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  1. #1
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    Default Dick's Creek Gap - Fontana Dam in October

    This will be my second AT section hike. My group hiked from Amicola to DCG in March and loved it so much that we are going back for some more.

    Looking at the profile on Gut Hooks, this section looks to be harder which is fine.

    I am looking for general recommendations or, cautions for this section around the third week of October.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Keen preparation for changing weather, clothing as such.
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". Charles Darwin

  3. #3
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    Finishing Georgia is a beast. The ass kicker up and down will make N carolina a welcome site. There will be some challenging ascents in N Carolina but generally stay higher longer which makes for lots of wind and rapid swings. I did winding stair gap to Fontana the week of Halloween last year. It was definitely more remote than Georgia sections. I had wind first 3 days. If you get a chance stop at the NOC and get a cabin at wolf? I think. But get there before Halloween. Thats when the shorten the hours. The section before and after the NOC was the most difficult for me.


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  4. #4

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    Last week of October your probably going to experience some early sings of winter. The season of walking in the rain during the day will become much less enjoyable then previous months. There are some good climbs in that stretch and the fall colors should be about peak. I would suggest trying your best to overlap bad weather with a town stay. The comments of staying up on top after a climb compared to GA are accurate. GA you seem to go down just as soon as you are on top, but in NC you get to ride some ridges. Look forward to wayah bald, its a real gem. Along with standing indian, cheoh, and the firetower that has left my memory.
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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  5. #5

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    That is a great section. The climb out of GA into NC is a bear, but once past it, it isn't too bad. Albert Mtn is a short but very steep climb. Jacobs Ladder is also a steep climb, and not very fun. Those are the worst sections. I've always heard complaints about the climb up out of the NOC, but it has never seemed that bad to me. Yes, its a long climb, but not terrible.

    Lots of great views in this section. Take the side trail up to the Siler Bald summit - worth your time. Albert Mtn, and Wayah and Wesser Balds (the firetower Gambit mentioned) are right on the trail. Standing Indian and Cheoah are great views, and I would recommend camping at the summit if you are close.

    Should be great timing, not too warm and not cold yet. Be aware of hunting seasons and have orange if your trip falls into a season. Water shouldn't be an issue that late, and we have had a fairly wet year anyways.

  6. #6
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    Oh yes that reminds me. Have orange for your back! It is bear hunting season in that area. Ran across some hunters at burningtown gap mile 124.


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  7. #7
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    Thank you to all who responded. I had a feeling y'all would have some excellent advice.

  8. #8
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    I'd say third week in Oct equates similarly to 1st week of March (not sure when you went last time), with less chance of snow in Oct (pretty much none actually, whereas March definitely). You'll be at higher elevation, though, so you likely need to plan on colder temps and don't pay attention to forecasts.

    This section will be eye candy compared to the Ga section you did last time. Its less up and down all the time, but bigger ups and downs. Frankly, I loathe the rocky ascent coming out of Bly Gap. If it were me, I'd do this section Sobo. Doesn't make much difference around NOC, but ascents up Wayah and Siler are a little shorter.

    Must be up on Wayah in the a.m. to view the sea of clouds that stay in the valley until mid a.m. There's a relative large campsite Nobo side about a quarter mile that makes for easy access to the bald either at night for clear sky view, or before packing out for that a.m. view. Water at shelter another quarter mile Nobo from campsite.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    I'd say third week in Oct equates similarly to 1st week of March (not sure when you went last time), with less chance of snow in Oct (pretty much none actually, whereas March definitely). You'll be at higher elevation, though, so you likely need to plan on colder temps and don't pay attention to forecasts.

    This section will be eye candy compared to the Ga section you did last time. Its less up and down all the time, but bigger ups and downs. Frankly, I loathe the rocky ascent coming out of Bly Gap. If it were me, I'd do this section Sobo. Doesn't make much difference around NOC, but ascents up Wayah and Siler are a little shorter.

    Must be up on Wayah in the a.m. to view the sea of clouds that stay in the valley until mid a.m. There's a relative large campsite Nobo side about a quarter mile that makes for easy access to the bald either at night for clear sky view, or before packing out for that a.m. view. Water at shelter another quarter mile Nobo from campsite.
    Thanks Scope. We started on Match 23rd and certainly appreciate all of your advise.

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    Okay all, now the next question.

    We are going to leave a single car at DCG for the week. What's the best way to get back there from Fontana? Rental car or shuttle. It's a 4 hour round trip for a shuttle driver, that seems unreasonable to me but, maybe that's normal.

  11. #11
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgillam View Post
    Okay all, now the next question.

    We are going to leave a single car at DCG for the week. What's the best way to get back there from Fontana? Rental car or shuttle. It's a 4 hour round trip for a shuttle driver, that seems unreasonable to me but, maybe that's normal.
    We used Ron Brown for that very shuttle. It is super windy with no direct route from Fontana-DCG. I don't recall what we paid but I thought it was pretty reasonable.
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  12. #12
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    Second ron! Hes great and reasonable. He is a great resource for current trail conditions while you ride


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    Rons at shuttle service (706)669-0919
    Hes on facebook also


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    It's a 4 hour round trip for a shuttle driver, that seems unreasonable to me but, maybe that's normal.



    not sure how you find that unreasonable....

    look at a map....

    two hours there and two hours back to wherever shuttle person is coming from (if its ron, he's around the franklin area)...


    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Font...34.9117594!3e0

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    and factor in some buffer time of shuttle person getting there a little early and potentially staying a little late, depending upon hikers speed and all that....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    not sure how you find that unreasonable....

    look at a map....

    two hours there and two hours back to wherever shuttle person is coming from (if its ron, he's around the franklin area)...


    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Font...34.9117594!3e0
    It seems unreasonable for me to ask someone to make a 4 hours round trip just to move me around. Even though I'm paying, it seems like a lot to ask of someone. I guess I'm a nice guy. Lol

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the heads up on Ron. I just called him and got set up. He was wonderful...and unreasonably affordable. Fortunately I tip well.

  18. #18
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    It seems unreasonable for me to ask someone to make a 4 hours round trip just to move me around.


    oh......

    sorry...

    misread that to think you thought 4 hours for paying for a shuttle was excessive.....

    but, ron (and others) has made a business outta it and it serves them and the community well....

    have fun at fontana dam......

    take a dip in the lake----its generally nice and warm like a bathtub at this time of year.......

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    oh......

    sorry...

    misread that to think you thought 4 hours for paying for a shuttle was excessive.....

    but, ron (and others) has made a business outta it and it serves them and the community well....

    have fun at fontana dam......

    take a dip in the lake----its generally nice and warm like a bathtub at this time of year.......
    This time of year? I'm going to be there in late October. Shall I pack trunks? Lol

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgillam View Post
    This time of year? I'm going to be there in late October. Shall I pack trunks? Lol


    Cant hurt....

    it would give ya a shock to the system if cold....

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