Tag Archives: summit

Peak Bagging…

So many years ago I printed out a list of the highest peaks in all 50 states, looked at it and said, “I’m gonna climb all of those!”.  Well, last year I “bagged” the first one, our very own Mount Rogers in all of it’s glorious 5,729 ft of altitude.  Located in the Grayson Highlands, a truly foreign area of the state if you compare it to anywhere else in Virginia, it’s a good little drive from the Roanoke Valley but well worth the trip.

Alpine (-like) meadows greet you near the beginning of your trek with some amazing views.

Mount Rogers with a prominence of 2,442 feet the views are breathtaking, looking more like something you’d see in the Smokies!

The meadows on the way up are varied and never cease to make you pause for a moment to take in the gorgeous views!

Nature’s beauty isn’t always green and lush…

This landscape and sky combo begged for some black and white attention.

Near the summit lies one of only five Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests, the landscape taking on a boreal look similar to something you would see further North in Canada!  From the windswept meadows earlier up to the summit is a huge contrast, there is no view from the summit.

You are surrounded by lush green everywhere, moss growing, dense, dark, quiet forest.

Summiting on the first day we headed back down a ways to hammock-camp for the night.  Upon getting everything squared away for the night and kicking off our boots for some much needed air and rest we were greeted by a visitor walking through our camp without a care in the world. (phone pic)

She looked around a bit and headed out to the meadow to graze.

We were awoken the next morning by hoof steps on the hollow-sounding rocky ground and I crawled out of my hammock to stalk these two for a few minutes.

If you’ve never been put it on your list and knock it out, if you make it an overnight it’s even better.  If you have any questions or have hiked it yourself and want to share your experience comment below!

Our Hike to Clingman’s Dome

This particular journey started many years ago…

As a teenager I was turned onto the idea of summiting the highest peaks of each state, becoming a “peak-bagger” as it were.  This past summer I finally got to check off the first peak, at truly magical place called Mount Rogers that sits near the southwest corner of our lovely state. (I’ll post pics from that later on, wild ponies included!)

As the wife and I travel the country, if the schedule and mileage warrant it we will tick off these high points as we go and this time our travels had brought us to within spitting distance of Clingman’s Dome (highest peak in Tennessee!).

We started the day early to beat the heat and hopefully any crowds.  The moon was still high in the sky as we began the short but strenuous trek to the top,

At an almost 13% grade it was not the easiest half mile ever!

The views make it all worthwhile though as you look through the valleys of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

On top of the summit is a spiral ramp raising you up 45 feet above the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest (one of only a handful of sites in North America) affording the views below.

We missed sunrise by a few minutes but were treated to a gorgeous show nonetheless.   Not too crowded at all, the air was quite chilly and the wind was unrelenting at that altitude.

The tower itself is beautiful as well, doesn’t quite fit in with the surroundings but isn’t an eyesore either.

The Crosstrek enjoyed the view while we summitted!

Prints are available, please email for more info at info@michaelsinkphotography.com

Let me know what you think in the comments!  Have you been, what was your experience like?