Monday, July 15, 2013

Tanawha Photos

I'll likely get very little writing done today. The day job calls.

Just a few photos of Tanawha, also known as Grandfather Mountain. This is probably the single most impressive peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And also the highest peak in the Blue Ridge (at 5,964 feet above seal level).

It has been proposed that the "Boone Bowl" on the mountain is the remains of a glacial cirque. I can believe it.

I saw similar features in the White Mountains of New Hampshire which definitely had glacial cirques.
Tanawha is one of the most rugged mountains in the southeast.
Self-portrait standing on what looks suspiciously like the rim of a glacial cirque.
Very much appears to be a glacial cirque.
Some of the rock striations that were found in the 1970s as evidence of past glaciation.


stan said...

Grandfather Mountain used to bill itself as the highest mountain on the Blue Ridge.
Now, most people define the Blue Ridge region as encompassing higher mountains, including Mount Mitchell.
What say you? What is the definition of the "Blue Ridge", or "Blue Ridge Mountains"? Is it possible that it can be defined more than one way?
Tanawha is a great place.

James Robert Smith said...

The Appalachian Mountains are made up of a large number of sub-ranges. The Alleghenies. The White Mountains. The Catskills. The Blue Ridge. And so on.

Grandfather/Tanawha really is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains that stretch from northern Georgia to central Virginia.

Mount Mitchell is not in the Blue Ridge. It's actually part of a distinct smaller range called The Black Mountains, and even show evidence of relatively recent uplift and tectonic activity.

So, geologically speaking, Mitchell is not in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And Grandfather is, apparently, the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I'm not sure what the status of Roan Mountain is--but apparently it's not considered a part of the Blue Ridge. If it were, then it would be higher than Tanawha by several hundred feet.

Still, Tanawha is one of the most impressive mountains in the entire Appalachian chain. An extremely rugged and unique summit.

Kirk G said...

I had always heard that the definition of the Blue Ridge Mountains (that we had visted while camping in the early 1960s) was any line of mountains that produced the blue haze from a campfire. That is, if you were buring wood smoke, then the ridgeline would have a blue haze and could be called Blue Ridge Mts.

James Robert Smith said...

Most mountains, especially in the Appalachians, appear to be blue from a distance. This is due to particulate matter in the atmosphere. In the old days, this was mainly pollen and water vapor.