Monday, December 24, 2018

Old Butt Knob

I was headed to Panthertown on Saturday but when I saw white up high on the mountains I changed my course for Big East Fork trailhead
and Shining Rock with intentions of seeing if it was rhime ice or snow I saw from the highway.

My intended route was the classic Old Butt Knob loop I've done many times before. At around eight miles it is not very long but has some good elevation gains on some very technical terrain. 

Things started innocently enough with dry trails and a little fresh snow lingering in shaded areas.


By the time I hit 5000' there was a lot more than a little snow and I was postholing through knee deep powder while having to wrestle my way through a tangle of snow covered vegetation. What had been a cold rain all day on Friday had clearly been snow high in the mountains and made running difficult. To further complicate matters I was dressed for 50 degree dry temperatures, not running through a curtain of snow in below freezing conditions.


After just an hour and a half I was wearing all my clothes and already freezing. I still had over a mile to go to the top and if things didn't improve it was going to be a very slow and cold slog. After much contemplation I made the tough call to play it safe and turn around.

After such a defeat I headed out Sunday to actually run. Just a short out and back to the top of Bennett Gap but just enough.




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