Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Jan 12 2007 - Saint Anthony's Wilderness Backpacking Trip (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): No Coordinators Found
Participants:Sarah Tinney, Deanna Shapiro, Kathryn Bright, Jason Dickey, KC Yi, Lucas Fisher, Emilio Ungerfeld

Write Up:
Eight MOC members participated in this winter backpacking trip. All met at the Dorsey Crossroads Park & Ride carpool location at ~7pm Friday evening and arrived at the trailhead, N.E of Harrisburg, PA, by ~10pm. We established a dispersed camp site for the night in relatively close proximity to the vehicles. Overnight temperatures were mild, lows in the 40s F, with mist and intermittent light rain.

The hike began Saturday morning, with a ~1000 ft. ascent of Stony Mountain along the Appalachian Trail (AT). De Hart reservoir was visible on occasion to the north, through foliage barren deciduous trees. We hiked over the ridge, and across a saddle feature in the terrain to Sharp Mountain, continuing along the AT with minimal net elevation change. The remainder of hiking on this day was primarily along the ridgeline, concluding with a gradual descent into Rausch Gap, a precipitous crease in Sharp Mountain, through which Rausch Creek churns. During the day temperatures rose into the 50s F, and intermittent light rain continued.

In Rausch Gap there is a lean-to shelter, intended primarily for through-hikers. On this occasion the shelter was occupied by locals, who generously loaned our group a large tarp. Eager hands fashioned the tarp into an improvised shelter for the night, which was occupied by all but the hike leader. A fire was built, supper was eaten, and conversation was enjoyed.

Sunday morning, after breaking camp, we began the return portion of the hike along an old railroad grade parallel to Stony Creek. In the interest of more varied terrain, decision was made to modify the route, and ascend Yellow Springs Trail to the AT on the ridgeline of Stony Mountain. Yellow Springs Trail was primarily a boulder field, the surface of which was wet from recent rain, making for a more challenging treadway. The remainder of the route covered familiar terrain from the previous day, returning to the trailhead. Early morning termperatures in the upper 30s F rose into the 40s F, and the sky cover improved.

After completing the 22 mile, two-day backpack, we patronized the Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, and enjoyed hearty food and drink.

Overall, the backpack trip was of moderate difficulty, safe and successful. This route plan is well suited for intermediate backpackers. A fine time was had by all.

-Robert Dwarkin

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