Winter Appalachian Trail Thru Hike – Day 9 (21 miles)

Christmas Day! Better yet, a white Christmas.

I woke up at Derrick’s Knob Shelter. It was cold at around 15F (-10C) and I did not particularly want to get out of my (ever so) warm sleeping bag. After 30 minutes the need to go to the toilet overruled the temperature and I got up and packed up quickly.

A little under an inch of snow fell last night and I got excited to explore this awesome park.

The air temp was cold but the windchill was frigid at around 0F (-20C). I would walk into the windy side of the ridge, put on some warm clothes just to overheat 20 minutes later when I was on the sheltered side of the mountain.

It was absolutely wonderful walking through the fir forests covered in snow. Up and down the ridges towards Clingman’s Dome I went. As I approached the highest point of the trail, the clouds lifted and the temperature dropped some more. But the views…

When I finally got to the high point and climbed the lookout tower. The wind was strong and was blowing me over. I took a few quickdraw photos and a selfie of my frozen beard before escaping from the wind.

The rest of the day was wonderful and I continued along without a complaint in the world. What a wonderful Christmas!

I eventually arrived at the shelter for the night and discovered Phoenix there, a SOBO Thru Hiker finishing off the last section of her hike. We spent the night talking from our sleeping bags before sleep overtook me.

www.instagram.com/thehikingstory/

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • Avatar
    Michael Harvey : Jan 3rd

    How do you plan to finish if you get to Baxter before they open?

    Reply

What Do You Think?