Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TRIP 93 April'09


April 10-21 2009

Little Mitten Drops Me Off
Seeing Two Backpackers For 12 Days
The 22nd Nutbuster Trail

A 12 DAY TRIP AT GRASSY GAP: My girlfriend Little Mitten drops me off at a Citico trailhead and I start down the trail with the 9 creek crossings, hence the need to hang my boots around my neck. The big yellow thing is my 3.10lb Base Camp winter Thermarest pad.

THE HIGH WATER OF THE SOUTH FORK: Thank God I didn't have to cross this creek and I found a back way thru Clemmer Cove and got on the South Fork trail downstream where I set up my first night's camp.

FIRST NIGHT CAMP: I call it the White Rock Camp and it's close to the creek and just right for a great night of camping.

BRUSH MOUNTAIN CREEK: It's tumbling down to the South Fork as I pass by on my way to the Donner Camps on the South Fork. There's a fine trail that run up this creek and it's called the Brush Mt Trail, and has been recently cleared and opened and is a new favorite.
THE NORTH FORK FOOTBRIDGE: What better place to pose for a fotog then on this bridge?
CROWDER BRANCH TRAIL: I leave the South Fork and pull the Rocky Flats trail and start the Crowder Branch trail, an inside Citico trail leading up to Fodderstack ridge. It's steep in places and has several creek crossings.
GOOD OLD CROWDER CAMP: After you hump up Crowder trail, you reach the ridge and this fine open campsite on the BMT.

DOWN TO SLICKROCK CREEK: I leave Crowders on the Big Stack trail and reach Slickrock Creek where I set up at Bee Camp in the Slicnic Camps. What's Slicnic? SLICkrock/NIChols cove, the two main trails in the area.

THE MIGHTY SLICKROCK: As seen from Bee Camp. The cleanest water in the Southeast? Yup.

THE ONLY BACKPACKERS I SAW IN 12 DAYS: A father/daughter team out of Asheville, and we talk before I start up the Nutbuster trail, the upper Slickrock.

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NUTBUSTER TRAIL: Open Cove Camp, located in a once open hemlock and silverbell cove, now a brambly mess due to the hemlock dieoff.
CLIMBING THE NUTBUSTER FOR THE 22ND TIME: I've divided the Nutbuster into 10 sections and the worst and most rugged is section 6 where this fotog was taken. It's my favorite trail of them all.
A VIEW OF THE HANGOVER FROM THE NUTBUSTER: There's a merciful reststop on the Nutbuster on section 9 in the Heath Tunnel at a place called the Heath Overlook, and you get to see some stuff.

THE GOAL OF THE NUTBUSTER? It's a high gap called Naked Ground where I set up for the night.

AIRJET CAMP: I leave Naked Ground and stay on the high ridge between the Bob and the Hangover, a place I call Four Mile Ridge, and my destination is this campsite near the Hangover rock overlook, named in honor of Jody Brown and Rcarver who set up here in a cold blizzard and used a Mt Hardwear Airjet tent.

WHEN ALL SEEMS BLEAK GOD SENDS A LIZARD: I spent all day with this guy up on the sunny rocks of the Hangover.

DEEP CREEK CAMP: Now, if you want a great backpacking trek, leave the Hangover and fall down the Deep Creek trail to the little wooden footbridge and you'll find this great campsite.
THE BIG DOG AND THE PINHEAD: Here we are posing by the Deep Creek footbridge. Another favorite place.
LANDON CAMP WITH THE TWO MISCREANTS: We leave Deep Creek and pull the long loop up Haoe Lead back to Naked Ground. Our trip is winding down.
MERINO CLAD NATURE BOY: I knew something was up back in Kansas in 1959 when I was called a nature boy by my 4th grade teacher. I'm leaving Naked Ground and heading out of the woods for my pickup at Beech Gap.

BEECH GAP LOOKING INTO NORTH CAROLINA: Nantahala Forest is what they call it.

KING FUNGUS SURVEYS HIS KINGDOM: It's called Cherokee Forest when you look from the NC side. And so another trip ends.


Dave Sailer said...

I love the country. This looks like fun. I'm grabbing a bit from one or two of your posts for a sort of weekly summary of what's going on -- something I do. See http://ultralighter.blogspot.com/ on Saturday or Sunday for the latest.

My Life Outdoors said...

Nice pics. Looks like fun...I love those campsites.

SecondWind said...

Hi Tipi,

I've been following your blog over the last few months as I work with a group of Scouts to plan a trip to Slickrock Creek / Joyce Kilmer / Citico Wilderness areas. It seems you know these woods as well as anyone. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I'm curious if you would answer a few questions offline about trail conditions of the upper Slickrock Creek trail to Naked Ground?

Thanks, Derek

DerekARodriguez at g mail dot com

Tipi Walter said...

Hey Derek--
It was great meeting you and the Scouts up on the mountain in Slickrock. I hope the rest of your trip went well and you got to see the Big Trees in the Kilmer loops.

Eddie Gillespie said...

Hi Tipi,
It seems that we have similar stompin grounds. I have did some great backpacking in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock wilderness on the North Carolina side. It's been a while since I have been there and reading this post and looking at the pics has given the fever. I found this blog from a post of yours on whiteblaze.net on which I made a reply there. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and will be visiting again soon. My user name on whiteblaze.net is LoneRidgeRunner. Hopefully we will be interacting some more and possibly run into each other on the trail someday. I'll be the guy carrying the Denali Pro pack which gets badmouthed on whiteblaze.net....but what do they know?..lol... All they preach is don't be ready for what you COULD run into but only what you will probably run into, which is a recipe for disaster. Eddie Gillespie in Morganton, NC Happy trails...

Tipi Walter said...

Hey Eddie--
Thanks for checking into my blog---sorry I don't update it enough. I see you live in Morganton and many of my best backpacking trips have been off Hiway 181 along Upper Creek and Harpers Creek and Lost Cove Creek in Pisgah in the Grandfather Ranger District. It's a great place! Of course you already know this if you've seen my blog. Stay in touch on Whiteblaze, okay?

Eddie Gillespie said...

Hi Tipi,
WOW..I used to do lots of trout fishing in Upper Creek down the Greentown Trail off of highway 181. Not been down there in a long time either. Have hiked some along Harper's Creek also. Actually, so far I have only read the last post on your blog about your trip into Citico, Slickrock area but I will surely visit it again soon. Backpacking is in my blood but I have been away from it for a while. I'm trying to get back in condition for it for the last month by walking 9 to 11 miles every morning carrying 40 pounds in my Denali and will be adding more weight soon. I want to get back in shape to hit the mountains by winter of 2011. I prefer winter packing. Don't have to fight bugs or snakes and heat. I just carry my sabre tooth crampons for the ice and have at it.

Anonymous said...

i hiked in on greentown shortcut trail and reached the campsite by the meeting of the 2 streams but how do you connect to
the greentown trail from here, wade
the stream?? I couldn't find the trail coming off the greentown trail for the shortcut trail on a different hike and this time hiking to the end, of the shortcut trail couldn't find where it meets the
greentown trail??? any solve that problem

Tipi Walter said...

Anonymous---If you take Trail 268A along Upper Creek, you will reach a creek crossing coming down from a cliff on the right with Upper Creek on your left. The big campsite is right across the smaller creek.

There is a faint trail continuing straight ahead on the right bank of Upper and going upstream. Follow this for about 400 yards and you reach a major crossing of Upper Creek. On the left bank you will merge in with the MST and the Greentown Trail, one and the same. You would now be on the Mountains to Sea trail which follows Upper Creek upstream for a distance before crossing again near the old developed campsites. Hope this helps.

Tipi Walter said...

Eddie---Thanks for the comment. This blog is infrequently updated, and most of my backpacking trips are recorded and kept up to date at Trail Journals if you're interested:


Or this: