This past weekend SAHC and Highland Brewing set out on one of the “For Love of Beer and Mountains” partnership hikes! This hike celebrated the Southern Sixer IPA as well as the 40 peaks above 6,000ft in the Southern Appalachians. The group got to the trail head excited, the day was made for hiking, there were blue skies and cool temperatures. In addition to a wonderful day this maybe SAHC’s first hike with a (local) celebrity. Sammy has starred in a promotional video by the City Chamber. You can see his debut here!
The hiking was tough. The cold temperatures the week prior had left some very icy patches on the trail. The hikers, however, did not let the icy obstacles ruin their fun, everyone continued to chat as we slowly made our way up the mountain. In the end everyone was very thankful for trekking poles!
The first summit hiked was Roan High Knob, home of the highest-elevation shelter on the Appalachian Trail. To get to the real summit of the mountain you have to leave the AT shelter, hike into the forest, and scramble up a small boulder pile. If you look carefully on the boulders you can find the old USGS survey marker. The group ate lunch at the shelter and talked about SAHC’s wonderful work in the Highlands of Roan. From here, the explorers continued on, passing the old Cloudland Hotel site, and eventually reaching Roan High Bluff. The High Bluff sits at 6,267ft and if it is not a cloudy day there are wonderful views into Tennessee! The grouped milled about at the top, trying to name the distant peaks, and enjoying the needed break.
The hike down the mountain was quick. The group discussed favorite post hikes meals, and what southern sixers they had yet to complete! Remember, the Southern Sixer Hiking Challenge is continuing into 2018, if you hike 6 of the #Southernsixers let us know and you will receive a commemorative patch!