Sat, Apr 23 2011 - NC Mountains: Wayah Bald (via Siler Bald) (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Stefan, gail, Marshall, Armin, Bob J, Ron Walker, A.T.|
What a great day for a hike! Although the weather at the park & ride was misty and wet, the clouds lifted exactly as we reached the trailhead at Winding Stairs Gap by 9 AM. The ascent to Siler Bald offered many great views near and far as the skies were clear and the flowers blooming. After claiming the first peak, we descended towards Wayah Gap to then tackle the long and steady climb up Winespring Bald and the traverse to Wayah Bald. Reaching the summit by 1 PM, we were in for a rather pleasant surprise - hotdogs, burgers and ice-cold beer and soda! Some nice local folks had set up a little supply stand next to the fire tower, offering all hikers free food and drinks.
In search for different vistas on the return trip, we followed the forrest service road for about a mile until the AT intersection after Winespring Bald. Although there were a few nice views of Siler Bald and Standing Indian in the distance, the alternate route was overall not particularly scenic. After a rapid descent back to Wayah Gap, the final ascent up the flanks of Siler Bald offered one last good exercise for those tired legs (~15 miles into the hike). Rather than running up Siler Bald a second time, we opted for a visit to the shelter and refreshing/refueling at the water source nearby. The entire group (not a single person lost!) returned to the cars at the trailhead by 5 PM, almost exactly 8 hours after we took off to conquered Wayah Bald.