Thursday, June 21, 2012

Loner at Tinker Cliffs

This series of photos is form a video Jeff aka Loner made by placing his camera somewhere on the mountainside and letting it film as he walked into view.  I'm so glad he did.  While I enjoy the hiker cam as he walks along so we can feel and see what he is, I really like to watch him as he tackles various parts of the trail.
Tinker Cliffs, like McAfee Knob and Angel's Rest is another iconic natural landmark along the Appalachian Trail. I don't think it's one of the most difficult, but I think hikers find it fun to challenge their bodies in different ways from hiking straight up a mountain or climbing up using the metal grab bars.
While Jeff has been a hiker for many years, he hasn't been a rock climber.  I know he has probably navigated rock faces in the Piedtmont foothills and Blue Ridge mountains where he hikes locacly on the border between Wetern South Carolina and North Carolina, but I'm sure each encounter is very different.  It appears that some of the rock climbing is one place where the hiking poles seem to be a hindrance rather than an aid.  On the flats and going down hill on paths they help ortect the knees by talking some of the weight off of them, but here they're just a nuisance hikers have to carry and climbing up rock faces they're just a hassle to the point where hikers throw the poles ahead of them, hoping they don't tumble down the mountainside so that the hikers can have their hands free to grab handholds in the rock.

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