Autumn in the southern Appalachians
Saturday morning started a little chilly in the north Georgia mountains, but the fog was beginning to burn off by the time Jim Corey and I met up at Swamp Fox's coffee shop in Dawsonville at 8 a.m. After a quick cup of Swampy's signature blend we headed north to the wilderness area below Cochran Falls. A two-mile hike beneath a clear blue sky warmed us up and by 9:30 a.m. we were staring up at a grove of old-growth poplars, hickories and oaks in a remote stretch of forest. Jim got a line to about 80 feet in a huge tulip poplar, dbh about five feet, and we were both airborne and headed to the canopy. I made it to about 105 feet on the third pitch and took a nap on a massive limb that was at least 18 inches in diameter, while Jim worked his way upward to about 120 feet. There was at least another 20 feet of climbable tree above him. In mid-afternoon we headed back south for about 25 miles to Dawson Forest, for a climb in a yellow pine on the banks of the Etowah River. Both of us again topped out above 100 feet, but we descended quickly since the later afternoon sun was about to dip below the western horizon. We packed up and finished the 15-minute hike back to the parking area just as the last light of day faded away. Another great day of climbing was over.
Jim at 100 feet in the yellow pine
Jim at 120 feet in the tulip poplar
Looking north from the summit of the tulip poplar