After scrutinizing the map we realized we had only covered about 2.5 miles on our first day. We were still 6 miles from Springer Mountain. It was 20 degrees outside with frozen clouds whipping over our campsite. We had to shout in each other's faces to communicate.
It was too cold to cook on the ridge in the wind. We all munched on Cliffbars and trailmix and tried to drink down our waters that had become slush. Drinking slush is not an ideal hydration method. CHILLS. We broke camp and evacuated to the nearest shelter Black Gap Shelter at mile 7.3 on the approach trail. There, we planned to cook in the shelter and reevaluate our options.
The trail approach trail was a treacherous ice slick. It winded up and over ridges in a continuous zig and zag from frozen howling 40mph strait winds, to the calmer shelter of the mountain. We had to hike fast to stay warm. There was no stopping.
We finally made it to the shelter after a numbing five mile sprint through arctic conditions. Fired up the stove and cooked up some super-meal. 23 degrees in the shelter. It blocked most of the wind. Outside, it continued to blow snow.
From Black Gap shelter, it is 1.5 miles to the summit of Springer Mountain (3782 ft), and the beginning of North Bound (NOBO) Thru-Hike. Colder still, windier still, and finally we arrived at the top where conditions were tolerable for a couple pictures and short video. Bones were chilled, and the wind blasted frozen snot, tears, and drool all over our frosty faces.
Mr. Dallas spent about 3 minutes for some pictures on the mountain, and then fled the onslaught for Stover Creek Shelter a mere 2.8 miles down the trail. Braver Douglas, Josh and Dumpstermouth played around on top for minute.
Roll video: Douglas describes the weather < Check out the Video