1 peak (doubletop) snowshoeing, maybe more *** time changed***

**** UPDATED*****

New time.  Also this will be a snowshoe hike.

If you don't have snowshoes please bring some kind of traction devices.  We will try the doubletop mountain first as this is accessible from outside the park. Skyline drive might be closed.

Also the new time is 7:00 am.  There is NO $10 fee.  We will try to finish by lunch and head over to a local lunch spot.

 

 a better picture is available by clicking this link




 

 Directions to parking:

south on U.S. 29 until reaching Route 231. Go north on 231 and then turn left on SR 670 towards Syria. Make another left on SR 649 and follow it to its end. SR 649 becomes Rapidan Road as it enters Shenandoah National Park. Continue on the road as it crosses a bridge across the Rapidan River, which forms the boundary of Shenandoah National Park and the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area. Shortly after the second bridge across the Rapidan River, you will see orange blazes on the right side of the road that indicate the beginning of the Wilhite Wagon Trail. Park on the left side of the road about 0.1 miles after the trailhead. If you miss the trailhead, the coordinates are[masked] N,[masked] W.

 

 

 

 

Place holder for a long hike.  But we will be splitting this into several loops

so there will be an option for a short looped version.  Look for that soon.

*** EXTREME HARDCORE OVER 26 miles AND lots of ELEVATION GAIN***

This is a place holder for another 4 peaks.  Keith Ferguson is going to be in town from Arizona.

[b]Note: THIS EVENT IS NOT FULL BUT EVERYONE NEEDS TO SIGN IN AS WAITLISTED AND ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT POPS UP BEFORE I MOVE THEM TO YES.[/b][/color] This is another of 4 peaks series.

Details from the first 6:

hike 1

hike 2

hike 3

hike 4

hike 5

hike 6

If you have done the first 6 you will know what to expect. These are **EXTREMELY STRENOUS HIKES** so you may sign up for the wait list and answer the questions about the hardest hike you have done and I will then move you into the yes list.

Although this is **EXTREMELY HARD** there is some support. There will be coolers with Gatorade, water, other drinks and food at a few places. The suggested donation is $10.

 

The peaks are: Doubletop , Big Tom , Black Rock and Fork Mountain .

Note: the colors match with the traced outline on the map above

The route is as follows:
1. Meet at Centreville P&R for carpooling and 
***BREAKFAST**** at Dunking Donuts across the parking lot.

2. Drive to Shenandoah National Park to end of route 648 near the
PATC Meadows cabin parking.

3. Loop 1: DoubleTop
a. *** WATER/GATORADE refill****
b. Continue on fireroad to Upper Dark Hollow Trail.
c. Left on UDH Trail to Rapidan Fire Road.
d. Left on RF road to DoubleTop Trail.
e. End back at parking lot for 
****SNACKS ****, and ***Water/Gatorade REFILL***.

4. Loop 2: Big Tom (Skip this if you are running late)
a. Turn right to trail around cabin.
b. At the bend in the trail start bushwacking to Big Tom.
Note: This is a Bushwhack. If you are not comfortable continue onto
the trail and back to car.
c. ****SNACKS ****, and ***Water/Gatorade REFILL***.


5. Climb 3 + loop: Black Rock.
a. Continue on fireroad to Upper Dark Hollow Trail.
b. Right on UDH Trail to Rose River Fire Road.
c. Left on RRF road to Dark Hollow Falls Trail.
d. Left onto DHF trails to Skyline Road.
e. Left on Skyline Road to Big Meadows Restaurant.
f. ***LUNCH*** at Big meadows. If we arrive too early we will
do loop first.  ***Water Refill***
LOOP 3: (skip this if you are too slow)
g. Continue on Skyline Drive to Rapidan fire road Trail head.
h. Right on RF road to Lewis falls trail
i. Continue on Lewis falls trail to Applachian trail.
j. Right on AT.  Black rock is a short scramble off the trail.
h. If everyone is together we will continue on AT else meet
the others at Big meadows.

6. 4th peak: Fork Mtn (FAA relay tower):
a. Continue on AT to Mill Prong trail.
b. Left on MP trail to Fork mtn trail.

c. if slow, wait here for group to return
d. Right on Fork mtn trail to "The Sag" -- a 4 way of trails. 
e. Left onto the fire road to FAA relay tower. 
f. Back down the fire road to the Sag. 
g. Right onto Fork Mtn trail 
h. Continue onto to fire road 
i. Right on Upper Dark Hollow Trail. 
j. Right on fire road to parking. 
** The END.  More snacks and Beer ***

Highlights:
1. DoubleTop is really 4 or more tops.  It is very steep and
and has good views (not on the real peak but on all along the
trail)
2. Big Tom has some Bushwhacking.
3. FAA relay tower.  Not exciting but it is a landmark.
Can see the FAA tower from most of the other peaks.
4. A few water waterfalls.  Dark Hollow falls is really beautiful.
We will also pass Lewis falls and Big Rock falls.
5. Lunch at Big Meadows.  They have ice cream and beer :)
6. For the History buffs we will pass through Rapidan Camp National
Historic Landmark (Camp Hoover).
7. There is always the fun of 4 peaks: readjusting routes according
to group pace and time.

Guidelines:

1. Hike at your own pace.  It's ok to go off on your own as long as you have a map and cell phone.  Leave me a text or voice message if you get done early and decide to leave. My cell is[masked]-8944.

2. Hike will not be cancelled.  Rain or Shine.  No requests for date/time change entertained.  Nor will complaints about weather, bugs, etc.  Please pack bug spray.  You may leave extra clothes/rain gear in the parking lot.  We will do a few loops around it. Might also want to pack a small headlamp.

3.  If you are slow please sit out the short loops.  There are 3 places to cut out sections and sync with other team members.  There are also a few scheduled stops to sync up with.

4. Relax. If you are slow don't stress out too much. I will be at the back most of the time and will stop at all turns / high points to wait for all members.

5. Fast or slow, please spend some time with the group.  At least at the snack points, the lunch point and the end.  I know some people don't like pictures taken.  Hope everyone is ok with pictures or atleast tolerate some pictures :) Please let us know beforehand.

6. Pack in, pack out.  I will have garbage/recycling bags at the trail head.  There is garbage at the lunch spot too.  It is ok to leave bio-degradable stuff like banana peels.  Just keep out of sight.  I will have a roll of tissue paper and shovel with me for calls of nature.  Just ask.  Dig atleast 6 inches. There is a toilet at the lunch spot.

7. Please carpool and split the cost of the gas.  From Centreville P&R it is about 140 miles round trip.  At 20 cents a mile thats $28.  Please divide that by number of passengers. Plus or minus if you are driving from other places.

8. Don't worry about food, water too much.  I will have a well stocked car with cheese sticks, slim jim jerky, oranges, bananas, gatorade, various chips, water, ice, nuun, cliff and other granola bars, etc.  Please bring a 2 liter water bladder.

In summary, relax, don't stress out about keeping up or with a slow group.  Do what feels right to you.

Directions to Trail head:

1. from Centreville P&R make a left to Stone Road and another left onto US-29 S
2. Take ramp to I-66 W and go for 9 miles
3. Take exit 43A to merge onto US-29 S
4. Stay on US-29 for about 12 miles
5. In Warrenton turn right onto US-211 W
6. Go about 28 miles and turn left onto US-522 S in Sperryville
7. Turn immediate left again to stay on US-522.
8. Turn right onto US-231 S in about a mile
9. Go about 10 miles and turn right onto Etlan Rd.  There will be a sign for Cedar Run/White Oak Canyon Parking
10. When you get to a T junction, turn left on SR 643 in about 4 miles (Note: Right turn will take you to Cedar Run/White Oak parking)
11. Turn right on VA-670 in about a mile
12. Turn left onto SR-648 in about 1.5 miles
13. Park at end of road.

A larger printable map is here:  http://karnam.info/Rapidan_4_peaks.jpg

I used http://geodistance.com to get a trail distance.  It came out to be 29.5 miles.

I think the actual distance could be +/- 10% as my sketch of the trail was close but not quite accurate around the tight turns and steep sections.

cheers,
Swam

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  • Steve G.

    I've been racking my brain trying to solve the mystery of how you all managed to get to the trailhead, while I got stuck en route in my 4x4. And I think I figured it out. Jinkies, scoob, its a mystery!. I only mention this in case you repost, but if you look above, the gps co-ords (which I used) DO NOT MATCH up with the turn by turn directions. So even if we hadn't got stuck, we still would have missed you, because we'd've landed in the wrong spot.

    2 · February 17, 2014

    • Vince

      It happens. I zoomed in on the coordinates and made sure it was towards the Rapidan Camp before going anywhere. I was late and did not have turn-by-turn directions either. Had to pick up a GPS on the way out as well.

      1 · February 18, 2014

    • Vince

      It's an old GPS that I borrow. Still need to get one eventually a used cheap one.

      1 · February 18, 2014

  • Hua D.

    A brutal work out !!!!!!!

    1 · February 16, 2014

  • Megan B.

    Sorry we missed you guys, but we had fun! and sounds like you did too!

    2 · February 15, 2014

  • Jenny H.

    I enjoyed the snowshoeing a lot.

    2 · February 15, 2014

  • Jenne World T.

    I will not attend a deep snow hike without snowshoes ever. It was brutal but fun!

    2 · February 15, 2014

  • Swamy K.

    My cell is[masked]

    February 14, 2014

    • Jenne World T.

      I need a ride form C-ville to the trail head. Will I survive without snowshoe?

      1 · February 14, 2014

    • Swamy K.

      Jenne you can ride with me

      February 15, 2014

  • Steve G.

    Map link yeilds a 404. I won't be anywhere near a printer before tomorrow, can someone please bring an extra copy?

    The requested URL /Rapidan_4_peaks.jpg was not found on this server.

    1 · February 14, 2014

  • Swamy K.

    This is going to be an adventure!! Probably deep snow. Doubletop is pretty desolate with few trail markers normally. With deep snow this will be more challenging. After this we end up at historical Rapidan camp. Probably closed but it is an interesting place. The trail to Fork knob is pretty.

    February 14, 2014

  • Jenny H.

    Hi! Everyone. I just signed in. Unfortunately, the map is not available any more. Can someone send me the map. My email is aljhu67 at yahoo dot com. Thanks.

    February 14, 2014

    • Steve G.

      The map was never available, none of us have it.

      February 14, 2014

    • Swamy K.

      Sorry, just updated the map

      February 14, 2014

  • Vince

    Swamy - Can you fix the map link?

    2 · February 12, 2014

    • Swamy K.

      Sorry, fixed the map link. Hope it is not too late

      February 14, 2014

  • Jenny H.

    Swamy, what is the minimum mileage for a slow hiker? Besides, are the trails well marked if I am going to fall behind? I couldn't find any topo download showing all the trails in that area. Thanks for information.

    February 14, 2014

  • Steve G.

    I don't have snowshoes, do have well used traction gear.

    February 14, 2014

    • Steve G.

      Forget what I said, just picked up a pair.

      1 · February 14, 2014

  • Swamy K.

    Hi Steve,
    Would you be able to pick Upasana at a DC metro ?
    Upasana,
    Please get in touch with Steve.
    thanks,
    Swam

    1 · February 10, 2014

    • upasana

      Steve, we can ride with anyone, sorry I did not know that you counted us.See you all at Centreville

      February 14, 2014

    • Steve G.

      No worries. just so nobody is sweating over needing a ride from C-ville.

      February 14, 2014

  • Swamy K.

    Upasana, Vince you can ride with me. Meg, we can do a longer loop. Let's skip lunch and buy sandwiches on the way and we can do one loop and go from there.

    1 · February 14, 2014

    • Steve G.

      I'm planning on sticking around for a second loop too

      2 · February 14, 2014

    • upasana

      I am not able to take the print out of the map from this link. Can anyone bring an extra map or if its emailed to me I can try opening.

      February 14, 2014

  • Steve G.

    I'll be at Centreville, have car, can fit 3 additional comfortably, or 4 slightly less so. Looking forward to seeing y'all there!

    1 · February 10, 2014

    • Steve G.

      Sure thing, sounds like I've got a full car as of now.

      February 14, 2014

    • Megan B.

      Thanks Steve. I'm ultralight...i wont weight your car down too much !

      February 14, 2014

  • Swamy K.

    Hello,
    Because of the weather, the park gate might be closed and the hike will probably turn into a snowshoeing/walking on ice. Also I am recovering from a sickness, so this will most likely be a one loop.
    I love the double top trail and it is also accessible from outside the park. We can add another loop
    after finishing this one.

    I am also changing the time to 7:00 am.
    I will post an updated map later today. Please pack
    snowshoes and/or traction devices.

    thanks for understanding.
    Swam

    February 14, 2014

    • Megan B.

      How long is the double top loop? So we would only be hiking for 3-4 hours? :(

      February 14, 2014

  • Megan B.

    I forgot about this one :-D

    Would you be able to send out maps for each of the loops? I cannot enlarge the attached map.

    1 · February 14, 2014

  • Hua D.

    Snow shoes needed???

    February 12, 2014

  • Jennifer

    I don't think I'm ready to do a hike of this length and difficulty right now, but will try again in the future!

    February 7, 2014

  • upasana

    To reach Centreville at 5 am I need ride as I do not drive. Also, no public transport at that time. I can go till medical center metro station from where I would require ride

    February 5, 2014

  • Jasmine

    I would love to join if I can get a ride from any metro station. I live in DC and don't drive. I will chip in GAS. Pls. if you and others in the future are willing to give me a ride.

    January 6, 2014

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