View Full Version : Flip flop 2018

02-22-2018, 17:14
Leaving mar 1st for my flip flop thru hike. Starting in bellvale NY hiking sobo then going to Maine and hiking sobo to NY. Any recommendations,tips, positive/negative feedback

map man
02-22-2018, 19:53
Be prepared to deal with snow and ice on the trail at times in your first month or so. I would find it daunting to have to deal with ice or snow covered rocks in the rockier sections of trail in New York, New Jersey and, particularly, Pennsylvania, but you are probably made of sterner stuff than I am;). I wish you good fortune on the trail. I have a soft spot for those attempting to get the trail hiked in a manner that's out of the mainstream so don't take my comment as an attempt to discourage you.

02-22-2018, 20:46
If these once a week or every few days storms keep rolling through, (and there is a good chance they will) a March 1st start in NY is going to be tough. Temperature wise, it's been a wild roller coaster lately. Warm up and rain, then get wicked cold on the back side. Hard to say what the ratio of good days to bad days will be, but I'd wager on many more bad days then good days until into April.

If your dead set on starting March 1st, I would head down to at least Harpers Ferry and hope for the best there, but it's probably not going to be a whole lot better as all these storms seem to stretch the entire length of the Appalachians.

02-25-2018, 23:21
I'm planning something very similar for 2020. Are you going to blog or journal your hike? I'd love to follow your progress.

02-26-2018, 08:23
Not really a blogger or journal person but I'll be posting pics and stuff on my Instagram.

02-26-2018, 09:21
I echo all the comments here. Delaying the hike and/or starting further south would definitely be something to consider. There are short, steep rocky sections in New York especially that can be very hazardous with just a small amount of snow or ice. It would be hard to get information about those kind of conditions at that time of year because snow and ice can linger on north facing, steep, or shaded slopes when it's melted elsewhere. You don't often hear about these steep, rocky sections from thru-hikers, because memories of the White Mountains and Maine wipe out memories of the much shorter climbs of New York. Of course, Pennsylvania is already famous for its rocks; Maryland has them too, and northern Virginia has a few spots. In addition to slippery surfaces, you can also get substantial snow on any part of the A.T. in March from Georgia to Maine. These big snow storms are less common than they used to be, but even in Harpers Ferry, WV, with our low altitude and quite a bit further south than New York, we have occasionally received 2 or more feet of snow in March. You could luck out some years and see little snow or ice March onward, but there's no way to know ahead of time.

Also to consider: Counterintuitively, snowfall averages are higher as you go south on the A.T. from the mid-Atlantic (south of Front Royal, Virginia), because the elevation of the A.T. increases significantly in Shenandoah National park in Virginia and beyond. Check out the elevation profiles here: appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/explore-by-state/Virginia (http://appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/explore-by-state/Virginia)(scroll to the bottom of the page).

If you haven't already found this page, check out recommended time frames for some of the more popular alternative approaches for thru-hiking: appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/thru-hiking/alternative (http://appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/thru-hiking/alternative)

Regardless of what you end up doing, it's commendable that you are considering a variation that helps disperses use and reduces the environmental and social impacts of overcrowding that can occur in Georgia in March and April. When you finalize your plans, the ATC encourages you to register your thru-hike at atcamp.org (http://www.atcamp.org).

You can also request a list of thru-hikers who have done various types of alternative hikes who are willing to share their first-hand experience and advice, by emailing [email protected] For more info, see appalachiantrail.org/adviceandprep (http://appalachiantrail.org/adviceandprep).

Laurie Potteiger
Appalachian Trail Conservancy

02-26-2018, 11:32
Thanks for all the feedback. I know it's going to be difficult in spots but I've done a good amount of winter hiking in NY and NJ so I'm always up for a good challenge. Only area I'm little concerned is Lehigh gap I've never done that part and heard it's a steep rocky technical climb

02-26-2018, 13:18
you gonna share the insta or keep it a secret?

02-26-2018, 13:33
Lol Instagram is @vteccingmike07

02-26-2018, 13:37
Requested. Good luck.

03-01-2018, 10:32
NVM change of plans going to start in Harper's ferry on mar 4th and go south.

03-02-2018, 16:56
That seems like a good choice. Happy Hiking.

03-10-2018, 21:22
I plan to start Harper's ferry late April 2020

03-11-2018, 21:50
I plan on leaving Pen Mar PA on March 28th going north. Your thoughts--pros and cons!

03-21-2018, 15:52
Its definitely going to be cold icy and snowy so be prepared for that also prolly going to be no one else out there other than day and section hiker. Even starting in harpers ferry I've had nights into the 20s and have had shelters to myself every night

03-31-2018, 10:39
Yes, I would also like to see, I will come in handy in the future:)