May 13, 2014

Linville Gorge April 25-27

Arrived a Sitting Bear parking around 5:30 PM Friday . Made the short hike up to the "saddle" along Jonas ridge. Here I found Loki, Running Feather, and Hangin' Burrito. The winds were absolutely howling and it took the assistance of my com padres to get my hammock set up rather than sail away in the vortex of shifting gust. We hunkered Down huddled under Loki's tarp to avoid the gust as best we could.
There would be no camp fire that night

Saturday we woke to much better weather. Of course we went to Louise's for breakfast before we our morning hike up Sitting Bear.

The hike up Sitting bear started off easy enough but we would find that it becomes increasingly steep as you climb towards the summit.

After a stop at the "sitting Bear,"
we made the final push to the summit of the mountain. Once at the Top we stopped at a nice camping area with some great views to have a snack and catch our breath. We saw and conversed with a few fellow hikers, all of which were quite drained from the hike to the top.

We decided not to go back the way we camp opting instead to hike Jonas Ridge to Halfway Trail and road walk back to Sitting Bear parking. A pretty walk along the ridge led us to the Halfway Trail. It's a pretty good decent along this trail and steep in spots but no where near as bad as the Sitting Bear trail is.

As we were making our way up the road, our friends Shutter_Bug and Cooldays came in to join us for the rest of the weekend. Once back to the saddle camp, Cooldays Shutter_Bug and I decided to hike the Devil's Hole trail down to the river. The rest of the guys opted for lolly gagging at camp. I would know why in a couple hours...

Devil's Hole Trail descends roughly 1100 feet in about 1.4 miles along the fall line. Needless to say, you are going down or you are going up. You won't find very many level spots along this trail, however there is a nice place to camp down by the river.

We hung out at the river for a spell and then made the ascent back up the trail to camp. All I could think while grinding up the hill was the trail laughs at you on the way down, it laughs even more on your way back up, but I am glad I hiked it. To me, it's one that every Gorge lover has to do just to have said they have done it. I don't see myself doing it again unless it was part of a bigger circuit of trails I was doing.

After meeting back up with the rest of the fellas at camp, and getting some much needed rest, we headed off to Louise's for some dinner. We returned back to camp where we had a nice fire and told some lies before heading off to the hammocks.

Sunday morning we finished off this trip with our traditional breakfast at Louise's before saying our goodbyes and heading our separate ways

It was another great trip to the big ditch.... Can't wait for the next time!!!