Heading off from Springer for a NOBO thru attempt early morning of February 29th. My (optimistic) hike plan has me about 50 miles south of Damascus at D+30 days. I'd really like to get your thoughts on conditions I could expect to see during that first month. I realize that most recommendations are to start in April to mitigate the meteorological badness of an earlier start, but I'm locked in to my sked at this point.
I'm packing an EMS Mountain Lite 15 Deg down bag, with silk insert, so feel like that should do me right. Shelter will be in either tent or shelter. I'll see which I prefer. Still working out my outerwear plan. I'm thinking I might need my Buffalo windshirt for that first month. It's bombproof, but heavy and not really compressible. Served me well in Welsh hill nastiness, though. I'll be in light Salomon ankle-height boots for the beginning, as well, so that I can manage potential snow a bit better.
I would be grateful for any thoughts on what you have seen in the past (or expect to see and are planning for if you are doing it in '12) in March down south.