ApproachRoaring Creek Rd, between Big Yellow and Grassy. Roaring Creek Road is off US 19-E. This is near the town of Minneapolis NC. Drive up Roaring Creek Rd, it becomes gravel the deadends at a FS gate, a mile from Yellow Mt Gap. The topozone link is approximately the location I parked my car.
Route DescriptionScott and I parked at the gate on Roaring Creek Rd. We then bushwhacked up a random ridge north up Big Yellow Mountain to summit ridge. (Even though it was January and there had been a deep snow, the south facing side of Yellow Mt was snow free.) Up top we were greeted by 2 feet of snow so we postholed west to the AT. Went south on AT, on a packed icy trail, to Yellow Mt Gap. The hike from Yellow Mt Gap to Low Gap was more postholing. We caught up with 4 backpackers from NY who were section hiking to Erwin Tenn, they only had a single pair of snowshoes. After fighting snow for 2 days with 1 pair of snowshoes, they opted to retreat down Roaring Creek and hitch a ride to Erwin. (Though the south doesn't usually have snow that stays around, the high mountains can get some deep snow and cold weather.) Two miles later we arrived at Low Gap. The trail was packed from Low Gap to the turnoff to the summit of Grassy as this section of the AT is populr with backpackers year round. The top of Grassy Ridge was snow free. To return to our car we bushwhacked 3000' down Big Roan Ridge. It was pretty steep and snowy,so we slid some. I was bummed because I lost my water bottle. We were tired.
Length = 10 miles, gain = 3300+, time = 8 hours