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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 3947 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostMon Jan 01, 2018 10:24 am 
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Seeing off 2017 in a winter wonderland
Dolly Sods, West Virginia (12/31/17)

A great end to 2017 yesterday! After the recent snowfall, I was keen to get into some pristine snow conditions. I decided to make a trip to West Virginia's Canaan Valley, with a tentative plan of doing something in the nearby high country of Dolly Sods.

After a stressful pre-dawn drive to the trailhead, on mostly snowy roads, I arrived at the Red Creek trailhead around 9:15am. Even though Red Creek looked pretty enticing, by now I had decided that I was more interested in some some views. So, instead of heading up the forested Red Creek Trail, I continued on foot up the snowy Forest Road 19. The temperature was 0F.

A pretty 3.1mi walk, that made short work of the 1400ft elevation gain, deposited me at the trailhead for the Rohrbaugh Plains Trail. Fluffy, untouched snow, about 5in deep, gentled my footsteps as I made my way up into a winter wonderland. It was wall to wall goodness: every inch of the forest was decorated with a liberal coating of whipped cream snow.


While I had made short work of the FR19 road walk, progress was glacially slow now. It was so beautiful and peaceful that there was no way I was going to rush through. Also, all the snow on the branches of the spruce trees and rhododendron bushes had them bowing down in front of me, onto the trail. As I brushed off the snow with my trekking pole, the branches would rise dramatically to grant me passage. I felt like a king being allowed to pass through crowds of courtiers, but only after having granted them a few words.

Rhododendron courtiers

GaliWalker in wonderland

2.5mi along the Rohrbaugh Plains Trail I reached the beautiful viewpoint known as the No Name Vista. Possibly the most expansive views of the Dolly Sod region are available from this rocky perch. I had to be extremely careful as I clambered about on the slippery snowy rocks, since fissures choked with snow lay in wait for the inattentive. A lightly, albeit steadily, falling snow, made worse by a driving cold wind, meant that my stay at the No Name Vista was short. A few hurried photos with my blocks of ice hands and I was ready to get back into the beautiful forest.


I returned the way I came.

Hiking/photography stats: 11.2mi, 2300ft elevation gain, 6hrs

I swung by Blackwater Falls for a few shots, since I'd never seen it in winter. I was pleased to see that it was still a waterfall and not completely frozen yet.


Total trip time: 15.5hrs

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 9227 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
viewbagger
PostMon Jan 01, 2018 12:18 pm 
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up.gif Good Stuff as always I'd love to get back there long enough to get back into some of those areas again.


Rob standing in the Red River, Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV Fall once upon a time.
Rob standing in the Red River, Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV Fall once upon a time.

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Living in the Anthropocene
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 3947 | TRs
Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostMon Jan 01, 2018 5:08 pm 
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Cool pic!  up.gif

--------------
'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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