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Ascent of Shuckstack on 2007-05-31

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Marcus
Date:Thursday, May 31, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Shuckstack
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4020 ft / 1225 m

Ascent Trip Report

DAY #18 ---- MARCUS'S FIRST DAY ON THE TRAIL .... A BEAR ENCOUNTER.

Yesterday (30th) my son , Michael, and his whole family, arrived from Atlanta at mid-day, to drop off Marcus ...... we will hike together for the next week. I got an especially warm warm hug from everyone. On the way here they shopped at NOC outfitter in Wesser NC. We drove around Fontana Village, then went to Fontana Dam for Celine's super picnic lunch c/w "high altitude wine", very fitting for the occasion.
Our hike will take us over the 2ND HIGHEST SUMMIT (Clingmans dome), east of the Mississippi. Had lots of left-overs for tonight's dinner.
After lunch, we visited the dam and went back to the hotel, to sort the food/gear that they brought for Marcus and I. Michael will meet us at Newfound gap, to pick up Marcus on Sunday June 3 (12-13h00). They left for home at 17h00.
After dinner Marcus and I went to a local bar, an old gas station, to watch a PLAYOFF HOCKEY game, sens vs ?. Got a big day tomorrow, so we left after 2 periods with no score in the game. The locals weren't too interested in the game.

MARCUS AND I got moving a bit late this first morning together. We took a shuttle to the dam and left the TH at 9h45, with Marcus leading the way. The climb was easy to moderate and unrelenting, I couldn't keep up, numerous granny stops. Marcus didn't want to overtax his Grandpa, so he'd stop or slow down, from time to time.
Uneventful climb, we took a short white blazed side trail to Shuckstack Summit's firetower.....arrived shelter at 15h45. Chris (! !), Pam and Wren arrived a bit later, from Fontana Dam shelter (! !) He didn't tell me that he was staying at the shelter with the girls, and what about the early start ??. Chris and Wren have the hots for each other. 8-10 people in for the night. No privies in the smokies ! ! ! Paper all over the immediate area of the shelters. I think this is a poor park policy.

MARCUS sat around the campfire with the rest of the young people, I was in my bag by 20h00. After 22h00 with everyone in their bag, a BEAR tried to come into camp looking for food. The young guys, with their head lamps on, tried to SHOO HIM AWAY. He'd leave and come right back - this went on for about an hour, before he finally got tired of the whole thing or perhaps lost his hunger. I believe, Marcus, who was right in the midst of the action, really enjoyed his first night's experience on the AT ! ! probably thinking this is a regular happening on the AT ! ! I was happy for him, at 69 yrs old and lots of trail miles, this was my first ! !

"JOY IS A LIGHT THAT FILLS YOU WITH HOPE, FAITH AND LOVE"
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2310 ft / 704 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Hut Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2310 ft / 704 m
    Distance:10.6 mi / 17.1 km
    Route:AT day #18 nb w Marcus-fontana dam/mollies ridge
    Trailhead:fontana dam NC  1710 ft / 521 m
Descent Statistics
    Route:AT nb
    Trailhead:mollies ridge shelter  



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