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Topic: Virgin Falls, from a different perspective...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Owen571 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 1:59 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Scenic Overlook:


I camped at the Virgin Falls TH Tuesday evening. Intended to stay another night, but about 1.5 miles in, realized I'd left my wallet in my car in plain view, and was worrying over tempting someone to break into my car. Ended up carrying overnight gear along with a bunch of other stuff, only to hike back out this evening(yesterday, now).



Big Branch Falls


Below the cable crossing.


Above the cable crossing.


I spooked both a whitetail and a turkey on the way out, but this was my only close wildlife encounter with a cooperative subject.


A few cascades on the way in. My previous thread about Virgin Falls has more and better pics. It rained most of the way in, starting at the cable crossing, and stopping about the time I got to Virgin Falls. Didn't bother with rain gear.
Camera was already fighting moisture from getting rained on, and some of the pics are fuzzy. This would only get worse, which will be self-explanatory shortly.






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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 2:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Big Laurel Falls




Sheep Cave Falls
This is out of order, as I skipped Sheep Cave on the way in, but stopped by while hiking out.
My camera is a tad waterlogged again...






What could be making all this mist?


Virgin Falls






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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 2:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The cave that the falls originate from. I did not explore into the cave. Caves are closed due to white-nose bat syndrome, and...well, I was soaking wet, and was freezing just standing in front of the cave entrance, which was blasting cold air.


After only a short distance, the flow drops off a cliff.


I thought I might see how that felt...








It was quite refreshing!




The sink where the falls disappear, seemingly falling straight into the ground.



Not a bad little dayhike :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 2:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

nice.....

did you bring in the gear to do the rapel or was it there already?

i need to get out that way one of these daze....
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 2:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I brought the basics for a rappel. 150' static line, harness with belay device and a few carabiners, a runner for an anchor and length of webbing for a backup. I was familiar with the spot, having camped at the top of the falls before, right where I anchored off.

Wanted to rap all three tiers of Sheep Cave Falls, but decided I didn't have enough rope. It was overgrown and very muddy down in the depression beneath the falls, too. I couldn't even see the bottom tier where I climbed down(sans rope) this past winter.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 3:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

nice.....

(whatta still doing up this late on a wednesday night?   myself---just wandering the streets of chicago trying to wear the energy off after an allman brothers concert)....
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 3:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Playing on the internet. I work night shift, and am off Tues/Wed nights. That's why most of my little trips are Tuesday-Thursday or Wednesday-Thursday. Works out great for going to popular places and rarely seeing anyone. Especially in winter, which thankfully is just around the corner!
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 4:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

yeah........mid week trips cut out a bunch of the people....

looks like i may see the sunrise in a bit.........might have to plan out a trip for the upcoming weekend......
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 9:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

well done, sir. did you go all the way down? i've always wondered where all that water goes... it doesn't even look like there's a opening down there when you look down from the top.

i just got back from a busted trip at Scott's Gulf... hiked in about three miles just to hit a dead end at the Caney Fork River... i'd never imagined that the water would be so high in late August. i got to see Big Spring though, which made it worthwhile... there's a great campsite on the River Trail in a hemlock grove where the side trail to Big Spring splits off.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2013, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's an undercut there where the sink is, and the bottom is angled like this \,  so the water flows back into it. Look close at the next to the last pic.

I hear you on the water level. This year, lot of stuff that is normally a trickle in late summer is flowing nearly as hard as it was in winter and early spring.
At least the flow is yo-yoing with the rain, and it always rains on my off-days(for months now!). I met some people at Savage Gulf a few weeks ago, and their pics of Savage Falls the day before mine show maybe 1/4 the flow as the following day in the rain.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2014, 10:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, I've been planning to camp at VIrgin Falls next Spring and I must say it looks stunning. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful pictures and your experience.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2014, 12:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If your shelter's small enough, you can camp right at the top of the falls :)

Better pics in this older thread:
http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....1163232
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2014, 4:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Haven't been much for posting trip reports of late, but I love, love, LOVE Virgin Falls, and went back for quick overnighter again this week.
Third time going there, I just try to do something different each time.
Last time I rapped the falls, as shown above. This time I went down to the river and camped there, took time to play along the creek, and visit some of the little falls and cascades you see from the trail coming in, then hiked up the Overlook Trail to Martha's Pretty Point on the way out.













That's the new Osprey Exos 38. LMAO, I keep minimizing and lightening my gear just for the heck of it, and my pack weight has gotten to the point it's just hilarious. This week it was <12lbs total, including 1.4L of water. Less than my daypack was while hiking with my girlfriend last week...


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2014, 5:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
That's the new Osprey Exos 38. LMAO, I keep minimizing and lightening my gear just for the heck of it, and my pack weight has gotten to the point it's just hilarious. This week it was <12lbs total, including 1.4L of water.





got me wonderin-----how do you get the weight to be around 12 pounds?

i seemingly can never get it below 30.....but i pack heavy........

also, wanna take me back into virgin falls?    ive never been there and always looking for new places to go.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2014, 5:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd enjoy that sometime, but right now I'm working around my girlfriend's availability, plus about to go on a family trip where I should get to dayhike and overnight in SC and NC again.
If I were you, I would go there ASAP, before the flow peters out. Plus it's only going to get hotter, and the bugs will only get worse. Right now, you'll get completely swarmed at the TH, and maybe in camp for a little while in the evening, but it went down to 41 and I had no trouble(and no bites!) this week with no bug netting.

Weight:
31.7 stripped down Exos 38 pack+12.7 ProLite Small sleeping pad+20.3 Katabatic Palisade quilt, +19.7 Tarptent Notch fly/cuben floor, 7.3 OR down pullover, 7.7oz clothes bag(Buff, socks, underwear-none of which I needed, or used), 12oz food(short overnight, no cooking), 4.25oz water filtration(Sawyer mini with accessories), 52oz water/bottles, 6oz poop kit w/trowel, 4.25oz frogg toggs emergency poncho(rain had passed), ~9oz first aid, keys, and headlamp in a cuben bag=186.9oz/11.74lbs.
Crap, I forgot my camera. 7oz with battery and memory card. That would actually put me at 12.1lbs.
On this hike, you don't actually have to carry water at all if you don't want to, so it could have been 3lbs lighter.

Once it gets below 22-25lb or so, I don't even know I have a pack on, but it's something to play with. I've ditched the other hobbies that I used to spend of time and money on.

btw, here's a pic of the pack before I left:
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 25 2014, 11:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

right away i see my problem with weight-----generally a 16 oz filet is in my bag..... ???
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