17 Days to Tallassee

9:52 a.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Okay, I might as well post a trip report of my April adventure---I head into the Tallassee Backcountry of TN and also call the trip A Tour of the Nuts for the many difficult trails I hiked---Brush Mt, North Fork Citico and the Upper Slickrock Nutbuster.  All of the pics are available here---

http://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/Backpack-2014-Trips-152/17-Days-Tallassee-Mountain/

A 17 DAY TOUR OF THE NUTS
TRIP 155
April 11-27 2014

HIGHLIGHTS
** 17 DAYS IN APRIL

** THE TRIP BEGINS IN BEEHOUSE GAP

** HIKING THE ROCKY FLATS WITH COY WILLIAMS'S CHURCH GROUP

** I DISCOVER THE MILL BRANCH HORSE REROUTE

** MID APRIL SNOWSTORM AT CROWDER CAMP

** INTO THE TALLASSEE BACKCOUNTRY AND TWO NEW CAMPS

** RETURN TO STIFFKNEE GAP ON THE TALLASSEE MOUNTAIN TRAIL

** SEEING THOMAS AND CHANTELLE ON SLICKROCK CREEK FROM TRIP 145

** CLEARING THE YELLOWHAMMER TRAIL AGAIN

** 35TH CLIMB OF THE NUTBUSTER TRAIL

** 3,500 FEET CLIMB IN 7 MILES

** ALL DAY ZERO IN THE RAIN ON BOB MOUNTAIN

** BRUSH MOUNTAIN BACKPACK

** TRAILWORK UP THE NORTH FORK

TRAILS
Entrance Beehouse Gap
Beehouse Roadwalk
Warden's Field
Rocky Flats
**Conehead Flats**
Rocky Flats
**Chimney Site**
Rocky Flats
Mill Branch
**Quillen Camp**
Mill Branch
Fodderstack Ridge
**Crowder Camp(2)**
Fodderstack Ridge
Farr Gap
Milligan Creek Trail (Tallasee Backcountry)
Tallassee Creek Trail
**Tallassee Creek Camp**
Tallassee Creek Trail
Tallassee Mountain North
**Tallassee Mt Camp**
Tallassee Mountain South
Stiffknee Gap
Stiffknee Trail
Slickrock Creek
**Slisgah Camp**
Ike Branch
Yellowhammer
Nichols Cove
**Dog Hat Camp on Nichols Cove**
Nichols Cove Trail Up and Down
Slickrock Creek
**Nut Gate Camp**
35th Nutbuster Climb
Naked Ground
Four Mile Ridge
**Bob Mt South Col Camp (2)**
54A North
Snow Camp
BMT Connector
Trail 149
Brush Mt
South Fork/North Fork
**Camp Two**
North Fork
**Rock Ledge Camp North Fork**
North Fork
Trail 149
**Barrel Gap**
Trail 149
Cold Gap
Fodderstack Ridge to Beech Gap and OUT


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Little Mitten drops me off in Beehouse Gap and I roadwalk to Warden's Field and up the Rocky Flats trail where I meet Coy Williams on a dayhike with his church group.  Here he is crossing Ed Abbey Creek and I join the group all the way to the Chimney Site.


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After pulling Rocky Flats I tie into Mill Branch which is a nutbuster trail and stop at the top level area after the worst of it.


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At the top of Mill Branch I reach Big Stack Gap (aka Mill Gap) and rest before climbing the tough Little Big Horn to Crowder Camp.


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An April 15 snowstorm hits me in Crowder Camp and I'm glad I brought my full winter kit including down parka and pants.


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I leave Crowders and head North on Fodderstack Ridge and get to Farr Gap and the beginning trail system of the Tallassee backcountry.  I head northeast and turn right and go east for a night and continue on to the jct with the Tallassee Mt trail running south to north and I head north past "Haw Knob No 1".


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Crossing Tallassee Creek on my eastward trek to Tallassee Mt trail.


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Camping somewhere on Tallassee Mt near Haw Knob No 1 (NOT to be confused with Haw Knob near Whiggs Meadow).


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The next day I head south on the Tallassee Mt trail and it takes me all the way up some serious hills to Stiffknee Gap and the Stiffknee/BMT trail heading down to Slickrock Creek.  I am standing in Stiffknee Gap by the new trailpost.


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This shows my south route from the top jct down to Stiffknee Gap and it's a cool way to do a Tallassee loop w/o too much exploration (and bushwacking).


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I make it down to Slickrock Creek and run into Thomas and Chantelle who are doing all of the Slickrock trail and the Nutbuster up to Naked Ground and the Hangover.  I first met them on Trip 145 in 2012.


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Thomas and Chantelle pulling the difficult Slickrock/BMT crossing.  For a video of this event, see below----

http://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/Backpack-2014-Trips-152/17-Days-Tallassee-Mountain/i-xpwsrzk

http://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/Backpack-2014-Trips-152/17-Days-Tallassee-Mountain/i-4D2hxRK


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The next day I run into 3 backpackers from NC and show them a much easier place to cross about 200 feet downstream.


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I leave Slickrock Creek and head up Ike Branch to Yellowhammer Gap and trailwork all of Yellowhammer and Nichols Cove trails and get to Windy Gap and head down Nichols Cove where I run into 3 backpackers coming up and watch them negotiate a blowdown.


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The Nichols Cove trail returns me to Slickrock Creek and the Nutbuster trail which I work all the way with my trail tools.


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After pulling the Nut I reach Bob Bald and swing down 54A North to Cherry Log Gap and take the BMT Connector to Trail 149 and get on the Brush Mt trail down to South Fork Creek.  Here is a fave spot on Brush Mt.


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Brush Mt gets me across the South Fork and I jct with the North Fork and take it up the mountain.  Above is the North Fork.


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The North Fork takes me back up to Bob Mt where I run into these 3 backpackers from Franklin NC.  Jennifer, Kierra and Jason.


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On Day 17 I leave the Bob and head out to Beech Gap to meet my ride and run into these 3 backpackers from Brevard NC.  They did the North Fork/South Fork loop and were thankful for the trailwork I just finished on the North Fork.


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And so ends my trip into the Cherokee NF and the Tallassee backcountry and the Citico/Slickrock wilderness.

2:45 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Welcome back Tipi! Wow, another Haw knob? There is also one in the Smokies on the Jenkins Ridge trail.

 

Thanks for the report!

 

3:07 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Patman, thanks for the phone message and you should plan on doing the Tallassee in late Fall/Winter as then the hated motorcycle screamers won't be out and about.

A next trip is to do the new BMT reroute from Hiway 129 at Slickrock trailhead to the Yellow Creek Mt Trail(YCMT)on the old AT from the 1940's.  See Sgt Rock's maps here---

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?101574-Thread-Fontana-Reroute-State-of-the-Trail-Report

I backpacked the YCMT back in 2003 when it was hellish but now it's totally open or almost open and it's a good way to connect the Citico/Slickrock with the AT at Walker Gap above and south of Fontana.  Also see---

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?101319-It-s-Official-New-BMT-re-route!

3:21 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Great photos. Thanks for the report, Tipi. 

Just curious, does anyone you ever meet on the trail ever decline having their picture taken? What's your reason for taking their photos? 

I'm not saying anything against it, but just a bit curious. It's never been something that has came to mind while hiking. Then again, I'm not out there nearly as long as you are. 

Looking forward to reading your next report. 

3:37 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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nice trip, tipi....

 

how easy/hard was it to find your way around the tallasee area?    im hoping to pop down there one of these daze.....

 

and btw, was on brookshire creek trail this past weekend and ran into rick and brenda harris......they were out checkin a section of the bmt...

3:43 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Hey I watched the crossing videos.....I would have had to go back out there and help my wife across if I saw her struggling like that! Or at least taken her pack....

7:50 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Welcome back, Tipi. I always admire and envy your journeys (but not your pack weight!)

10:29 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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KiwiKlimber said:

Just curious, does anyone you ever meet on the trail ever decline having their picture taken? What's your reason for taking their photos? 

I'm not saying anything against it, but just a bit curious. It's never been something that has came to mind while hiking. Then again, I'm not out there nearly as long as you are. 

 I like including fellow backpacker pics since they are "official" (and not mere dayhikers); also, a trip report without seeing other humans with packs gets old quick in my opinion.  Putting faces with packs livens up the old journal as there's just so many creek or tree or bald or tent or self pics I can stand.

I saw one guy who didn't want his picture taken but he was a "mere dayhiker" and so he didn't rate.  Just kidding, but I rarely fotog the adventures of dayhikers (except for Coy's group) since their slogs are day-use-only short and start at a car and rush back to a car all in the same day.  Dayhikers rarely make it into my trip reports.

10:30 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Patman said:

Hey I watched the crossing videos.....I would have had to go back out there and help my wife across if I saw her struggling like that! Or at least taken her pack....

 Don't know if you noticed but on the first vid she had one hiking pole, and stopped in the middle to get her husband's second hiking pole.  The second vid shows her with two sticks.

August 21, 2019
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