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Entries in Linville Gorge (10)


Comet PanSTARRS from Hawksbill Mountain (Linville Gorge)

Comet PanSTARRS Hawksbill (Linville Gorge) 3-12-2013


2013 is the year of the Comet... or Comets. First off is Comet PanSTARRS which is what I captured along with a sliver of a Moon. This was my 3rd try and probably one of the most visually interesting shots with the Moon.

Well worth 3 hikes to the Top of Hawksbill in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area.

I hope you enjoy!






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!


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!




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!



Crossing Paths with Carmie...(Walking on Shortoff)

Shortoff Mountain from NC 126 129


I have seen this epic looking mountain on my travels around Lake James. My Grandpa (Carmie) hunted and hiked this area and my Dad would often go with him on top of Shortoff Mountain. I have been spending a lot of time in the South Mountains and wanting to do something different, I contacted one of my Flickr contacts (Danny) and asked him about a good day hike. We talked about a few places and the subject of Shortoff came up... I went with that option! Luckily Danny went along with me. 


Lake James from Shortoff Mountain 127


We meet up in Morganton and headed up NC 126 to Wolf Pit Road. The trail was really washed out but it was not too bad. I bet in the rain it would be slippery! As we rose above the treeline Lake James came into view. The Fall colors had already passed peak, but some color could still be found. The scars of two large forest fires leave the area looking surreal. I remember seeing the smoke roll of this mountain back in 2007 IIRC.



Lake James from Shortoff Mountain 126



Trees on Shortoff Mountain 123



Looking up the Gorge Shortoff Mountain 121



Trees on Shortoff Mountain 122



Shortoff Mountain 112


Even though the trees are dead, they still have a beauty and make great subjects for photography!



Danny on Shortoff Mountain 113


Danny was really working the Gorge! He always produces something spectacular with his camera, and I can not wait to see what he photographed. I know he is happy with the results of his 100 Strangers photography project as he snagged 5 new ones.



Myself on Shortoff Mountain 119


Me, I just admired the view and tried to point my camera at interesting things! I was in awe of the views and can understand why folks fall in love with this area! I sure did!


Myself on Shortoff Mountain 118



Table Rock from Shortoff Mountain 124



Shortoff Mountain 115


As for gear, I took along my Trusty Canon T1i, with 24-70mm F 2.8 and lugged around the Canon EF 100-400mm for these shots. I also took along my Sony NEX-5 with 16mm F2.8 Pancake Lens as well as the Ultra Wide and Fisheye Adapters, not used on this trip but carried was the 18-200mm for the Sony and my Compact Manfrotto Tripod (may leave the lens, but never the tripod!!!). Lugging all that gear around was heavy, but being obssesed with Photography, it was worth it. My gear weighed in at around 40lbs total. Will have to par that down if I expect to go with a tent and sleeping bag someday! LOL



Pond on Shortoff Mountain 117


My Dad talked about a pond on top of Shortoff that he fondly recalled, and for me that was a must see. It took me awhile to find the perfect spot to get the reflection I wanted but it finally clicked! Noticed the burn marks on the tree trunk in the foreground?



Looking up the Gorge Shortoff Mountain 120


After walking along the top of Shortoff Mountain, I am sure that my boots walked along the same paths that my Grandpa had walked with his Son and that history would be repeating itself again as I will bring my children to the same place.


Thanks for reading!



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