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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.