Sunday, November 20, 2011

Austin and Trayfoot Mountain Trip Overview

Over the next few days as time permits, I'll be writing detailed accounts of my three day backpacking trip over Austin, Furnace and Trayfoot Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, and posting bunches of photos, but I will start with an overview of my trip. It was a 22 mile loop, as measured by my GPS (including a bit of backtracking to find camp sites). We started and ended at Browns Gap, and traveled on a number of connecting trails. Here is an overall map of the route. Brown's Gap is on the upper right hand side of the map where the first day's route, colored in magenta begins. The day ended 5.7 miles later as we camped by Madison Run after crossing Austin Mountain. The second day's route, marked in orange, was 9.8 miles and climbed steeply over Furnace and Trayfoot Mountains before dropping sharply down to Paine Run where we camped for a second night. The third day, a 6.8 mile trek marked in red, ascended steadily up the Paine Run trail, then continued on the Appalachian Trail for a steep climb to Black Rocks and thence back to Browns Gap.

We had dry weather, but very cold Friday night into Saturday morning, with a low of 18 F. It was a chilly night camping out by the stream. We saw hardly any wildlife, and nothing notable (other than a pileated woodpecker as we drove out of the park). The trip was a lot of fun. Stay tuned for detailed accounts.

Here is a summary of the miles and elevation gains:

Day 1 -
Distance 5.7 miles
Minimum Elevation 1,382 feet
Maximum Elevation 2,839 feet
Climbing Elevation 1,269 feet
Descending Elevation 2,441 feet
Trip account here

Day 2 -
Distance 9.8 miles
Minimum Elevation 1,359 feet
Maximum Elevation 3,340 feet
Climbing Elevation 3,238 feet
Descending Elevation 3,155 feet
Trip account here

Day 3 -
Distance 6.8 miles
Minimum Elevation 1,495 feet
Maximum Elevation 3,094 feet
Climbing Elevation 2,117 feet
Descending Elevation 1,026 feet
Trip account here

Trip Total -
Distance 22.3 miles
Minimum Elevation 1,359 feet
Maximum Elevation 3,340 feet
Climbing Elevation 6,624 feet
Descending Elevation 6,622 feet

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