Fri, Nov 4 2016 - The Gorge and The Grandfather aka Linville and Ladders (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Eric P, Jenny
Participants:Eric P, Jenny, Kevin, Bryan E., Matt Loyd, Claudia G, Armin, Nahid

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Write Up:
It is always a great day when you can spend it in the mountains, but this was a particularly beautiful 4 days in NC with this fun group. We started our adventure at the Spence Ridge Trailhead in Linville for a clockwise loop. AOC regulars Eric, Bryan, Armin, Kevin, Nahid and Jenny quickly learned that our 2 new members were a perfect fit for this rigorous journey. It was nice getting to know cousins Matt and Claudia as we hiked some well worn trails as well as some more "exclusive" and sometimes "slanty and loose" trails. Our fearless leader Eric kept us well informed and close together as we saw spectacular views with blue skies, colorful leaves, large birds and cliff hugging trails. Night 1 came early as we donned headlamps before we tucked into two campsites for the night near Shortofff overlook. Day 2 brought us down to Linville River for a walk through some cold water with an intentional bath for a few brave souls. After more hills along the MST and unofficial lead mine trail, we set up camp early via a super secret trail right along the river. Day 3 brought us back across the river and up out of the Gorge to the cars for part 2 of this trip. After a brief fast food stop, the Blue Ridge Parkway took us to the trail head for Grandfather Mtn State Park. Ohhhh the views along the Nuwati and Cragway trails! With full packs we experienced rocky peaks, a plane crash site and well placed ladders. Alpine Meadow was our last campsite of the trip and after a quick set up, we enjoyed the sky's fiery glow as the sun set over seemingly endless mountains. After waking to a frosty morning, we set off with daypacks for another technical day of ladders and scrambling up and down steep rocky trails. After completing the trails on the west side of the park, we headed back to camp for the final hike out. For the small price of achey bodies, we were rewarded with an opportunity to experience another small part of this beautiful country.