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Author Topic: January 2017 Trip Report  (Read 167 times)

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KYhiker40

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January 2017 Trip Report
« on: January 29, 2017, 08:02:44 AM »

I've had two trips out to the RRG in January, both trips to the Copperas Creek area.  I had the opportunity to take a friend on his first ever backpacking trip, which was a lot of fun.  I always enjoy introducing people to the backpacking experience. 

With this being his first trip, we keep the miles low and set up a base camp at this popular spot:






It was a very wet trip, all the wood was extremely wet.  I don't always have a fire, but that is half the fun for first timers, as was the need to cook hot dogs on a stick, so I did what had to be done.  I call this picture "Mad Man with an Ax":


I found this very cool rock when exploring.  Some dry tinder under the overhangs was helpful.



The water was flowing strong, and there were many nice cascades as we hiked to our destination.



Ice still formed under most overhangs.



The destination for our trip.  I enjoyed a nice cup of hot chocolate and hung out for a while.







We found a false arch while looking for other off trail arches.



A neat off trail pillar.



My favorite feature of the trip, an off trail arch that isn't as frequently talked about.  I won't name it.  We had a heck of a time trying to get up into that arch, which we failed to accomplish.  I suspect I'll have to bushwack down from the trail system above this one.



I failed to find a couple other arches that are more frequently talked about.  I'll be heading back soon, probably next week, to continue my hunt.  Thanks to those here who have helped me with some private message feedback on how to locate these arches. 

Finally, the next morning before coming home, I had to take my buddy on my favorite loop at the Gorge.  We parked at Gray's, hiked the Gray's Arch/Veranda Overlook/Hanson Point/Rough Ridge loop.  I figured those overlooks and sights would make him a permanent RRG addict.









I will also share a story to hope it prevents future disasters for others.  While at Hanson Point we came across a solo hiker whose GPS battery had died.  He had no map and had no idea how to get back to the official trail system.  He played it off well, but was clearly very nervous and concerned that he was lost.  He followed us out to the parking lot.  Please folks, don't be that guy.

I'm posting one final picture, this one of Hopewell Arch, another off trail arch near Copperas Creek.  It's fairly well discussed online, so I figure it doesn't hurt to name it.   I don't have this one on Photobucket, using the attachment button below, so I'm not sure where exactly it will show up on this thread.  Hopefully it shows up right here:





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Mark W

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Re: January 2017 Trip Report
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 07:19:57 PM »

Looks like a fun trip! Sounds like a great way to introduce someone to backpacking. Nice that you were able to pull off a fire given the conditions. Wood from under the overhangs can definitely be a godsend in wet weather.

The arch you couldn't get into is definitely a chore to enter from below, nice picture . . . that is a really cool perspective of the waterfall!

Looks like Copperas Creek Falls is as gorgeous as ever. Love the color of that water.

And wow . . . what a cautionary tale about the hiker at Hanson's Point. That is a pretty perfect place to get get lost given how there are several junctions between that trail and any trailhead. Glad you all were able to guide him out OK and hopefully he will pay closer attention and have a back up navigational aid next time.
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KYhiker40

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Re: January 2017 Trip Report
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 05:03:14 AM »

And wow . . . what a cautionary tale about the hiker at Hanson's Point. That is a pretty perfect place to get get lost given how there are several junctions between that trail and any trailhead. Glad you all were able to guide him out OK and hopefully he will pay closer attention and have a back up navigational aid next time.

No doubt.  I got to thinking about this situation.  Imagine if he had come out of the unofficial trail and turned RIGHT going down Rough Trail.  He would have crossed the creek, climbed up Rough Trail to the "secret story" area.  At this point he could have very easily gotten very lost, not climbing up the root tree, but instead following that user trail right under the rock shelter, around the bottom of the Veranda Overlook, and ending up totally turned around.  I'm glad I was there and I'm glad he wasn't to embarrassed to ask for directions!
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wsp_scott

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Re: January 2017 Trip Report
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 09:54:23 AM »

Sounds like a good time. How did your friend do with wet feet hiking to the falls?

Your Hanson's point story reminds me of running into a early 20's guy with what looked to be his parents out near Star Gap Arch. He asked me if we were on the Double Arch Trail. I think he even had a map  ???

I also remember running into dayhikers in the smokies that had the basic trail map, but had no idea how to use it. They were a mile from the trailhead and did not know how to get back to the car ???

And just last week in the smokies (with day time temps ~25) I had a dayhiker ask if they should try to make it to the top of Mt Leconte. It was noon, the higher trail was covered with ice and they had jeans and sneakers on and they thought they could do a hike that would take most people at least 5 hours round trip before the sun went down ???

I have run into a lot of lost dayhikers :)
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KYhiker40

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Re: January 2017 Trip Report
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 12:28:07 PM »

Sounds like a good time. How did your friend do with wet feet hiking to the falls?


It was all good.   After our day of hiking we took a round trip to the car & back for dry clothes, socks, camp shoes, hot dogs, and beverage.-)  I do enjoy these spots in the RRG where you can get isolation during a hike combined with the convenience of almost car camping.
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: January 2017 Trip Report
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 10:51:32 AM »

It has to be a bummer missing those arches. Although it makes a great excuse for repeat visits. I know I'm planning on a return trip in March to find them all!
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KYhiker40

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Re: January 2017 Trip Report
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 02:02:22 PM »

It has to be a bummer missing those arches. Although it makes a great excuse for repeat visits. I know I'm planning on a return trip in March to find them all!

I've found that for me, without a GPS unit, it can take multiple trips when arch hunting! You're exactly right, its just a great excuse for a return trip.  Plus, I was really thrilled to find that arch whose name I shall not mention!  It was a great trip.

I'm going back sometime this week, although I think this trip will focus more on looking for Andrews Arch (again) and a couple other lesser known arches in the area.
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: January 2017 Trip Report
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2017, 02:39:57 PM »


I've found that for me, without a GPS unit, it can take multiple trips when arch hunting! You're exactly right, its just a great excuse for a return trip.  Plus, I was really thrilled to find that arch whose name I shall not mention!  It was a great trip.

I'm going back sometime this week, although I think this trip will focus more on looking for Andrews Arch (again) and a couple other lesser known arches in the area.
[/quote]

I should have clarified earlier that I am going back to find all the arches in Copperas, not ALL the arches. :)

KYhiker40 you'll have to pm me to let me know how you did find the one that shall not be named. Andrew's Arch is also on my list, last time I made it out that way our exploring got cut short by an expiring campsite on a busy fall weekend. Lesson learned, always break down camp first!
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