A couple of reasons to do this instead of Promise Land (and Owl's Roost):
- Point to Point
- All single-track
- Proximity to Asheville & Brevard
- Distance: 30.1 miles (that can be increased to 33 miles by summiting Cold Mountain)
- Views: Black Balsam Bald is one of several 6,000 foot mountains the trail passes through
- Elevation Gain: 8,000+ feet.
So, I'm opening this page as an info site for organizing the adventure for those interested, who currently include:
Rob "the dave" McClure
Squonk's optimal itinerary.
Thursday, 4/22/10: Post work drive to Davidson River Campground in Brevard. Set up tent. We will want to get a sense of our numbers and possibly grab several sites. Allow 4.5 hours to get to the campground.
Friday, 4/23/10: Logistics. This could include water, food and vehicle stashes along the trail, in advance of our run. Arrival of Friday campers.
Saturday, 4/24/10: Explore the Art Loeb Trail. There are basically 4 sections of this trail and options for doing a section and then returning to camp or assisting other runners. We'll have to figure that out. I will walk every hill and run this slowly as my longest training run for Big Horn. I expect this to take 12 hours, which means an early start, no later than 07:00. Possibly need to drop vehicles at the far side early Saturday morning. After the run, there are numerous dinner options in Brevard.
Buddy system along the trail. Certainly there will be different paces but I believe a buddy should be with us along the way. There are bee's nest and it's quite likely the bears will be awake at this point in the season and who knows how surly they'll be
Food and fluids - this will be, in essence, self-supporting.
Contingency clothing for rapid weather changes (like at the Balds)
Compass - there are some tricky sections in the Shining Rock Wilderness and I'd feel a lot better if each group had a compass (and knew how to use it), along with their map.
Cell phones - we should not count on these, but I have had luck texting to family from the balds.
Head lamps. I don't want to be "up there" in the dark, but...just in case.
Let's continue to add to this page and boil down the details.
One issue we'll need to address is trail damage. I'm following this thread on reports. I'm not encouraged by comments such as: "We have had a ton of snow this winter and a major ice storm so depending on how rough March is that may really affect how quickly you can travel. I just came out of a Pisgah trip today and the downed timber is really bad. It kinda looks like a bomb went off in places."
So, this might mean that tackling the entire stretch could be more of a stretch than we hope. The ranger station may have more information. Will check.