jump to navigation

Anakeesta Knob and Upper Anakeesta Ridge April 27, 2014

Posted by Jenny in bushwhacking, hiking, Smoky Mountains.
Tags: , , ,
5 comments
Heath-covered ridges and mighty LeConte.

Heath-covered ridges and mighty LeConte.

There was a method to my madness. I needed to get a good view of the landslide scars on No Name Ridge. And what is the best vantage point for that? Upper Anakeesta Ridge.

I looked across the upper valley of Alum Cave Creek.

I looked across the upper valley of Alum Cave Creek.

On July 20 I will lead an outing for the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club up Alum Cave Creek to the crest of No Name and then on to the Boulevard trail and over LeConte to return to our starting point at the Alum Cave trailhead. I’ve been up No Name before, but the route I took up the side of the ridge wasn’t ideal. It would be best to follow one of the scars, thereby postponing the inevitable crawling through the heath until close to the top.

It’s possible to reach my vantage point several different ways. I took the easy way: hiked out from Newfound Gap to the Boulevard trail, and then bushwhacked the short distance over the top of Anakeesta Knob and down the ridge until things opened up. Then I retraced my steps. I figure the trail mileage was about 9 or 10 roundtrip.

The place where Anakeesta Ridge hits the trail was familiar to me, as it is essentially a continuation of the Shutts-Boulevard divide ridge on the other side of the Boulevard. A piece of that ridge was part of my marathon outing up Shutts Prong last August. The trail makes a sharp little turn where it crosses over the “Anashuttsevard” ridge.

Intersection of Boulevard trail with the ridge.

Intersection of Boulevard trail with the ridge.

For those of you interested in bagging one of the highest sub-6K peaks, it’s a very short, easy bushwhack to the top of mighty 5988′ Anakeesta Knob. Only a few people are crazy enough to bag it because it’s a 5K. (You know who you are—ha, ha!)

I walked through fairly open woods, through glades filled with trout lily foliage.

None were blooming, but the foliage was pretty.

None were blooming, but the foliage was pretty.

Before I knew it (whatever that expression means), I had reached the summit.

The not-very-exciting summit of Anakeesta Knob.

The not-very-exciting summit of Anakeesta Knob.

As I descended off that fearsome cone, I had a view of the parking lot at Newfound Gap. It seemed just a stone’s throw away (since I seem to be using hackneyed expressions).

A telescopic view made the stone-throwing even easier.

A telescopic view made the stone-throwing even easier.

The ridge had clearly been traveled by bears and by bear-like humans—I know who the usual suspects are.

The narrower the ridge, the clearer the path.

The narrower the ridge, the clearer the path.

I had a great view down the Alum Cave Creek valley.

Valley of Alum Cave Creek.

Valley of Alum Cave Creek.

And, looking off the other side, across the valley of Walker Camp Prong.

I could practically see all the people hiking the A.T.

I could practically see all the people hiking the A.T.

The view back to the Knob showed me that not all approaches are easy.

The Knob shows its more dramatic side.

The Knob shows its more dramatic side.

I pushed along until I reached some dense heath, then went back to my best vantage point and stopped for lunch. I took a telescopic picture of the slides on No Name. It seems to me the side of the ridge is more bare than it used to be. Perhaps some of the slides were enlarged during last year’s heavy rains. If you look closely, you can see how the spine of the ridge has a rock backbone, which is what makes it such a great place.

The Y-shaped slide looks like the way to go.

The Y-shaped slide looks like the way to go (click for zoom).

A pleasant outing on a beautiful spring day.

The myrtle is full of buds.

The myrtle is full of buds.

Advertisements

Peter crosses a state line April 11, 2010

Posted by Jenny in hiking, Smoky Mountains.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Peter at Newfound Gap

(…actually, I should say that he continues along a state line for quite a while!)

This is going to be short and sweet.  A group of Peter’s friends met him at Newfound Gap today as he continued along his thru-hike of the A.T. Typically enough, Peter did not want to do the shortest distance between two points, but rather made the side trip to the top of LeConte, which was absolutely a beautiful place to be today.   We did the spur trail to the Jumpoff and gazed into those steep places in the headwaters of Lester Prong that I feel are so important.  Then  we continued on the Boulevard Trail to the summit of LeConte, encountering actually a few fairly difficult spots on slippery ice along the sidehilling parts of the trail.  Then we said goodbye to Peter at LeConte Lodge and wished him the fleetest of feet along the trail.   Good luck to you, Peter!