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Mountaineering mini-course: Three Ridges and The Priest!

April 22, 2022 - April 24, 2022


Are you ready for some of the most challenging hikes in the area to get you ready for your summer mountaineering adventures? Look no further than the PATC-MS Mini-Mountaineering Weekend in central Virginia, featuring The Priest and the Three Ridges.

The combination of The Priest and Three Ridges makes for some of the best elevation gain in Virginia. Combined, both hikes will give you ~7,400ft of elevation gain – a healthy dose of vert over a two-day period.

The Plan:

Friday, April 22 – Option to arrive in central Virginia and camp along the Tye River. NOTE – if there is sufficient interest in this particular weekend, we’ll inquire about the Crabtree Falls campground, located up the road from the AT trailhead.

Saturday, April 23 – Meet at Appalachian Trail Parking Lot (37.838437,-79.023239) on Route 56 at 7am for the Three Ridges (https://www.hikingupward.com/gwnf/threeridges/), which will provide you a healthy dose of ~4,300ft of elevation gain. Combined with the Mar-Har Trail, this is ~13.5 miles and will take about 8.5-9 hours. It’s a big day….

Saturday evening, April 23 – We can return to basecamp to recuperate and/OR venture to Devil’s Backbone Basecamp in Roseland, VA for dinner and firepits (about 20 minutes away). Address: 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland, VA 22967.

Sunday, April 24 – Meet at Appalachian Trail Parking Lot (37.838437,-79.023239) on Route 56 at 8am for The Priest. The Priest (https://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/ThePriest/), will shower you with ~3,200ft of elevation gain over the 8.5mi stretch. This hike is 8.5miles and is estimated to take 6-6.5 hours. For those interested in a return to Devil’s Backbone for a final meal, we’ll head there on the way back….

What You’ll Need:

This is a full outdoor backpacking weekend, so come prepared to support yourself for at least one (and likely two) overnights with limited assistance. Food, water, tents, personal items etc. will all be needed to successfully execute the weekend. If you have questions about the area, conditions, etc. please ask.

Conditioning and Your Responsibility:

The Three Ridges and The Priest are strenuous hikes over a two-day period. We will cover more than 20 miles and over 7,000ft of elevation gain in a 36-hour period. This weekend is meant to test your conditioning over those types of conditions as you look to the summer. It’s meant to be a check of your conditioning and to give you sufficient time to redouble your training efforts for any climbs in June/July/August (if you need to do so).

This weekend is *not* for beginners, those without sufficient backpacking experience, or those that need assistance in managing the rigors of unsupported backpacking trips. Please know your limits and level of experience and ask questions before you sign up.

What You’ll Get Out the Weekend:

A great weekend of new/old friends, camaraderie, and a solid evaluation of your fitness as we head into the summer mountaineering season.

Questions? Ask away!



April 22, 2022
April 24, 2022
Event Categories:


Dak Hardwick
(571) 215-3008


The Priest/Three Ridges
Three Ridges Wilderness
Tyro, VA 22976
+ Google Map

All PATC-MS events are subject to the terms of the membership Liability Waiver.  To review the terms of the waiver, or print if for your records, click here.