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Note: Anyone signing up who has never been on a very strenuous hike with Karl or me before will receive a PM asking a few basic questions about your hiking experience. This is a very strenuous hike and will be treated as such. Those who like to hike at a leisurely or "slow but steady" pace should not sign up for this hike. No disrespect, but a hike with more than 2-3 groups of people is just too difficult to manage. Description: Join us on one of the most challenging, yet enjoyable hikes in the state! On the way up the Profile Trail, we'll have some steep climbs along the way to the famous Grandfather Profile before reaching Calloway Gap. We'll swing right first so we can get to Attic Window and McRae Peak before the traffic picks up. It's Attic Window first which has a false summit before we reach it. From there, it's a short, but incredibly steep decline and incline to McRae Peak which has a breathtaking 360 degree view. By this time, we'll have not only handled the steep declines and inclines, but ladders, cables and rocks as well. It's technical, no doubt! From McRae, it's back where we came from, except we'll stay on Grandfather Trail through Calloway Gap until we reach Calloway Peak - the highest of the three peaks. It's all downhill after that as we head back toward the Profile Trail and right back down it. The continuous "down & up" will make this a very challenging event. The total ascent for all these peaks is about 3,500 feet. That's some serious hiking! Distance: The total hiking distance is a little more than 10 miles. However, that is greatly deceiving. The entire hike is nothing but down & up. For those who have hiked the New Hampshire or Maine part of the Appalachian Trail, this hike is North Carolina's closest comparison. It is rugged! Hiking Time: The total time from start to finish will be about 8 hours. This includes rest stops at each peak, an extended lunch on top of McRae Peak, and the added time of waiting for other hikers in those one-way traffic jams near McCrae Peak. That means when we're walking, we'll be moving at a solid pace. Difficulty Rating Scale: Very Strenuous = 8.5 - 10.0 Strenuous+ = 7.0 - 8.4 Strenuous = 5.5 - 6.9 My Rating - 8.8. Why this rating? It's the most RUGGED hike in North Carolina. Directions: Click on Googlemaps or Mapquest and enter this as your destination --> Profile Trail Road, Banner Elk, NC 28604 or Google the address to the Pedalin Pig Restaurant since the entrance to the Profile Trail parking lot is just up the road. Directions Update: GPS co-ordinates:[masked], [masked] for the PIN. And this Link (https://goo.gl/maps/fr2og5xUx8M6rxYg7) for the description. Directions to Profile Trail (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Charlotte,+NC/Profile+Trail,+Linville,+NCemail@example.com,-81.9153452,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x88541fc4fc381a81:0x884650e6bf43d164!2m2!1d-80.8431267!2d35.2270869!1m5!1m1!1s0x8850edaa7c2d2e19:0xfd376dcbc42e6b3!2m2!1d-81.8179214!2d36.1199716) Other Tidbits: As mentioned in the description, there are challenges with cables, ladders and rocks on this hike...very rugged! If you are wondering why we aren't hiking to the Swinging Bridge, it's because it is WAY TOO CROWDED for a large group hike...too much one-way traffic. My recommendation is to go on this hike to see what it's like, then pick another day with a small group to go to the Swinging Bridge. Hiking boots are REQUIRED. No sneakers - not much fun for anyone having to carry someone down a mountain because of a badly sprained ankle. No dogs please - I love 'em; walk them at a local shelter...but it's not an appropriate hike for dogs.
Important: When you sign up for the hike please notify me of your recent hiking experience. Please be specific in terms of trails difficulty and elevation. If I don't hear from you it's possible you may lose your spot. Overview: If you research best hikes on the east coast Old Rag tends to show up more than not. Some even list it as one of the top hikes in the world: https://www.outsideonline.com/2392049/best-hikes-in-the-world Though most of the loop trail is mundane the 3 miles of rock scrambles are outstanding. You'll be treated to many 360 degree views while you pull yourself up and over boulders. NOTE: It's a bit far from Charlotte (5 hours) and can get crowded on the weekends. Camping/Lodging Friday night: Since it's a bit of a drive from Charlotte you may want to consider driving to at least the Lynchburg area the night before. Hipcamp.com and airbnb might offer some good options. Trailhead Distance: from Lynchburg: 2 hours from Roanoke: 3 hours from Charlottesville: 1 hour Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKT89dkRvWs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0egI04eiTI Fitness: We'll be vetting for this event. Be sure that you are physically able to complete this hike. The circuit hike is about 9 miles. There is a significant elevation change and a strenuous rock scramble that requires good upper body strength. Often, children and shorter adults need assistance navigating the scramble. Make sure you read and understand the safety details below. Duration: This route can be accomplished in 4 hours or it may take as long as 8. We'll try to get an early start to beat the crowds. Fear of Heights? This may not be for you. It's about the same in a few places as Grandfather Mountain. Water: Bring at least 2 quarts of water Shoes: Make sure your shoes have appropriate grip. Privy: Old Rag Shelter along the way. Dogs: No pets on this hike. Fees: Visitors hiking Old Rag must pay $15 per person. You can also use your National Park Pass to cover you and others if you have one. Old Rag NPS safety details: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/old-rag-hike-prep.htm More details to come...
Make a day of it and plan to stay for Part 2. This portion will be roughly 4 miles. You then have the option to bail or join the afternoon group for a hike of a similar or slightly longer distance. This portion will cover Fall Mountain. A good attitude and a forgiving nature needing as the leader has far more heart than stamina. Expect a brisk pace with plenty of climbs and limited views (sorry!). Novices and those recovering from injuries should to select another hike. Bring water, lunch and your first aid kits as well as sturdy foot gear and your backpack. Note: I am planning a car pool from the Home Depot on Albermarle Rd. leaving no later than 9:30. At Morrow Mountain, we are meeting at the boat parking area. See Morrow Mountain Mix part 2 for the exact location. And if you have been a no-show for 2 of my events, please do not register.
Rocky Face Mountain is located in the Northeastern section of Alexander County has a rich history dating back to the early 1900’s. The site was a former quarry operation which began in 1922 and operations ceased in the early 1940’s. A prison camp was located nearby and a railroad reached the old quarry site. There have also been agricultural land uses such as apples, peaches, wheat and grapes near the site. Rocky Face is a dome shaped mass of granite gneiss with a maximum elevation of 1795 feet above sea level. There are actually two summits on the mountain separated by a ridge and saddle. The summit is approximately 600 feet above the surrounding terrain. Rocky Face is like a mini Stone Mountain with some challenging trails, granite mountain faces, and sprawling scenery. The hiking is mostly moderate with some steady inclines that will touch on strenuous, but only for a short time. The descents are gradual and very moderate. Meet at the Visitor's Center. • We'll take the afternoon to cover all 5+ miles of trails in the park. We will be tackling the "Vertical Mile" - one mile of elevation in one mile of distance on the route. Expect the outing to take 2.5-3 hours including stops to take in the scenery. • Due to rocky and rooty terrain with some water dripping across the trails, it is recommended to wear sturdy hiking shoes with solid and slip-resistant soles. Also make sure to bring plenty of water. • The park is 1.5 - 2 hours from Charlotte. • For more info on Rocky Face Mountain Park, click here (http://rockyfacepark.com/). • Carpool where possible. Use the thread for this hike to set up a carpool. You may post questions in the thread below or message Leigh E. if you have an questions.