Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trail to Summit of Shortoff Mountain, Part III

Icicles and snow and mountains!

Shortoff Mountain with the famous climbing walls visible on the left.


The following are just kickass photographs taken by either me, or Jack Thyen, or Andy Kunkle. The views and the conditions were about as perfect as one could hope for in winter time. There was snow and ice on the ground and in the trees. The winds were low to non-existent. And the temperatures were around freezing on the peaks so we didn't have to worry about getting frostbite.

We spent a considerable amount of time on the summit. The hike up was relatively short and easy so we had plenty of time to waste. If you consider looking upon some of the most majestic scenery to be had in the eastern half of this continent to be wasting your time. The only thing that finally chased us away was that all three of us had leaky boots and melting snow had gotten our feet wet. Our toes were beginning to lose feeling, so we decided to call it a day and head back down.

Me and Boone the dawg. Photo by Andy Kunkle.

One of the things we wanted to see before we left was a large spring that drains the pond near the top of the mountain. However, because of the snow cover and the fires of recent years, we couldn't find the right trail. With the cold eating into our feet, we called off the search for the spring and headed on down. It's just another reason to return at a later date.

If you want to see these views for yourself (and I highly recommend it), then get off of your ass and go hiking. You can't see this stuff from a car. You can't see it from a parking lot. You have to hike to see this kind of thing.

The Gorge in all her glory.

Dark spot in the center of the photo is the Linville River.

Fantastic view from the summit of Shortoff Mountain.

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