View Full Version : BMT: NOBO vs. SOBO
It seems most BMT trips reports and discussions involve hiking northbound. True?
Advantages and disadvantages of North-South vs. South-North?
How about just the Smoky's section -- NOBO vs SOBO?
Opinions, biases and quirks welcome.
Starting off with that 7 mile ( I think) climb from Big Creek Campground wouldn't be fun for me....well it wasn't much fun coming down it at the end of a week either.
NoBo you start on the easiest section and build up to the harder parts. You also end with 7 miles down instead of 7 miles up. A friend of mine who is a triple crowner said that first up SoBo kicked his butt. I also think the north half is the prettiest part, so you finish on that high note.
SoBo, you get a 7 mile up butt kicking to start with, then you end on the easy part.
Yeah, the climb up Mt Sterling is one of the more difficult ascents in the Smokies. Mt Sterling is just under 6000 ft in elevation. I think the 6.2 mile climb from Big Creek gains about 4500 vertical feet. It is long and steep. Not a lot of fun.
The GA section is not bad in comparison. I believe there is only one climb that is more than 2000 ft elevation change.
I'm glad I walked DOWN Mt. Sterling and not up it. Made a quick way to end the trail going NoBo. Plus, Mt. Sterling is a great pace to have your last night on the trail.
Im am planning a September 2010 thru of the BMT. Ive looked at both ways and I agree, that NOBO is the way to go! My decision is based on both on ease of the hike, logistics for campsites and that I may hike with a couple other people at the beginning and need a bail out point for them...
Ok, I'm convinced. NOBO is the way to go. (At least the first time!)
Good luck, and ask if you have any other questions.