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Roaring Plains.........Mission Accomplis hed
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“I've been home for a few hours.
dlm, Henry, Linus and MarkO had one hell of a weekend on the Roaring Plains in West Virginia.
Those of you suckers who couldn't make it missed a good time.
We hiked about 20+ miles with packs and did at least 2 miles of bushwacking to nab four knobs on Roaring Plains, West Virginia.
They would be:
Haystack Knob, 4,555
Green Knob, 4,680
No Name Knob, 4,659
Mount Porte Crayon, 4,770
Weather was superb, except for getting pissed on while we hiked to Haystack on Saturday.
From our basecamp in the saddle at the west end of Haystack we summited Haystack and explored the unusual rock formations.
After that we did an arduous road walk to the top of Green Knob with it's radio tower and awsome views to the south of Spruce Knob(West Virginia's highest point at 4,860) and miles of dramatic steep mountains.
Sunday morning we headed roughly north to No Name Knob and tagged the benchmark there.
The one-mile bushwack north to Mount Porte Crayon was at times relatively easy to moderately difficult.
Being in the trees we had to rely on a compass heading the whole way.
Once on top of the 40-foot spruce covered, flat-topped mountain we walked right onto the benchmark there.
We couldn't see a thing from up there, but we were on top!
After a hot lunch we struck out roughly east through the spruce with vast thickets of head-high baby spruce in our path.
With no more than a compass heading we found our way back to the rail trail that took us back to the Roaring Plains.
We made it back to the same site where we had stayed Friday night, leaving 5.5 miles to our cars at the South Prong Trailhead.
dlm got us out of the sack at 6:00 AM and we made the 5.5 mile hike back to the trailhead by 9:00.
By 10:00 AM we were sitting down to a great breakfast at The Bright Morning Inn in Davis, WVa.
We were headed home before 11:00 and beat the serious holiday traffic......I've never been on the trail that early.”
“Yes, that spruce to the east is hell. When I went to Porte Crayon I walked in from the east and back out the same way. Did you hit that boulder field on the ridge on the way back? That was fun walking too.
I never did find a route through the matted spruce to the actual summit, but I was within about five to ten yards of it. I later found out if I had kept circling to the south I would have gotten in.
I think one of those knobs was mined at one time. Haystack or Green, not sure which. This according to Jonathan Jessup.”
“The southwest face of Haystack looks like an old gravel pit.
Approachin Porte Crayon from the east is likely to end in retreat.
I was feeling like a fool leading the others through that spruce thicket from hell.
Once we had gone a quarter mile to the east it seemed pointless to go back up to the summit and the relatively easier west exit.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous even with a little rain.
Daytime temperatures were in the 50's and 60's, and windy as usual.
Friday night the sky was nothing but stars........a zillion or more.”
“that's awesome Mark! Glad you guys had a good time.”
“At the time I did it, the folks I had talked to said the approach from the east was the easiest. I since found out that they lied.
There were herd paths from time to time though, so I figured I was on the right track. I was following a general compass heading and staying on or near the ridge, so I figure it would get there sooner or later. I figure I took out about a ton and half of spruce needles down my back though.
I did find a nice spring in a sphagnum bog just north of the ridge. That was a welcome relief.
There are photos from when that area was logged. Man, they took it all and left only the rocks and some slash.”
“Tumult On The Mountain......huh?
EarthNsky, you bum!!
Buddy, you missed a kick-ass trip......three days on top of the world!!!
And what about Gemini???
This was a really cool three days.”
“Mark, that should read"dlm had to pee so bad at 5:55 AM that he could get you out of the sack at 6:00AM ". I had a great time and thanks for "guiding" the trip so well. The boulder field on the rim trail was definitly memorable. (And we'll leave it at that because any other description would get censored) I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow. btw, the spruce thicket deal wasn't that bad.”
“looking forward to seeing the pics. I've only been to Roaring Plains in the winter time.”
“Some of my pictures are up.
I don't know where the hell all the albums with no pictures came from, but the last one has some. I'm out of beer now so I'll post the rest later.
http://www,thebackpacker.com/trips/trip/581.php( I hope this link works)”
“Cool Beans. Glad all y'all had a good time; wish I could've been there. See y'all at the Sods maybe?”
Dolly Sods: Where The Mobs Are
“When we passed the lower Red Creek trailhead on our way to breakfast Monday morning there were over twenty cars there and about a dozen young backpackers lounging about.
Judging from that number I'd say there could have been sixty carloads of backpackers hiking Dolly Sods this past weekend, including the other trailheads.
There could have been anywhere from 100 to 200 people hiking there.
At the South Prong trailhead there were 6-8 cars and one car at the Flat Rock Run trailhead, the only two trailheads for Roaring Plains.
We saw two men on the trail Saturday and two women on Sunday, all with backpacks.
On Sunday evening we saw a lone trail runner in purple short-shorts and a ragged T-shirt.
He was 5.5 miles from the nearest place to park and a bit strange.”
“Thats alot of hikers.”
“Dolly Sods is very nice and very popular.
I hope all those hikers buried there crap......
We saw a schitload of animal schit on the Canyon Rim Trail.......where the wild things are.”
“Great report, glad you guys had a good hike.”
“I will see about posting some pictures.
Henry was operating the digital camera.
YES, we have moved into the 21st century!!
It's a good thing Gemini didn't go, we might have lost her short bee-hind in the spruce thickets!
I am sad enough that I wasn't able to go...but it's a $$ things. 2 CA trips...aren't cheap...and gas prices are still soaring.
so continue to rub it in. I know you all had fun! would've been funner with me thou :-P”
“You bet, Gemini!!
I can't believe I didn't get any stupid pictures!!
We spent Friday and Sunday nights at the same site as you and ENS and I did last December.
You would have enjoyed the rock-hopping for sure!”
“I know! I know!
Can't wait for the pictures. hurry and post them NOW!!!!”
dlm had us up at 6:00 AM Monday.
I'm thinkin', "Gem could have had us up at 5:30!".
I got my 14.5 year old kid to go.
You should have heard him #&%!$in' about the rock fields and the spruce thickets!!
last edited: 5/31/05 8:28:01 AM”
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