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urbansix
2011-07-03, 14:27
Hey, all. I finished my 92-mile section (Springer to Thunder Rock) Friday afternoon, and have started transcribing my pen-and-paper journal entries to blog format (HERE) (http://thinkcrust.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/bmt-hike-day-1-springer-to-wildcat-ridge/), with some pics. (not many pics - my camera was being ...well probably operator error). Thanks to Gene for the shuttle and loaning me the pocket guide. Did all my prep with Rock's guide,then left it on my desk at home. :argh:

Lots of recent-looking blowdown, some very large. Fun hike...my longest to date. Still wrapping my mind around it.

I'll be adding posts & afterthoughts over the next few days.

SGT Rock
2011-07-03, 16:02
Sweet.

Sorry to hear about the camera, I know how much that blows.

chumpchange
2011-10-06, 12:15
U6, was the stretch between Watson's Gap and Thunder Rock pretty defined(easy to stay on) or was there some guess work as to which way the trail went inside the wildernesses?

Sections 10 and 11.

urbansix
2011-10-09, 14:58
Sorry I didn't catch this before. Hope it's not too late.

The trails from Watson Gap to the downhill side of Big Frog are very clear and well blazed enough. Sometimes the blazes are sporadic, but the trail is always obvious, and there are not any unmarked crossing trails. On that leg the only moment of confusion was at Hemp Top - the trail (logging road) splits, with a spur to the old fire tower location branching off to the right and up, and the BMT continuing level to the left. I recall being momentarily confused there, so I am going to say that intersection is not blazed, or if it is I missed it.

After Big Frog you enter an area where there are several other trails that intersect. The guide I was using warned that the area may not be well marked or blazed, but for the most part it was fairly obvious which was the right direction once you came to an intersection or trail crossing. In places the signs are damaged, but some arrows have been scratched in by hikers. Either way, I found it easy enough with a map in hand.

The only time I was unsure was at a creek crossing at mile ~86.4 (using Sgt. Rock's guide, here). You are crossing a couple of creeks right at an intersection of the trail and a couple of creeks. (West Fork Rough Creek) The trail does not seem obvious, but if you just keep going across the creeks & shoals, suddenly the railbed-trail reappears on the other side. A few steps later, West Fork Trail will branch sharply off to the left, and you continue straight.

chumpchange
2011-10-09, 16:40
not too late. may be December before i attempt it.

got Rock's guide on the way.

the South side of Big Frog Mtn looks like a pretty good grunt.

some good campsites on top?

thanks for the details !

urbansix
2011-10-09, 17:14
There were some flat spots with fire rings up there, but I was not impressed with the camping spots on top of Big Frog. The underbrush was high and thick, and no real views to speak of. May be different in December. They would do in a pinch, but not what I would call "sweet". In fact Rock's guide doesn't even mention them. The guide I was using mentioned them, but my timing had me hiking through that area around lunch time.

The nicest camping spot on the mountain was Double Spring Gap, on the GA/TN state line, just before you kick it in to steep gear for the last push up Big Frog (northbound).

SGT Rock
2011-10-09, 19:27
I wasn't impressed with the Big Frog campsites either. When I hiked through there in February there wasn't much foliage, but still no great views from there. I think the ridge on Chimney Top had a better view, but no camping of course.

chumpchange
2011-10-21, 19:00
lol, any HHQ members in this clip?

Big Frog (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVZ4OpCyE50)

generoll
2011-10-21, 20:04
there were some reasonable campsites around Greenwood Spring just before the top of Big Frog. I'd planned on camping by the site of the old fire tower when I got to the top, but some folks were already camped by the trail junction and my dog rolled in the shit one of them took, so after they finished petting him I moved on.

chumpchange
2011-10-21, 21:00
were you in the clip? how long ago since you've been up there?

looks like a pretty good grunt in the video and from the profile on bmta.

Bearpaw
2011-10-21, 22:23
were you in the clip? how long ago since you've been up there?

looks like a pretty good grunt in the video and from the profile on bmta.

It's steep, 1100 feet gained in a mile, IIRC. But it's short compared to the amount of climbing the BMT does in the Smokies. You climb over 15000 feet over the 100 or so miles in the park. I finished the final 45 miles of my BMT section hike of the last year and a half this week. Climbed well over 8000 feet. Big Frog is easy by comparison.

chumpchange
2011-10-22, 00:15
congrats !!!

generoll
2011-10-22, 08:18
no, I wasn't in the clip and it's been a few years since I hiked that section. I did a loop hike out of Dally Gap. Dally to Big Frog, Wolf Ridge down to the FS road and then back in at Beech bottoms to the Jacks River then across and out Penitentiary Branch. Just a small amount of backtracking to Dally gap.