Monday, August 24, 2015

Mount Mitchell: Conquering the Highest of the Appalachians

While Mount Mitchell may not be the highest in the world, or even the most popular in the U.S., it is one of the few summits that I’ve personally wanted to conquer. Climbing this mountain two years ago was very tricky, yet I’ve surprisingly found serenity as I was traversing its difficult trail before finally reaching the 6684-foot summit. The spruce-fir carpeted terrain is just one of the many astonishing features of this mountain. The breathtaking vistas and the invigorating air quality also make the cut.
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As the experienced hiker that I am, I started my climb at the Black Mountain Campground on the Toe River, which was over five miles away from the summit of the peak. It is one of the toughest continuous climbs in all of America but also among the most magical as one will witness changing forest scenery with the elevation. Much of the forest is old-growth, and a side loop to splendid alpine meadows of the Higgins Bald trail provides a complete package.

The climb would require one to scale the crest of some ridges following a relatively rough and eroded segment of the trail, and the forest becomes composed of almost pure Fraser Fir and some mountain ash. The trees get shorter as the elevation increases, signifying the harsh kind of environment Mount Mitchell’s upper sections have.
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My name is Thomas Robert Faw and I have been climbing mountains since forever. Conquering the very challenging Mount Mitchell is perhaps the most fulfilling experience I have accomplished so far. If you want to know more about my Appalachian adventures, follow me on Twitter.