Tagged it heading north on the AT
Reached the summit with Scott Humphrey.
We looked for a high point along the path of the solar eclipse, hoping to be on the AT as well. This seemed to make sense, and it turned out to be an amazing show. Huge, great crowd on top, and the clouds moved completely out of the way about 30 minutes before the crescent started.
I assume there are nice views from up here. All we coukd see were clouds and teen boys camping on the summit.
I dropped down from Locust Gap and used the gated forest road on the east side for the return trip.
North from the NOC to Stecoah Gap. The ups and downs on the way out got old, especially with 30 pounds on my back. It was pretty cloudy out, but still had some nice views. Some idiot had unfortunately littered the summit with religious pamphlets.
Hiked 16 miles this day, including the tough ascent of Cheoah Bald.
Actually, I never got stung. But I got a free trekking pole that some poor hiker had apparently left behind while fleeing the freshly opened hive of yellow jackets on the AT about 2 miles south of the summit. I hiked up from the Nantahala Gorge, which makes for about 3400 feet of elevation gain over 8 miles-- this is pretty rough for the Southern Appalachians (or maybe just me). Either way, this fella kicked my @$$ that day and on 10/14/06 when I day-hiked it up and back. Awesome experience though-- both times.
Return via parallel FS road
Seeing the summit sign came as a bit of a surprise since it was tacked to a tree and I was in the woods. There was some open area to the south but not much. The southern Balds are really a thing of the past. AT nobo.
Very pretty trail with little ups and downs. Partial view from top. It's more like a cutblock on the side of the top. Not the best destination.
Snow, sleet, and rain; but good Wild Turkey!
Hit this summit on a section hike of the A.T. Great views.
The trip is 11 moderately tough miles with 20 lbs on your back. It took about 2.5 hours to the top and the same in return. There was a light freezing rain and sleet with temps near 30 degrees. Going up and down each sub peak proved to get old after a while.