[at-l] Not-so-big Hump - A Trip Report
cutter78 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 1 11:20:33 CST 2010
The trip to Big Hump that I mentioned last week turned out to be a bit of a
Our group -- a Boy Scout troop -- was five adults and nine boys, ages
13-17. My older son (who is 22 and a former scout) drove up from Columbia,
S.C. and joined us.
Our plan was to hike from Carver's Gap to U.S. 19E, but when we met at the
visitors center at Roan Mountain State Park we learned the road to the top
was blocked by a semi truck stuck in a snow bank. That was going to prevent
us from reaching Carver's Gap in satisfactory time to start our hike and
reach our overnight stop at Bradley Gap before dark.
A quick change in plans was needed, so we headed to Mountain Harbour B&B and
Hostel, where we parked our cars. We then hiked up to Doll Flats.
When we arrived there my son and I were tempted to continue on over Big Hump
and spend the night at Bradley Gap, but the logistics of splitting with the
group didn't work out, so we stayed put.
We didn't encounter what I would consider difficult snow conditions, at
least not as described in some previous reports and by what the forecast had
indicated. There was a base of four inches or so icy snow. By the time we
reached Doll Flats, newer snow (fallen in the last week) added another 8-9
inches. We never had problems with postholing, though. Snow shoes might have
made the going easier as we gained elevation, but they weren't necessary.
To be sure, the snow slowed us down, especially for some of the younger
members of the group. Based on what I saw, our originally-planned trip
should have been doable, though it might have been a little too hard for
some of the younger guys because of the added effort involved in walking in
Overnight, temperatures dropped into the upper teens. In the morning we got
a light dusting of new snow, but the hike back down was very easy.
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