21 Days in January

1:19 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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I see this forum has some stuff about Citico so I figure I'll add my last trip report into various areas in the Tennessee mountains.

Trip 171

January 2-22  2016

Citico/Slickrock/Brushy Ridge/Bald River wilderness areas.

To see all trip pics go here---


The trip begins by getting shuttled to Beehouse Gap near the Flats Mt trailhead and pulling a roadwalk with my 95lb pack down to Citico Creek and into the Citico wilderness.

I pull the Rocky Flats trail and set up by the old homestead.

After I clear Rocky Flats I connect to the rarely hiked Crowder Branch trail and spend two hard days working it and peter out midway up at this little Mid Crowder Branch campsite.

A pretty blowdown tunnel on the Crowder Branch trail.

On Day 7 I finish Crowder Branch and get to Fodderstack Ridge where I turn north and hike a couple miles to this exposed ridge top I call Horn in the West.  Luckily in the high wet wind I brought 14 pegs to bolt down my Hilleberg Keron tent.

On Day 8 I backtrack south on Fodderstack Ridge and stop in Crowder Camp to change clothing while eyeballing Big Stack Gap trail to the right.

I reach Slickrock Creek with a grand plan to clear the Nutbuster trail up to Naked Ground but it is dashed by a butt cold rain on Day 9 so I pull a zero and survey the creek from my campsite.

On Day 10 I leave Slickrock Creek at 10F COLD!! and climb up Big Fat Gap trail which I clear with my saw and pruners.  I camp near the gap on the Windy Gap trail.

By Day 12 it's 1F on Mt LeConte as I climb up to the top of Hangover Mt and get to see what cold temps do to dripping water.

I reach Haoe Peak at 5,240 feet and stop for a break in the action.

By Day 15 it's time to leave Hangover Mt and Bob Bald and take Fodderstack Ridge trail to Pine Ridge and down to some low ground.

Pine Ridge trail takes me down to Citico Creek and a roadwalk back to Beehouse Gap and up Flats Mt.  It's a butt cold hike up Flats as I look back to Bob Mt where I was a couple days before.

My coldest night was the morning of Day 18 with 0F and -7F recorded on Mt LeConte.  This pic doesn't look cold and it was taken on the first bald of Flats Mt.  I leave the Flats and do a roadwalk to Long Branch.

Long Branch trail dumps me out on a partially frozen North River which I follow to Tellico River and into the Bald River wilderness.

On Day 19 I see my first real snow as I set up camp on the Bald River trail in the BR wilderness.

On Day 20 I leave Bald River wilderness and luckily hitch a ride with this friendly guy down the Tellico River road to the Beach Drive-In restaurant where he drops me off for one more night in the woods.

I spend my last night about 2 miles up Old Furnace road in a stealth camp and on Day 21 hike back to the Beach restaurant and wait for my ride home.

1:32 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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Thanks Walter for the trip report and photos; it's always nice to hear from you.

3:19 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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Great report Tipi! I love that bright red Keron... Looks like such an inviting shelter in the cold weather!

Thanks for the orange ribbon on Rocky Flats, it sure helped. We met Patman there back in December. It was the 1st time I'd hiked this wonderful trail!

Patman by Rocky Flats Branch.

Here's me at the old chimney.

4:07 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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Nice job to get out for that long in winter. I like the red pack and red tent, they are hard to lose.

I am headed to the desert in a couple of weeks.

6:29 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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Hey Tipi, great report!

I met two more folks on the Bob last weekend that we know in common: 

John and AJ

AJ knows Will Skelton and is friends with John Quillen (though he made a point to tell me he's not a Southern Highlander). :)

I was going to camp in Tipi Gap last Saturday night but came back to the Bob to socialize with these guys. The wind was awful though and I went to bed early anyway. 

7:59 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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Patman, Joe and North1---Thanks for the input and comments. And yes Joe, Rocky Flats is one of my favorites and in pretty good shape as we speak.

Patman---It's neat you got to see John and AJ as I saw them in Naked Ground Gap back in April 2013 and here's the picture from that event--


7:59 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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I think AJ used to post here on Trailspace too.

10:07 p.m. on February 4, 2016 (EST)
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Nice to see one of your trip reports Tipi. Always enjoyable. I am going to have to get out to Citico again...way too long since I last rambled through those hills.

February 19, 2020
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