hike DOWNSTREAM). The Rhodies kept catching on my daypack and made the hike much more challenging than I would have liked, but the views of the creek were incredible. Back to the campground for more potluck food than I should have eaten, a great raffle, and then decided to beat the weather and head on home to my family. I'm still unpacking/washing/drying gear.

    Thank you to everyone there for making a memorable hang, and to Marcea and the rest of the rangers/employees of GHSP for their hospitality.

    I tried to post some photos, but the forum won't let me...as usual.
    --Scott <><

    "I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful... because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience...." --Robert Traver

  8. #8
    2Questions's Avatar
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    Home, warm, clean, rested......the end of a great hang at Mt Rogers. A couple finger splits to Dermabond, lips a bit chapped from the wind, and still some "Pot of beans and peppers" effects to work through, but enjoyed every minute of the hang. Worth the trip from PA every year. A few pics...
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  9. #9
    New Member Spyvenom's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that everyone had a great time and stated warm. I hope to make it next year. Looking forward to the rest of the reports.

  10. #10
    Doctari's Avatar
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    OK, counted the money we will be giving to the Friends of Grayson Highlands (will send a check when banks open tomorrow) for a grand total of $285.00!
    That is after expenses of: Jobsite Johnny (portable outhouse), firewood & use of the Group campground.
    So, once again: Thanks to all who participated in the raffle! It helped to pay for a great time & the "leftover" goes to a GREAT cause!

    Some of the things the friends do:
    Maintain a weather station and video web cam to provide current weather information via their website.
    Yearly financial assistance with canoe, adventure & junior rangers, dog show, October Hayride, Easter Egg Hunt, Youth Conservation Corps programs. These programs promote an awareness & appreciation of nature in the public, particularly our youth, and encourage positive stewardship for future generations.
    Maintain wildflower/butterfly gardens, & designated as a Monarch Way Station.
    And other projects to help the Park.


    A few more pictures I took:

    #1: Bonsaihiker at a "Hammocks only" sign!
    #2: The upper part of the Wilson creek trail. What turned out to be the easiest section by far.
    #3: Sir Edmund Hillery.
    #4: Frozen waterfall, one of many we saw.
    #5: Me at a different waterfall.


    This was a GREAT hike, excellent views of the creek & snow covered,,,, everything. I was thankful I had a snow sweeper ahead of me to knock off the overhead snow. There is a surprising amount of elevation gain along this trail, so as stated earlier, it isn't a beginner's trail. And there are quite a few very narrow sections over the creek, with a few downhills that end at a drop off into the creek if you can't make the 90 degree turn. The far end of the trail ends (starts?) well before Quebec Branch on the abandoned farm road leading to the Wise, so possibly an easier hike would be to walk downhill back to the campground.


    A reminder for those who like to plan well in advance: This hangout is the 3rd weekend in January for as long as we have it. So start packing now!
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    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

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