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Entries in Winter (1)

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