Saturday, June 30, 2012
Solstice Hike 2012
This is the eighth year that Tal Galton has organized a challenging hike of the entire Black Mountain Crest Trail plus the Mount Mitchell Trail. The route goes from Bolens Creek to the top of the Blacks all the way across to Mount Mitchell and then down to Black Mountain Campground. Total distance is about 18 miles with a lot of hills (Tal guessed about 6000 feet of climbing). The hike always happens near the summer solstice for maximum day length. We left Bolens Creek just before 7 AM--this was our first water stop.
This is where we hit the top of the ridge. It smells really good up there.
Horse Rock Meadow.
Tom and Tucker at Horse Rock Meadow.
Ethan Rountree somewhere north of Deep Gap.
Lunch at Deep Gap. A few folks hiked down from here.
Isaac Galton is a barefoot hiker in the grand Celo tradition (I'm looking at you, Kennan Harvey). At the halfway point his feet were doing fine (the mark on his left foot predated our hike and didn't hurt) and they were still fine at the end.
Peter Bobbe part way up Deer Mountain.
This is the group that made the whole walk--at the summit of Mount Mitchel at 5 PM with about 3 hours left to go. I think we were all feeling fairly badass at this point. We all made it to the AMS bus at Black Mountain Campground by 8 PM--just about 13 hours after we left Bolens Creek.
Evidence of humans on the trail.