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Entries in Linville Gorge WIlderness Area (4)

Monday
Nov042013

Shooting the Sphinx

Gorge Rat Weekend October 26-27, 2013  189

 

A few weeks back a rather challenging hike was planned on one of the Facebook Groups I am active on. The plan was to climb down the UNCW down to the Sphinx and back out by the Ampitheater. The hikers though it would be cool to be photographed as they climbe up the Sphinx.

 

I opted for the high ground and after some research on Google Earth, I found a probable vantage point. The other problem was being able to communicate with the hikers. Since I would be on the edge of a cliff and the hikers would be around 1500' away without obstructions I equipped one of them with an FRS radio. It worked great!

 

For my photography setup I took my Canon 5D mk 3 and EF 100-400mm lens. I also took my Olympus OM-D and Lumix 100-300mm (with a crop factor of 2 it gives me a 200-600mm). I found that the Canon 5D mk3 and 100-400mm gave me the best options, but I let a fellow hiker shoot video with the OM-D. It was nice to have a second shooter.

 

 

Gorge Rat Weekend October 26-27, 2013  236

 

The FRS radio allowed me to pose the victorious hikers on a succesful scramble to the top as well as give them a safety net in case they needed it.

 

 

Gorge Rat Weekend October 26-27, 2013  78

 

A safe an succesful hike and scramble  the Gorge Rats show off their Gorge 'Tats'. 

 

Gorge Rat Weekend October 26-27, 2013  77

 

Sure was a fun trip!

Mark

 

Tuesday
Oct232012

Return to Shortoff and Celestial Point

It has been almost 5 months since I have been in Linville Gorge. With the cooler temps in the hills, I figured it would be a great time for a hike.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 2

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 24

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 80

 

I invited along Tony and Cliff. It was my first time hiking with Tony and Cliff was a veteran of several hikes with me.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 37

 

The Fall colors were approaching peak, and this Maple was spectacular.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 38

 

The pond that is on top of Shortoff had some great colors and I always enjoy seeing it.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 71

 

The watertree or springtree is located a few hundred feet from the pond and provides a source of water for thristy hikers. It gives you the option to go light on carrying water up the hill and then fill your containers when on top. Of course it should be purified before drinking.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 47

 

As with every outing we go on, the cameras get pulled out and photographs are made. Here Cliff looks at Table Rock.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 15

 

Tony is shooting some video over the cliffs with a homebrew setup.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 52

 

Table Rock as seen from the cliffs of Shortoff across Chimney Gap.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 84

 

The photographer's favorite snag to shoot on Shortoff. One day it will be gone, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 64

 

Time for a group shot and then down Shortoff and back to Wolfpit to driver around to the North side of the Gorge to meet Danny to shoot Celestial Point.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 68

 

Living on the Edge!

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 91

 

On the way back I really loved this scene of Lake James and the Fall color... WOW!

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 124

 

After a quick hike Cliff and I met Danny on Celestial Point. We enjoyed watching the light change as the Sun went down.

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 107

 

One of the best views in the Linville Gorge!

 

 

Shortoff and Celestial Point Saturday 10-20-2012 135

 

I had Cliff take a photo of me, he does a great job! Thanks Cliff!

Thursday
Feb162012

Hawksbill Mountain Sunrise

40/366 Self Portrait on Hawksbill

 

I had a day all to myself and decided to hike up to Hawksbill to watch the Sunrise and do some some exploring last Thursday. 

 

 

Gorge Looking South

 

I wanted to do a little HDR and see how that turned out. For hiking up to the top in the dark I was rewarded with a scene that was even more beautiful than I could capture...

 

Hope you enjoy!

 

Mark

Tuesday
Jan032012

Shortoff On a Cold and Windy Day...

Icy Rocks 583

 

I headed up to Shortoff Mountain at the Southern end of the Linville Gorge. The weather forecast called for high winds and highs in the lower 40's, a blustery day but a great hike. As I began the hike I noticed that the icicles were melting, it would warm up slightly, but not enough!

 

 

On Frozen Pond (Shortoff) 585

 

The pond on top of Shortoff was frozen as well. I always enjoy visiting this spot.

 

 

Looking up the Gorge from Shortoff 587

 

One of the many overlooks along Shortoff. This is looking North up Linville Gorge. The wind was so intense here, that you could only stand for a few minutes before the wind chill would burn your finger and face with COLD! It was a pity I could not stand and stare like I like to do.

 

 

Table Rock Near Chimney Gap  607

 

My goal was to hike toward the end of Shortoff near Chimney Gap. I didn't want to loose much elevation so I opted to stop at a rock outcropping and take a few shots of Table Rock from this angle. This area was damaged in a forest fire started by lightning back in 2007.

 

 

 

Here is a 15 second video I took of the area, there was NO shelter from the wind here!

 

 

Table Rock near Chimney Gap 594

 

Table Rock is the icon of Morganton and the namesake for many businesses in the area. It is also a fascinating rock formation that changes dramatically from different angles. 

 

 

Pinch-in Rdige Close up 604

 

 

On the way back out I took a closeup of Pinch-In Ridge where Pinch-In Trail goes down to the Linville River.If you follow the ridge, you can see the trail in places. It is one of the hikes I plan on going on once day!

 

 

Clouds moving in on the North, time to go! 605

 

As much fun as I had hiking solo, I knew a strong cold front was coming through and with it, snow! The clouds were blowing in  from the North and it looked like I had better head back down Shortoff. Later on that evening this area received several inches of snowfall! 

And so ends another glorious experience in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area!

Mark