View Full Version : Trip Report: Stecoah--->Wesser

12-17-2002, 01:24
Before I bore you with the details let me tell you this section was stunning! It was the perfect winter hike and everything the trail is capable of was given to us.
Robert- age old section hiker
Cathy- greenhorn section hiker-this was her second AT section!
Gitchee Goomie- 10 pounds of hiking furry-miniature poodle.
Before hike accomodations: The Hike Inn
Shuttler: Jeff
Difficulties getting to trail-none after Asheville,NC-it took 2 1/2 hours to get from Johnson City to Asheville, normally an hour drive but icy conditions on Sam's Gap/a wreck/ a pedestrian hit by a car trying to assist/ all slowed the traffic to a parking lot status.
Room rate: 30 bucks before tax
Shuttle fare: 30 dollars, to Wesser and then to Stecoah
Trail conditions: hiked in snow from Stecoah to 3 miles before Wesser. Deepest snow just before Cheoah Bald and just after with the sags up to 8 inches and 4 inches on top. The deep snow wore out the poodle, she had to 'springbok' through it.
View on top: Oustanding and worth the 5 mile climb.
Gear used: Camelbak Peakbagger and Camelbak Rimrunner. Cathy carried a BivAnorak and I carried a tube tent and WM Linelite just in case. Brasslite Solo.
Clothing: again in the kilt and again loving it (fleece shorts underneath), Buffalo Activity Shirt over two biking jersees. Both of us wore LLBean Cresta Hikers-leather/goretex)....Cathy did not break her boots in and got them the day before the hike. She one hot spot but no blisters-the boots speak for themselves. Cathy wore fleece pants and over pant shell, fleece top and a Marmot anorak I donated for the cause. Both of wore fleece balaclavas most of the day and gloves and mittens. Gitchee had her new backpack on and booties (she lost one bootie)
Camera-hers a Canon point and shoot. Me, a Canon S-300 digital which failed yet again! I am studying alternatives and have had it with digital cameras :( Hiking poles for me, none for Cathy, she is not a believer yet.
Temperature-began with temps between 19 and 22 degrees, dropping close to Wesser it felt like 45-48 but not confirmed.
Highlite: the sign that read Cheoah Bald the and view
Dissapointmens: did not locate Swim Bald nor the 'Jumpup'
Cathy will read this later now that she knows of WhiteBlaze so let me brag on this awesome woman, how many chicks do you know that can deal with a 5 mile climb, new boots, cold temps on her second hike!
Almost forgot,
Shelter-Sassafras Gap-beautiful, well designed and kept up well.
Water: everywhere-just bring a lot of fuel!
Enough for now.

12-17-2002, 10:31
Hey Dachonkin, did you use those new snowshoes?

12-17-2002, 22:36
I also hiked thru the snow this weekend. Went from Dicks Creek Gap to Bly Gap, just over the North Carolina state line, and returned to my car at Dicks Creek Gap. There wasn't a lot of snow but enough to make the woods covered. Near the top of the ridges the wind was really blowing, and there were ice crystals horizontally on every tree branch. They looked funny sticking out an inch or inch and a half, completely horizontal, the wind was blowing so hard. Towards Bly Gar there were some drifts of 10 or 12 inches, but that was the deepest.

I tented near Rich Cove Gap Saturday night. Used a S.D. Ultra Light Year, and every once in a while the wind came down from the ridge and sure rocked the tent, but it always holds up good in the wind. Used a W.M. Megalite. It's rated at 32. In the morning everything in the tent was frozen so it was below the rating, but was comfortable. Used a 8 section Z pad, and when off of the pad the snow thru the tent floor was cool. Had my feet on my GVP pack.

The only time I wore my Marmot Precip jacked was about the first 15 minutes Saturday. Started sweating after about 15 minutes and took it off and never wore it the rest of the weekend, wore just a t- shirt and fleece shirt. After taking it off the moisture on my fleece shirt frosted, and had a lot of white on the blue shirt.

It was the coldest hike I have made with tennis shoes. There was snow on the tops of them the whole weekend while walking. Don't think I would want to wear them if there was lower temperatures or more snow. For me that was about the limit.

All in all a really good backpacking trip, and good test of some of my gear. I was apparently the only hiker on the trail in the area, since I followed my footprints back. Didn't see any others until almost back to Dicks Creek Gap.

12-17-2002, 22:53
Thanks Scorpion for the trip report, I need that section and have it scheduled for this Spring but I will start at Deep Gap....and to answer DebW's question-no did not take the snowshoes, but as alluded to in my post I could have played with them for almost 2 miles...what I did carry and did not mention was instep crampons which I think I will carry from now on in every season. More good news...today Cathy was studying the Maptech AT software and sort-of planning her next section in North Carolina.

12-18-2002, 08:07
Dachonkin, the Dicks Creek Gap to Deep Gap that you have planned is exactly what I intended for last weekend. A friend was going to go with a second car. His wife got sick and he couldn't make it. That's why I ended up doing the Bly Gap and return. I'll now do the Deep gap to Bly Gap another time. Have you been on FS71 to Deep Gap? Was wondering how good a road it is.


Max Patch
12-18-2002, 08:55
USFS 71 is a good road. Usually closed during winter 1/1 to 3/15; check Nantahala AT Club website if planning to go during this time. If closed can always hike to Deep Gap via the Kimsey Creek Trail.

If doing an extended hike may want to leave car at Rainbow Springs rather than at Deep Gap.


Lone Wolf
12-18-2002, 08:59
Scorpion, FS71 is a well-maintained road. I've driven it a few times. About a 5 mile drive off the of Hwy. 64

12-18-2002, 13:53
I was at Deep Gap a few weeks ago. The road is easy, but watch closely for the turn-off from Hwy 64, not marked very well.

12-18-2002, 14:23
Thanks guys, for the information. It seems whatever the question, someone here has had the experience, and is willing to help.


12-19-2002, 03:28
Seems like the question was answered....and no I havent been that far yet. So far I have from Little Wolfe Creek (near I-77) continuous to Wesser. I have Springer to Neals, so I am now filling in the gap of 100 or so miles. After that (and I hope to have that gap filled in by mid-summer) I will return to Littlw Wolfe and move north-I just cringe when looking at my last Ga. miles needed---Lone Wolf reassure me like you did last time!