Mount Rogers – 6/21/2005

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      [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
      [By: Steven Bartimo on July 15 2005 at 3:31 PM]

      Mount Rogers Trip Report
      June 21, 2005

      This was the first High point I have been to officially. (I was on top of Spruce Peak, WV in May but somehow was too busy with an adventure race to go to the actual highest point.) I was with a group of 10 boy scouts on our annual 50 mile AT hike. This was the first 50 miler for about half of the scouts that were on this trip. (I think we went through an entire role of moleskin though the week) We started at the Hurricane Campground near Dickey Gap on Sunday and finished the hike in Damascus, VA that Thursday.

      The first day was a quick and short hike from the Hurricane Campground to the Old Orchard Shelter. This was only a 6 mile hike and we were done by about 2PM so had a lot of time to relax. After a great day of beautifully sunny and cool hiking weather, we arrived at the shelter about 10 minutes after a strong rain storm had started. It was like the rain was waiting for us to get within sight of the shelter before soaking us as a big joke. This was a fairly basic hike with no views or other points of interest. We did have a great view from the open field in front of the shelter where we set our tents for the night.

      The next day was much better than the first. We started at the Old orchard shelter and ended at the Thomas Knob shelter half a mile before the summit of Mount Rogers. This was an incredibly beautiful hike with many large open fields and lost of rock scrambling. The trail goes through the Grayson Highlands Recreation area on the way to Mount Rogers. The sky was very hazy and overcast so we never really got a good view of the peak as we circled around it. We did get to see a few of the wild ponies that reside in the fields up of this ridge. The ridge is an open plain as a result of fires and the grazing of the ponies. At Thomas Knob Shelter, we found a camp site surrounded by the pine trees to set up camp just past the Solar powered Privy (WHAT IS THE SOLAR POWER FOR ANYWAY? We figured it would shock you if you sat for too long) We set up camp, filtered water, had dinner then eventually went to bed looking forward to summiting Mount Rogers in the morning.

      That morning we woke to a wonderfully clear blue sky, with great views of the valleys and the peak of Mount Rogers. Four of the ten of us left around 9AM for the trek to the peak. It took us a little over half an hour to hike to the peak. I kept waiting for the trees to reach out and grab me like on the Wizard of Oz the trees were so thick. At the peak I was able to get a picture of the Geodesic marker and a few pics of our group on the peak then we returned to the camp site to start the days hike.

      Over the next 2 days, we finished our hike to Damascus. However, I think that the highlight of the hike was standing on the highest point of the state of Virginia. This has got me hooked on high pointing and I can’t wait until I can say that I have been to all 50 states.

      See ya all in the highlands.

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