Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

37 Miles on the AT in the Smokey Mountains

At 8:35am I was standing on Clingmans Dome. The weather was fantastic. Clear sky’s, 68 degrees, and the view was amazing. I ran down the winding ramp that leads up to Clingmans Dome and turned right on the AT. For the next 8 miles I ran up and down to reach New Found Gap. This would be the only access point to a road for the entire day. I topped off the water bottle I consumed in the last 8 miles and kept heading North East on the AT. I was carrying 3.5 liters of water and some food in a day pack.

Reputedly known as "Kuwahi" (the mulberry place) by the Cherokee Indians, the mountain was originally dubbed "Smoky Dome" by local Scots-Irish inhabitants. In 1859, the mountain was henceforth renamed for Thomas Lanier Clingman (1812-1897), who extensively explored the area in the 1850s and spent many years thereafter promoting it and was also a lawyer, member of the U.S. Congress (House and Senate), and a brigadier general for the Confederate States of America, by compatriot Arnold Guyot. Guyot named the mountain for Clingman due to an argument between the U.S. Senator and a professor at the University of North Carolina, Elisha Mitchell over which mountain was actually the highest in the region. Mitchell contended that a peak by the name of Black Dome (now known as Mount Mitchell) was the highest, while Clingman asserted that Smoky Dome was instead the true highest peak. Guyot put the dispute to rest when finding that Smoky Dome was 39 feet (12 m) shorter than Black Dome.

After passing the Boulevard Trail that leads up to Mt. LeConte the AT runs along one of he most amazing ridges I have ever hiked on. At this point in my adventure I was alone, and continued to be alone for the rest of the run.

2 hours into the run I was at New Found Gap, 5 hours into the run I was at Pecks Shelter, 6.5 hours I was at TriCorners, 10:58 I was at Davenport Gap. It rained during the middle of the day, but overall the weather was very nice. I consumed 7 liters of water, and ate a little over 1,000 calories which is not enough for a run like this. My heart rate monitor told me I burend over 9,000 calories in my 10:58 of running.

No comments: