Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Unpublished Photos from Black Mountain Crest Trail

Back in 2005 I took one of my Black Mountain Crest Trail solo backpacking trips. As I recall, I pretty much had the whole trail to myself. I did pass two other hikers, briefly, just after a downpour. During such a downpour, parts of the "trail" quite literally become waterfalls. This is because the trail ascends/descends sheer faces of rock. I couldn't get any photos of this when it was happening because it was raining far too hard to take my digital camera out of its camera bag.

This was not a trip for long-range views.

I had taken this particular backpack to bag a few peaks on my list. This I was able to do, but true to form, the Crest Trail totally kicked my ass. I hiked it during one of my lardass periods, so that didn't help.

Following are some photos of the trail that I've never shared.

As I recall, this is part of the trail just after you pass the top of Winter Star and descend beyond it heading toward Gibbs Mountain and Horse Rock. The trail here is very darned rugged and it's easy to get lost just past here where the trail enters one of the red spruce forests that are my personal kryptonite.

This is actually the trail. During warmer months it is not very well maintained and so the plants and shrubs conspire to hide it from hikers. You just have to assume it's where it should be and hope you don't wander off onto a cliff.

Once again, the trail is under there somewhere. Just make the best guess and push on.

This was a summit on my list. I think it was Gibbs Mountain. I had a hard time finding the high point in the pea soup that passed for atmosphere that day. By this time I was pretty much soaked to the bone and exhausted. I still had another peak to bag, then a return to the gap where my tent was pitched where I had to break down camp, pack it away, and then hike five miles beyond to where my truck was parked. The effort damned near killt me.

The high point of Celo Knob that day. I was happy to bag that bitch, but Great Humping Jove, I was tired.

This is a strange point. If you don't turn aside here, you will quite literally walk off a cliff, the edge of which is hidden in the shrubs.

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