Thursday, December 12, 2013


I awoke at about 6 am after a full 9 hours of sleep to a body that was very sore and a back that was a bit iffy.  I think the dicey footing from the snow and ice that I dealt with yesterday played a number on my bod--all that slipping and sliding....

None-the-less, the stress of these climbs is what I'm looking for so I saddled up after a fine breakfast at the Best Western and returned to the White Oak parking lot as Skyline Drive was still closed (note to NPS--get your act together--the storm was two days ago and every other road in VA is fine...).

I ended up climbing the first 2.9 miles the same as yesterday and then did the upper White Oak Canyon trail and up near Skyline I did the Limberlost area.  This is a place where a whole forest of hemlock trees were destroyed some time ago by the hemlock wooly adelgid whatever that is.  Its a very cool place and it had the added attribute of being very flat--hey I was slammed after yesterday and I needed an easier effort today.

The big difference today was the descent---mostly on the Horse Trail and then the lower White Oaks Trail, which is vastly easier than Cedar Run.  In any event, I was around 5:45 and about 9.8 miles today with a bit more than 3000 feet of vertical climbing.  The Garmin data is below--also, photos to follow this weekend including the big bear tracks....

Tomorrow is my last day in this mini-cycle and I've decided to climb Robertson Mountain (you can see it in the map below) up the steep East face.  It's one of the steepest climbs in SNP with 1700 net vertical over 1.5 miles, which is an average gradient of 21%....should be great!

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