The first half of my trip report was included in my Clingman’s Dome ascent FKT submission for verification. To briefly recap, I started a few seconds after 9:50am and started Strava on both my cell phone and watch so I could record the ascent on my phone and capture the up&down on my watch without having any unaccounted for time in between. I took some goofy pics along the way to add evidentiary support for my submission. I completed this attempt in the unsupported style, carrying all my food/equipment and only taking water from natural sources. After sitting briefly on top of Clingman’s Dome after stopping my Strava on my phone , I stood up, took a selfie, and headed back down for the “descent.” It was starting to be hot and I wished I had a bit more water, so I had to ration until I could get back to the spring. I wasted time trying to filter some trail water (the AT is basically a river in some places, right?) but managed to get about a tablespoon of water after sitting for what felt like too long. Spooked a doe who watched me just off trail and I stopped to take several pictures of her. I filtered water at the Speing around mile 12 of the attempt. I forgot to mention in my ascent trip report, but I ran off trail around mile 1.5 SOBO and probably lost about a minute trying to find the trail. I realized I should’ve turned trail right at the parking lot instead of trying to go straight up to a picnic area that I mistook for the trail. Anyways, the return to Newfound Gap was fairly uneventful, a beautiful day with several interesting people on trail. I managed to travel almost the full up&down without falling but in my haste to get ready to pause and stop my watch I ate shit and landed on my trekking poles just a few feet from the end. It was pretty funny, the parking lot was full and I’m sure people saw me, but I had a good laugh and survived!
thanks for reading and taking the time to review my submission. Cheers!