View Full Version : NOBO section hike starting Oct 31?

06-13-2015, 21:26
I am planning to start a section hike from Amicalola Falls Visitors Center on Oct 31. How far north I get will depend on how much snow I run into. I will carry crampons from the start, as they are far lighter and less bulky than snowshoes, and that early I would expect mainly ice, not deep snow on the trail.

My question this, is this:
Does anyone want to make an educated guess as to how far north I will get before I have to stop for the winter?
I am an experienced hiker, but not much winter. I have climbed several peaks in NY state (including Algonquin, the 2nd highest) in winter with crampons and an ice axe without incident.

This is an open-ended plan. I bought an Amtrak ticked from NYC to Gainesville GA, but can cancel up to 24 hours before the train leaves. I did this only because I wanted to lock in the lowest fare available, and have the opportunity to begin at the southern terminus.

There are plenty of other options - like starting in Peekskill NY on the east side of the Bear Mountain Bridge - requiring only a $12 ticket on Metro North. In that case I might get as far as Vermont before I hit the deep snow.
But I have this burning desire to start the trail at Springer Mountain.


06-13-2015, 21:40
Well, just had one serious thought: My crampons are a full 12 points and only fit my winter hiking boots. I guess it would be best to get a pair of half or instep crampons.
Where, and when can I expect to start running into serious snow/ice?

Thanks for your help

06-13-2015, 21:53
I would guess some where in SW Virginia. You should be getting there in late Dec just as full on winter starts to settle in for good. Up to then the occasional sub freezing and wet days will have been just a forbearing of what's to come. You'll know (hopefully) when it's time to give it up and go home. Way too many variables. If the last two winters are any indication, conditions deteriorate big time starting in Jan. If you have the funds to hole up in town to wait out storms, you can push on a bit farther.

You won't need crampons for a while, but you will need them by the time you get to the Smoky Mountains. Micro Spikes are probably the best for the kind of conditions you'd run into.

06-13-2015, 22:06
Thanks for that info. I don't know what I was thinking, with my 12-point crampons.