For me hiking has always been more of a leisure activity that results in beautiful scenic views, an epic camp site or some eno hammock chill time. But this past week, I got my first taste of what it will take to briskly go up and down a mountain 500 ft above ground.
I went hiking with a climber who specializes in bouldering – my awesome co-worker Sarah. She is the mountain goat in this story (even if she hates the analogy). She usually hikes as more of a means to an end. The end being a day’s worth of climbing.
On this hike we went up High Hampton Inn‘s Chimney Top with 360 degree views including a lookout over 500 ft cliffs. It was a rainy, foggy Thursday morning in the Western North Carolina Mountains. We set forth lacking in supplies with two breakfast bars and one bottle of water.
As we approached the base, a sign read 1.6 mi to the top. Expect a 4.5 hour hike.
Sarah laughed saying we could do it in an hour. Have you ever seen a mountain goat on tv or in person? If you have you would know that she wasn’t kidding.
She hopped from rock to rock stopping to pull me up the slippery surfaces and watch to make sure I kept my balance. I looked in amazement apologizing for my mediocre skills.
Once we arrived at the top, she peered over the edges while I kept a safe distance. As we watched the fog continuously roll through, we had beautiful glimpses of our view below followed by an eerie feeling looking into the abyss of that white sheet.
Most of the time I hike for the view. But even with our ultimate goal masked to us by the impeding weather, I still had a great sense of accomplishment. This time I hiked to reach the top! This time I hiked with a mountain goat. 😉
That experience has encouraged me to continue testing the limits on my quest to the top. I want to hike more quickly and more often! (I also want to go back to Chimney Top on a clear day.)
This week I am compiling a bucket list of hikes to complete this year! Do you have any near Atlanta you would recommend? Or any tips to hike like a pro mountain goat?