Ramble On

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Prep for the Strickler Knob Reattempt

Chris and I had been in touch about the possibility of taking a hike sometime this fall, and we finally managed to pull it all together over Veterans Day weekend.  We'd contemplated several routes, including a second climb of Duncan Knob, climbing Kennedy Peak to enjoy the views overlooking the Luray Valley, or perhaps Marys Rock in Shenandoah National Park.  In the end, we decided that we would go back and tend to some unfinished business by completing the Strickler Knob route we had tried back in 2011.

As we often do, we used www.hikingupward.com as one of our guides for preparing for the hike.  It describes a 9.1 mile trail as follows:

"Some of the best vistas in the mid-Atlantic.  The new Strickler Knob trail is a challenging rock hopping/scramble that has beautiful views of New Market Gap, the Luray Valley, and a 360 picture perfect panorama from the Strickler Knob summit.  A nice hike with a great little rock scramble on the ridge."

We set about preparing logistics for the hike, with the goal of Chris staying over at Hawksbill Cabin the night before to shorten the time it would take to rendezvous and get to the trail head.  So we met on Friday night at the house, and were ready to head out by 9am - with a quick stop at Southern Kitchen in New Market on the way.  We were on the trail by 11am, which gave us six hours of daylight for this moderate hike, shortened from the Hiking Upward version - we would do approximately 5.4 miles, with an elevation gain of 800+ feet.

Google Earth image of our route to the Strickler Knob summit.
As I mentioned, this was not the first attempt at this hike.  We first tried in in January 2011, on a cold day with temperatures in the teens - I was still dealing with jet lag after returning from my trip to Japan the weekend before.  In the end, as we struggled, burdened with so many layers to fight off the cold while we climbed nearly 900 feet over the course of a mile and a half section of the longer hike, and we simply had to give up because we were running out of daylight.  The blog post about that failed attempt is here:

I had promised myself I would make another go of this one, and was glad that Chris agreed to try it.  I'll post about the trail tomorrow.

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