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, February 01, 2009

Mt. Mitchell Winter Ascent

Its the end of January, and it was time to go back up again to Mt. Mitchell. This time as a run/hike with a group from our local Charlotte Outdoor Adventure club. Me, John L, and David P started on the Mountains to Sea Trail at the junction of Hwy 80 and the Parkway. Memories of frozen fingers came into light from the new years run in the dark, and now I could see the trail during the day. It was amazing. We had planned to meet the rest of the group at the campgrounds around 12 noon. We casually ran down, and were there a little early.

Around 12:30 the entire group began the ascent up to the summit. Some of us had never been on Mitchell. For the first hour or so, the sun was beaming and we were actually hot. As we climbed up the temperatures droped and patches of ice and snow became more prevalent. Hiking up commissary ridge was challenging with large sheets of ice covering more than half of the trial. We were moving slow to ensure the entire group made it up to the top, and reached the summit at 3:05pm. The skies were again clear, and mostly calm, yet very cold.

We headed back down the icy trials of commissary ridge and made it back down to the cars just before dark. On the way down I met two climbers with heavy packs that planned to travel to Pico de Orizaba (18,490 feet) in Mexico later this year.

We ended this hike with a meal at Little Sienna at the bottom of Hwy 80.

No comments: