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  1. #1
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    Cool Bly Gap to Muskrat Shelter?

    Hey y'all. :-) At the end of this month (the 30th), I'm going to finish my GA section hike and go from Dick's Creek to Bly Gap, finally. My original plan was to make this an out-and-back hike... but honestly... i really hate out-and-back hikes. I'm way too ADHD for that. I've got a shuttle driver who can pick me up at Deep Gap. HOWEVER... I'm nervous about that initial hike out of Bly Gap (Sharp Top Mtn, i think?). How bad is, it, REALLY? The elevation profile on Far Out is scary, LOL. 🤣 I mean, are we talking steep enough so it's hand-over-hand pulling myself uphill, or is it just a worse version of Kelly Knob ~ a lot of uphill in a short distance? What am I really in for?

  2. #2
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    It's been years since I've done that section, but there isn't any "hand-over-hand" stuff. There's nowhere from Georgia through Virginia that is. From my years section hiking the southern AT, I think the steepest sustained stretch is Jacob's Ladder aka Sweetwater Cliffs further into North Carolina, followed perhaps by Albert Mountain, which is only about a third of a mile and therefore more fun than fearsome.

    Dicks Creek Gap going north has good climbs but nothing outrageous. There's Courthouse Bald and As Knob, as I recall, that are steep but just normal steep. I don't have Far Out, but I've heard AT vloggers point out that it sometimes exaggerates the vertical.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    It's been years since I've done that section, but there isn't any "hand-over-hand" stuff. There's nowhere from Georgia through Virginia that is. From my years section hiking the southern AT, I think the steepest sustained stretch is Jacob's Ladder aka Sweetwater Cliffs further into North Carolina, followed perhaps by Albert Mountain, which is only about a third of a mile and therefore more fun than fearsome.

    Dicks Creek Gap going north has good climbs but nothing outrageous. There's Courthouse Bald and As Knob, as I recall, that are steep but just normal steep. I don't have Far Out, but I've heard AT vloggers point out that it sometimes exaggerates the vertical.
    Thank you! That's helpful. :-) If I've done everything from Springer to Dick's Creek, it sounds like i should be able to handle this.

  4. #4
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    The climb out of Bly Gap will definitely get your attention. I hiked all of GA to Deep Gap NOBO in one continuous trip and I would say the Bly gap climb was steeper than any other I experienced--large/tall steps over waterbars make it a little more difficult. Toward the top it is switchbacked which helps.
    As far as Jacob's Ladder, I don't remember any waterbars[or very few if there is] which makes it easier to pace yourself with smaller steps. It also isn't as much of an elevation gain [if I remember correctly].

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seatbelt View Post
    The climb out of Bly Gap will definitely get your attention. I hiked all of GA to Deep Gap NOBO in one continuous trip and I would say the Bly gap climb was steeper than any other I experienced--large/tall steps over waterbars make it a little more difficult. Toward the top it is switchbacked which helps.
    How large/tall are they, approximately?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaKatBrigid View Post
    Thank you! That's helpful. :-) If I've done everything from Springer to Dick's Creek, it sounds like i should be able to handle this.
    Yes, MamaKatBrigid, you'll be good. You've handled Spring to Dick's Creek Gap. The terrain to the north really isn't different in any meaningful way.

  7. #7
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Full pack? Assume so since pretty much anything is doable with a day pack. A worse version of Kelly Knob is about right for that first climb out of Bly, though its longer and the footing is worse. The waterbar steps aren't any different than those you might've experienced going up Big Cedar or Blood, most are shallow with just a few higher ones for good measure. I would much rather continue to Deep Gap than go back over Buzzard Knob after Plumorchard - not the same, just saying its not like doubling back is so easy. And you'll have a better starting point for your next section. In fact, I see you doing the Standing Indian Loop in your near future!
    "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... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  8. #8
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    No worries the climb out of bly is "long" but nice trail the whole way enjoy! I did Deep Gap to Plumorchard shelter and then to dicks the next day
    Trail Miles: 4,373.1
    AT Map 1: 2193.1 Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 193.0
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaKatBrigid View Post
    How large/tall are they, approximately?
    Some are 18"-24" You can always use a little bit of ingenuity and make half-steps out of them by using the sides of the trail--although some here would advise against it because of adding further erosion to the trail.

  10. #10
    Registered User tunnelbear's Avatar
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    I walked from Around the Bend Hostel a 1/2 mile to Dick's Creek Gap and on to Muskrat Shelter in one day last year. It was definitely a long day, especially the section after Bly Gap, but very doable. No hand over hand stuff, just steady up for longer than you may like.

  11. #11

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    The climb out of Bly gap is a "stairway to heaven". It's not hard, just a long and steady up. Mt Albert a few miles north is more of a little scramble near the top.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The climb out of Bly gap is a "stairway to heaven". It's not hard, just a long and steady up. Mt Albert a few miles north is more of a little scramble near the top.
    Mt Albert is the first place I didn't use my poles, throwing them ahead. Did that a lot more in NH and ME, sometimes just putting them away.

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