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Author Topic: Ridge Trail - 20 miler  (Read 1023 times)

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Cliftyman

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Ridge Trail - 20 miler
« on: January 05, 2013, 12:06:06 PM »

Hi everybody... my very first backpacking trip 12 years ago was on Ewing Trail....  went up, came straight back down and blew out my knee.  12 years later I've got a lot more backpacking miles under my belt and when my bro told me his son needed to do a 20 miler in a day to get his Eagle Scout badge I told him we should do the Ridge Trail.

I've been on sections of the trail and start and finish so I'm pretty familiar with it.  I can't imagine the topography on top of Cumberland mtn. being much different than Pine Mountain (might not have as much relief), so I feel pretty good about this one.  I've been all over Pine Mountain but I've only been on top of Cumberland Mountain near White Rocks and the Pinnacle.  I know Chadwell Gap has some relief but I think the top where Ridge Trail is generally level... I'm sure gaps will give us frequent 100ft ascents/descents... I'm getting a map from OutrageGIS to make sure.

Our plan is to leave a car at Ewing Trailhead, then drive up to the Pinnacle overlook and start.  I expect if we start at sunrise we should be 20 miles in before dark.... it'll be rushed (especially around Hennsley Settlement, since I've never seen it and I'd like to take my time there) but it should make for a much more interesting 20 miles than what they were considering (loops in flat city parks or something).  I knew we could camp possibly at White Rocks Campground, or possibly camp in Sand Cave?  We don't plan to have a fire... I didn't know if you could camp in Sand Cave or not.  If we didn't want to take tents, that would be ideal... that would save weight and we wouldn't have to worry about rain ruining our sleep.

The Ridge Trail doesn't make quite 20 miles from what I can tell, but if we take time to go to Skylight Cave and do a loop around Hennsley we should have 20 by the end of the day.

I'm personally not worried about endurance... I'm worried about my feet.  My plan is to get some practice in beforehand to toughen them up, wear the right footwear and take along some Rx in case I get blisters.

Any suggestions at all, regarding anything I said would be greatly appreciated.  I know quite a few of you have been to Martins Fork, Shilalah Creek, Chadwell Gap and Hennsley Settlement, and a couple of you have probably hiked this same hike.... I appreciate your knowledge on this!

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Cliftyman

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Re: Ridge Trail - 20 miler
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 12:19:18 PM »

Think I found my first problem.... I don't believe you can park overnight @ the Pinnacle.

I wonder if we could get a local scout leader to give us a lift up there?  >:D
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