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Kuwahi Branch May 21, 2012

Posted by Jenny in bushwhacking, Smoky Mountains.
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This is just a note to say that I hope I will have a chance to go back to this beautiful area on the north side of Clingmans Dome. Mark Shipley and Ed Fleming led this off-trail hike for the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club. Kuwahi Branch flows down over steep sandstone bedrock exposed by a landslide. It is a lovely rock staircase that offers good handholds and footholds on the way up.

I had done a scouting trip the day before that turned out to be much longer (12 hours) and more demanding than I’d expected. I was worn out, and I struggled to keep up with the group, putting in a dismal performance. I left the slide and took to the brush partway up because continuous leg cramps made me unsure whether I could safely maneuver up the footholds.

But I want to recommend this route as a not-so-well-known feature in the Clingmans area. Chris Sass posted some nice photos here on his Picasa website.


1. Dusty L. Allison - May 30, 2012

Awesome pics by Chris! Wow! I am already researching this and scouring the maps. I would love to get more beta on this one.

Jenny - May 31, 2012

Check the Silers quad for the tributaries of the Little River just north of Clingmans summit. You’ll see Kuwahi among them. The slide begins quite close to the top. We descended the easternmost of the small draws that feed into Kuwahi and crossed over to the next draw to climb the slide.

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