Archive for November, 2017

A Sunrise, The Darkside, and a Waterfall – 10-19-2016

With the Fall colors now showing I planned an adventure for my son Tyler and I. This trip would start out a few hours before first light as we would make the drive over to the Grandfather Mountain area and night hike to a point high on Rough Ridge to anxiously await the impending sunrise. From there we would make our way to the ‘Darkside Cliffs’ as I had never been there and it was on our way to our final destination of Harper Falls.


Sunrise as seen from Rough Ridge on Grandfather Mountain


Posted on 13 November '17 by , under RATtreks, Uncategorized. No Comments.

Twisting and Compression Falls – 10-6-2016

With the Fall colors just beginning along with the mild temps and lower water level, I decided it was time for another return trip to one of my favorite locations in the Elk River Gorge which is Twisting and Compression Falls. This would be my son Tyler`s first time to this awe inspiring area and it is always exciting to see the expressions on the faces of first timers especially when they are seeing a place as rugged and special as this one. We would be accompanied by John Forbes who is also no stranger to these parts having been with me on more than one occasion here. Normally we would follow river right along a very hard to find and primitive ninja goat trail that snakes it way along the tops of the many cliffs that line that side of the gorge which does afford a very good high view of Twisting Falls not to mention being able to get down onto the ‘shelf rock‘ just below the base of the falls and then continue on until a super steep descent down the correct off trail route would land us at the base of Compression Falls. Of course here is also ‘the chasm‘ that one can use a rope to climb down to reach the base of Twisting Falls as well, which we did on a previous trip but, since the weather was warmer this time and we were looking for a new adventure here, we decided that we would cross the river and go down river left all the way to Compression Falls and out that way. Our decision was rewarding and paid off with everything we had expected and then some.


Early morning sun making its way down into the Elk River Gorge


Posted on 9 November '17 by , under RATtreks. No Comments.