5 DAY TRIPTOTAL TRIP MILEAGE: 33.7 MILESMODERATE TO STRENUOUS TRIP DIFFICULTYAVERAGE MILEAGE PER DAY : 6.5 MILESELEVATION GAIN/ ELEVATION LOSS: 2450 GAIN, 7400 LOSSDAY 1 - 5 MILESWe start our hike descending from the third highest peak in the Appalachian Mountain Chain with expansive views of the coming ridgelines that we will be traversing on our expedition. In the evening we will find ourselves at Silers Bald Shelter.DAY 2 - 6 MILESWe wake up to the prospect of ridgewalking along the Tennessee/North Carolina border passing Buckeye Gap, Hemlock Knob, and Big Chestnut Bald before we hit our shelter for the evening at Derrick Knob.DAY 3 - 6.5 MILESToday we pass Rocky Top on our way to our shelter for the night. A major point of interest along the trail and also one of the most isolated areas in the National Park. Always brings the song "Rocky Top" to mind as we hike past it. We spend the night in Spence Field Shelter.DAY 4 - 6 MILESWe will be walking down to Mollies Ridge Shelter today. On the way we will pass Russell Field and Devils Tater Patch before we reach our destination.DAY 5 - 10.2 MILESWe wake up bright and early to finish our final descent of the week to Fontana Dam. Along the way we will pass Doe Knob and climb Shuckstack Fire Tower for a final breathtaking view before we meet our pickup at Fontana Dam.
www.americanwildtrekking.com Jake Wittman spent his youth running in the cornfields and swimming the creeks of Southern Indiana. His first love of adventure and wild places came in the form of forays into uncharted forest areas around his Southern Indiana hometown of Evansville. Eventually these childhood pursuits would develop into a passion for remote wilderness travel in Shawnee National Forest and Land Between the Lakes in which Jake honed his wilderness skills through the writings of Bradford Angiers and Tom Brown. When he was twenty he hitchhiked out of his hometown seeking greener pastures, eventually landing him in California, Europe, and finally Washington DC. He became a skilled bartender in Washington DC and began funding his own expeditions all around the world. He was blessed enough to travel to 27 different countries by the time he was 23 and eventually hiked four major long distance internationally renowned trails; the Via Alpina on the border of Austria and Germany, the Camino De Santiago in northern Spain, the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, and the GR-10 in Southern France. All of his experiences eventually led him to become a professional backpacking guide in the Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountain National Park. Jake worked for The Wildland Trekking Company in the Grand Canyon and for Smoky Mountain Guides in the Smoky Mountains. During his time in the Southwest he lived on the Navajo Nation for two years and gained an appreciation for Native American culture, history, and mythology. Jake is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, he holds a Leave No Trace Master Educator Certification, and is also a licensed Wilderness First Responder. He is a mountain biker, a world class hiker, and an all around adventurer that The American Wild Trekking Company is proud to claim for their own. Jake currently lives in the beautiful city of Knoxville, TN with his wife and daughter.