When: Friday, January 31 thru Sunday, February 2, 2014.
Details: Trayfoot Mt/Black Rock. Rated strenuous for elevation and potential weather conditions. Not scouted.
The trailhead is located on the Skyline Drive at MP 85 north of Waynesboro and east of Grottoes, VA. About 3 ½ hours from Greensboro.
We will leave Friday morning, either carpooling or caravanning from a meeting place TBD. Google “trayfoot mountain” and “black rock” for numerous links and photos. Trayfoot Mt is the second highest peak in SNP’s South District. Black Rock is close to the Skyline Drive and heavily used, though we should not encounter many day hikers at this time of the year. Black Rock has a 360 deg. Vista. Trayfoot Mt, west of Black Rock, and the area in general is some of SNP’s most remote territory. Streams, talus slopes, huge rocky outcrops, cliffs. Most of the trails we will use are gradual; there is significant elevation change in two places (400 ft in .86 miles at the end coming out Sunday).
Friday we follow Paine Run Trail for 2.5 miles, or less depending on what we find in suitable base camp sites along the way. There are two primitive camp sites indicated on my map at 2.5 miles. This is a loop hike so the closer we base camp to the trailhead the less pack we have coming out Sunday. There is a possibility that we will have to wade the creek depending on the amount of rain that week.
Saturday we will hike a 9 to 10 mile loop, counter clockwise, along the Trayfoot Mt. and back along the Paine Run trails to our base camp. There is a .5 mile side trail to the top of Block Rock about two-thirds of the way through Saturday’s hike. I have an excellent map that I can email. This map indicates several “Kodak” moments in the middle third of Trayfoot Mt trail, as we spend a lot of time on ridgelines.
Sunday we will be up-and-out for the 2.5 miles maximum back to the vehicles and return home.
The trip is weather dependent. There is almost certain to be snow on the ground in the area and at our elevation. We access the trailhead on the Skyline Drive, which can be closed for weather conditions. In the event of weather conditions or a late week winter storm that forces cancellation of the trip, Plan B is the north section of the Neusiok for warmer weather. Setting a Plan B as an alternate means that, having committed the time to the trip, we do not have to give up the trip if the weather in the mountains is just too severe. You commit to Trayfoot Mt/Black Rock. If Trayfoot Mt/Black Rock cancels due to weather, I would not expect you to go to Neusiok unless you wanted to go. On the other hand, it is too complicated to try to coordinate someone who just wants to go to Neusiok.
Group size is limited depending on experience of participants. More information on the Sierra Club web page http://northcarolina.sierraclub.org/
$25 (per each person in a group/family) refundable-at-the-trail head deposit required).