Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mt. Mitchell

It occurs to me I didn't tell you about my trip to Mackey Mountain a few months ago when I had to bail due to hypothermia and for that I apologize. Laurel Fork trail was my goal on that trip and it is still at the top of my to do list and I was headed there last Saturday but when I got out to the highway I saw Craggy Dome covered in rhime ice and  knew I had to go higher. An hour later I was at the Black Mtn. campground and headed up the Mitchell trail to the top of the highest mountain in the Eastern US. 

The run started out quite warm with me shedding layers like it was summertime and I thought for sure by the time I got to the summit all the rhime ice would be long melted. By the time I got to Higgin's Bald halfway up all my layers were back on and by the time I got to the horse trail I was quite cold. When I went up Cold Mtn. two weeks earlier I had been expecting the trail to be covered in ice and was prepared with traction spikes but for whatever reason I did not have the same expectation for Mitchell. I would soon regret that lack of forsight as the last two miles of the trail were nothing but ice. Any pretense of running was squashed as I slowly made my way up the frozen trail.


When I finally summited I had the often crowded peak to myself but it was way too cold to much more than snap a quick picture before heading back down the ice. Just like on the way up by the time I was halfway down it was warm again, the ice was gone and I was actually running.


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