Guided by Jerry Weston
Backpack. Rated strenuous for elevation gain from the trailhead to Deep Gap and Saturday from Deep Gap to the top of Cold Mountain (peak is 6,030 ft, I am not sure of the elevation from Deep Gap to where the climb to the peak begins). Scouted: I did this trip several years ago in the spring.
First attempt to reach the peak of Cold Mt in February bombed out even with a Plan B. The weather forecast was so bad for Cold Mt area and Plan B destinations, and participants could go the second weekend, that we postponed a week. Second attempt the weather forecast was even worse and we cancelled. Too much risk of icy roads and the possibility that the BRP, which we had to travel to reach the trailhead, would be closed. Third attempt bombed out for the same reason. Winter storm closed the BRP. Fourth time I scheduled for early May only Scott committed to go, and he had to cancel at the last minute due to a work conflict. Fifth time we made Shining Rock, took a wrong split in the trail (the trails are not signed) and did a down and back on Old Butt almost to the parking lot on NC 276 - too late by the time we discovered our mistake to attempt Cold Mt. This time we are going to make it and will enjoy pleasant fall temperatures and maybe a bit of leaf color.
Friday, we will begin at the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp on the west side of Shining Rock Wilderness. This is the trailhead for the Art Loeb Trail that will take us across the valley and up to Deep Gap. I am told that there is a steep climb from the valley up to Deep Gap. We have three options on where to set a base camp for water supply and the group will make the decision. We should have time to hike to the Narrows (5,200 ft) and may have time for a (long) hike over Stairs Mt (5,869 ft) to the Shining Rocks?
Saturday we hike to the top of Cold Mt. The hike to the top of the mountain is not long but is an unrelenting up.
Sunday will be an up-and-out for our return home.
Group size is limited depending on the experience of the participants. More information on the NC Sierra Club web page http://northcarolina.sierraclub.org/ $25 (per each person in a group/family) refundable-at-the-trailhead deposit required.
Directions: Located south of Asheville in the Shining Rock Wilderness. More details upon inquiry.
Contact Information: Jerry Weston. Jweston@gbwlaw or 336-275-9381 most mornings. firstname.lastname@example.org (home and checked in the later afternoon) 336-856-1431. Telephone calls before 9:00 p.m. please.