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Praha4
03-10-2015, 11:10
Things are picking up fast on the trail. Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega says on their FB page that the AT ridge runner has a count of 70+ NoBo thru-hikers per day for the last 5 days. And the season is just getting started.

Christoph
03-10-2015, 11:17
Anyone have an idea on what the completion percentage rate was last year?

Slo-go'en
03-10-2015, 11:33
Anyone have an idea on what the completion percentage rate was last year?

If I remember right it was close to 30% thanks to pretty good weather overall (and maybe a bit of yellow blazing). March was a little stormy as usual, but it wasn't a real hot summer and we had a nice fall.

brancher
03-10-2015, 13:31
Hmmm... I was at Springer over the weekend, saw a couple dozen or so, but no more than that. I will be looking for numbers on this thread over the next 3 weeks or so.

horsefarm
03-10-2015, 17:30
last year was 26%. 2008-2014 is 27%. these are NOBO stats

jimmyjam
03-10-2015, 17:36
Wow 70 plus that's a stampede.

Praha4
03-10-2015, 19:04
70+ per day is insane. And it's only March 10th. Usually peak season is mid March to 1st week of April. Mountain Crossings' FB page had pics of some of the garbage the Trail maintainers are packing out. LNT is a concept many still do not grasp. Warmer weather this week will probably bring more section hikers out too.

Lone Wolf
03-10-2015, 19:51
need onsite caretakers at every shelter in georgia through fontana dam from march 1st - april 15th

brancher
03-11-2015, 11:01
need onsite caretakers at every shelter in georgia through fontana dam from march 1st - april 15th

Yeah, I feel you there..... I've been following Lorie's posts and pleas for folks to consider alternative thru's - like a flip out of HF or similar - and although I hadn't read them with an awful lot of interest, there may really be something to it. 70+ NOBOs per day (if it's a real number) on the south end is way too many -- (not to mention all the trash, noise and such)

Slo-go'en
03-11-2015, 12:44
I wonder how many have already gave up and went home?

msumax1985
03-11-2015, 13:28
I wonder how many leaving about now had originally planned a Feb start date, but pushed it back due to the snow? I'll bet that has something to do with the spiked numbers this year.

horsefarm
03-11-2015, 18:04
I wonder how many leaving about now had originally planned a Feb start date, but pushed it back due to the snow? I'll bet that has something to do with the spiked numbers this year.

Solid hypothesis. Time to see how the starting numbers change as the season progresses

FatMan
03-11-2015, 18:33
Tons of folks out there. Averaging about 35 at Gooch Mtn shelter over the past few days and another 15-20 at Gooch Gap. I can't fathom how Lance Creek holding up with the bear canister reg in effect. Just not that much space over there.

Miss Janet was setup at Gooch Gap this morning doing some magic. Good to see her again.

MrGonzalo
03-12-2015, 17:33
Packed everywhere. A horde headed to Franklin today. The shelters are packed and overrun with mice. However, anyone pushing 14+ mile days and stealthing is able to avoid most others (if so desired).



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4eyedbuzzard
03-12-2015, 18:26
70 per day, huh? Sounds exactly like what I wouldn't want on a long hike--make that ANY hike. I doubt that many signed the register for an entire month in the 1970's. Sounds pretty awful. Another good reason to go SOBO or do an alternate itinerary.

lonehiker
03-12-2015, 19:46
Packed everywhere. A horde headed to Franklin today. The shelters are packed and overrun with mice. However, anyone pushing 14+ mile days and stealthing is able to avoid most others (if so desired).



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Is the term "stealthing" used to describe anyone not camping in or near a shelter? If that is the case, then the term has evolved over the past few years.

Slo-go'en
03-12-2015, 22:43
Is the term "stealthing" used to describe anyone not camping in or near a shelter? If that is the case, then the term has evolved over the past few years.

Yes, I would take that as the definition in this case. No doubt there's tents popping up all along the trail like mushrooms :) I bet all the recent rain has doubled the population of Franklin and Hiawassee.

squeezebox
03-12-2015, 23:00
You are definitely not a Lone hiker if you are on the AT in GA now.

The Cleaner
03-12-2015, 23:16
Just one good snowstorm and some below freezing temps will knock many out like pins in a bowling alley. :)

MrGonzalo
03-13-2015, 10:43
Is the term "stealthing" used to describe anyone not camping in or near a shelter? If that is the case, then the term has evolved over the past few years.

For the most part. In my case, I try to stick to non established camp grounds away from sight. Most tents will pop up around shelters, when hikers realize that the structure is full. I have only seen a couple of camping only spots with tents.


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soilman
03-13-2015, 21:40
If these numbers continue I imagine there is going to be lots of competition for beds in hostels and hotels in addition to shelters and camp sites. Resupply may also get to be a concern especially for specific items like fuel canisters and Aqua Mira unless outfitters saw this increase coming.

Praha4
03-14-2015, 02:15
and next Tuesday is St. Pattys day, traditionally one of the 2 dates (April 1st the other) with the largest numbers starting! and you can believe the southeast will get at least one more winter storm with snow in the next month. I've been watching the Mountain Crossing and Hiker Hostel FB pages for pics of the NoBos..... lots of happy, smiling faces!

coheterojo
03-14-2015, 08:27
We're all doomed! Doomed I tell ya!

Praha4
03-15-2015, 16:32
today's update at Hiker Hostel FB page:

Today is Appalachian Trail (https://www.facebook.com/ATHike) thru-hiker hump day. We are at the mid point of the season.
Here are hiker stats and trail conditions. Today is first sunshine in 6+ days and as the pic shows mud is everywhere, but blue sky.
Hiker count at Amicalola is 460. Conservatively that make the total at 1200 (43 per day).
Today already 25 had started at ASP. On Friday 42 started just from ASP (~105 TOTAL on Friday)
*as always there is some guessing involved and this is not 100% accurate.

Poedog
03-15-2015, 19:09
That's just insane.

illabelle
03-15-2015, 19:36
We drove across the Smokies yesterday via Newfound Gap. From Alum Cave Bluff parking area to the top and down to a similar elevation on the other side, there was snow and ice all along the road shoulders. All of it was dirty gray snow, probably what was heaped there every time they plowed the road. NFG was in a fog, chilly and breezy, icicles hanging from the shaded rock banks near the top. My guess is that there's still snow lingering here and there on the AT despite the recent warm springlike weather, but probably not much, and not going to slow anybody down.

Violent Green
03-16-2015, 12:42
100+ on a single day. Geeeez. I would do a May start if I was going this year or anytime soon. Bring on that permit system already!


Ryan

thewalkingstick
03-16-2015, 13:45
If I start from the north end of Shenandoah around April 1st, going southbound, when should I expect to run into the incoming Mongolian hordes? I would be walking about 10-15 miles per day

full conditions
03-16-2015, 15:28
I hiked from Telico Gap to NOC yesterday and I only counted 15 thru hikers for the day - there easily could have been more behind me though and plenty of others who left the Wesser Bald Shelter before we got there that we never met. So, maybe 20-25 thrus on that section at most. All reported many days of crappy weather prior to Sunday but they were hanging in there.

Slo-go'en
03-16-2015, 17:50
If I start from the north end of Shenandoah around April 1st, going southbound, when should I expect to run into the incoming Mongolian hordes? I would be walking about 10-15 miles per day

Not for a while. The leading edge of the bubble will likely reach southern VA around the 3d week of April, so I'm guessing Pearisburg is where you'll start seeing more then a few of the faster ones.

Crazy Larry #1
03-17-2015, 09:54
Anyone have an idea on what the completion percentage rate was last year?

I think around 1800

Crazy Larry #1
03-17-2015, 09:55
I've had three thru hikers stay so far.....

RED-DOG
03-17-2015, 10:52
I wounder how many people is doing Laurie P's Voluntary registration not too many or anyone.

gillian
03-17-2015, 15:26
These are the stats from the ATC for last year (https://www.appalachiantrail.org/about-the-trail/2000-milers):

2014 HIKER COUNTS (UPDATED MARCH 12, 2015)


Northbound Thru-Hike (Georgia To Maine In 12 Months)



Springer Mtn., Ga. (estimated)

2500



Harpers Ferry, W.Va. (1,020 miles)

1267



Katahdin, Maine (2,186 miles)

653






Southbound Thru-Hike (Maine To Georgia In 12 Months)



Katahdin, Maine

242



Harpers Ferry, W.Va. (1,166 miles)

168



Springer Mtn., Ga. (2,186 miles)

76






Alternative Thru-Hike (Entire Trail, Non-Contiguous, In 12 Months)



Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

122



Completions reported

70





Section (More Than 12 Months)



Harpers Ferry, W. Va.

505



Completions reported

129




The historical completion rate looks to generally be 25-30%.

dangerdave
03-18-2015, 11:11
Given these numbers, completion rates are...

NOBO: 26%
SOBO: 31%
Flip-Flop: 57%
Section Hikers: 25%

Just as I suspected all along. Flip Flopping is the way to go! Take note future hikers!

Cotton Terry
03-18-2015, 12:23
Interesting. Why, would flipping have such a better completion %? It seems climbing Katahdin before the finish would be anti-climactic.

CalebJ
03-18-2015, 14:12
My suspicion is that most of the flip floppers have done some backpacking before (and quite possibly some solid section hikes). They probably chose the flip flop option because it worked well for them and walked in with eyes wide open on plans to complete the AT. Far cry from the percentage of pure beginners showing up at Springer or Katahdin because it sounded like a good idea at the time.

full conditions
03-18-2015, 14:45
My suspicion is that most of the flip floppers have done some backpacking before (and quite possibly some solid section hikes). They probably chose the flip flop option because it worked well for them and walked in with eyes wide open on plans to complete the AT. Far cry from the percentage of pure beginners showing up at Springer or Katahdin because it sounded like a good idea at the time.

Yep - I agree. I also suspect that an awful lot of NB's see the AT as a really long approach trail to Katahdin - every day is a day to be endured until you get there. I'd quit too.

illabelle
03-18-2015, 15:17
I don't get the section hiker figures. The way I read it, 505 sectioners passed thru HF and got counted. 129 sectioners reported finishing the trail in 2014. But, by definition, many of those section hikers had no intention of completing the trail in 2014. So how is a 25% calculation valid?

Cotton Terry
03-18-2015, 15:51
illabelle, just a guess, but it's possible those that finished in 2014 had started in previous years and those that stopped in HF started in 2014 and previous years.

brancher
03-18-2015, 15:55
There's a pretty good-sized group flipping this year. And ATC is gonna an actual kick-off..... I agree - it's an 'eyes-wide-open' group by and large.

Go2guy
03-18-2015, 18:19
Bear canister reg ? like we need to carry one thru there?

Praha4
03-18-2015, 20:57
Leaving HF around April 1st, you could get to Damascus for Trail Days 2015....and definitely run into the mob.... I think it's May 15-17 this year.

You could start to hit some of the early NoBo starters as far north as Waynesboro, and the further south you go in VA, the bigger the numbers you'll meet.


If I start from the north end of Shenandoah around April 1st, going southbound, when should I expect to run into the incoming Mongolian hordes? I would be walking about 10-15 miles per day