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Kerosene
12-04-2003, 12:49
What is the coldest night you've had to endure on while backpacking on the AT?

DebW
12-04-2003, 13:33
Backpacking in the southern Prezzies in January or February of 1977 or 1978, we had a -26 night. We were on the AT, but it was just a winter weekend overnight, not really intended as an AT trip.

The Solemates
12-04-2003, 13:49
Is it just me or did 41 to 45 get left out? :)

Hikerhead
12-04-2003, 14:34
Backpacking in the southern Prezzies in January or February of 1977 or 1978, we had a -26 night. We were on the AT, but it was just a winter weekend overnight, not really intended as an AT trip.

Deb, are my old and worn out eyeballs reading that right..MINUS 26 DEGREES?

That is truly unreal.

I say you win.

smokymtnsteve
12-04-2003, 15:01
Late 70's Tray Mtn, ga...10 below

RagingHampster
12-04-2003, 15:13
Last winter, southern Vermont, -10*F.

Of course it was a winter camping trip so everyone was prepared.

Jeese Deb, -26*F is cold!!! :eek:

Kerosene
12-04-2003, 15:43
Oops, I missed 41-45 degrees! :datz

I can't seem to edit the poll, so just consider the "Typical for Fall Hikers" range to go from 33 to 45* F.

c.coyle
12-04-2003, 16:00
What is the coldest night you've had to endure on while backpacking on the AT?

high 20's. I'm a wuss.

Rain Man
12-04-2003, 18:20
I have a question. Well, okay, TWO questions.

How do you know what the coldest temp was? Don't you guys SLEEP through the night?

And... what is a good hiking thermometer? Those little zipper pull models are all over the board on temps. No two are the same, and that's IF you can read them, they're so tiny.

So, what say thou, Experienced Veteran Backpackers?

DebW
12-04-2003, 18:26
Carry a full-sized thermometer. Leave it outside your tent all night. If you have to get up to pee, check it. Otherwise check first thing in the morning, as the low temperature is usually around dawn or just before. I used to have a low-registering thermometer (not sure if you can still get them). Had a plastic thing inside the liquid that would stay at the lowest level the liquid got to - that type of thermometer had to be left horizontal to register the low.

chknfngrs
12-04-2003, 19:47
coldest was probably 35-40, early October just south of Thornton Gap SNP

asmtroop3
12-04-2003, 22:06
Only 12 below in the Whites last January I was in my tent and the boys built a quinsee. I was not frozen but they were more comfortable in the snow hut.

Doctari
12-04-2003, 23:44
17F by a recording thermometer. At blue Mt shelter in 97, My (cheap) sleeping bag is only rated at about 35F, but I was reasonably warm in my wool cold weather clothing. Still carry the bag, stopped carrying the wool, havn't replaced it with anything, hope that dont bite me in the a**

All of the water we had was,, ,, ,, "stiff" :jump and hard to drink dontchaknow.

Doctari.

Uncle Wayne
12-05-2003, 07:21
30 degrees. The older I get the warmer I like to be.

NotYet
07-12-2004, 16:57
My coldest night of my thru-hike was my last night... -8 degrees, Gooch Gap, December 19/20, 2000.

My coldest night on the AT...-20 degrees, Roan Mountain, (This was a staff training for where I work; so we were sleeping under tarps! brrr!), January of 1999.

weary
09-25-2004, 22:38
It was New Years Eve, 1969. Our plan was to hike in 9 miles from Abol Bridge on the AT. I arrived at Katahdin Stream just before dark, only to discover that the bunk house we had reserved was still locked. So we used a lean-to instead.

At 8 a.m. the next morning the thermometer that I had pulled from my home freezer at the last minute before leaving read minus 32 degrees F.

The trip had been organized by the Maine group of the Sierra Club to demonstrate that one didn't need snowmobiles to enjoy Baxter Park in winter. The machines at the time were scrambling all over the "forever wild" park, both on and off the roads and trails. Unfortunately for our mission, the wife of one of our most dedicated anti snowmobile types took deathly ill -- and had to be rescued by a snowmobiler.

I was totally unprepared for such temperatures either by experience or gear. I was just a newspaper reporter going along for a story. But I survived quite comfortably -- and have been backpacking every winter since -- and carrying far more gear than ultra light folks think is necessary.

Weary

MedicineMan
09-25-2004, 23:02
I sometimes carry a min/max indoor/outdoor from Wallyworld, less than 1oz....will def. carry it this winter to check temps in the hammock versus those on the outside in checking the overshelter by Hennessey

Ridge
11-13-2004, 23:10
I was doing a several day winter hike in Dec of 89(?). Temps got below 0 deg and the wind chill was many degs below. Too cold for a 15deg bag and I dressed and looked like the Michelin Tire Man trying to keep warm.

swamp dawg
11-14-2004, 13:14
One day in the Smokies in late March we were hit with a late heavy snow storm, everything and everyone were frozen to some degree. We hiked all day in wet snow and it took eight hours to go five miles. Our boots were just blocks of ice that took forever to get off. All we could do was get in our bags and defrost. The artic conditions were a lot for a guy from south Georgia to endure but made me more cautious for my travels north on the AT.
Life is good........Swamp Dawg

Lone Wolf
11-14-2004, 15:19
Coldest night? Last night at campsite #18 in the Smoky's. Was -15 at 0500.

The Solemates
11-14-2004, 17:49
L Wolf, are you serious?! 11/13/04 was -15? unreal. i didnt realize this cold front was that cold.

Lone Wolf
11-14-2004, 17:53
Nope. I'm FOS as usual. :D It got down around freezing. Speakin of the Smoky's, anyone done the Chimney Tops Trail? Going back to the park Wednesday. Gonna climb it.

The Solemates
11-14-2004, 18:01
Yea, well Ive certainly seen temps in the Smokies in the low teens in Oct. even, but nothing that low. :)

SGT Rock
11-14-2004, 19:45
I think L.Wolf thought it was so cold because of the cold metal of his pistol. He never got off a shot so it never kept him warm. And I thought Guns were single use items.

The Old Fhart
11-14-2004, 22:55
In 2002 I saw lows of -34 degrees F on the summit of Mount Washington. Winds hit 145 mph and windchill was way below that. Inside the Observatory where I worked it was about 70 degrees. The concrete steel framed building made some very strange noises as it cooled down. We did go outside that day but with every inch of skin covered because frostbite would take only seconds under those conditions.

Working there for four winters I had to go outside many times to fix some instrumentation in similar temps and winds 60-120 mph. One night during a storm I had to go out to check some malfunction in an outbuilding (while we were watching John Carpenter's "The Thing") because no one else would go out! Trying to do anything when you are all suited up is next to impossible. At least the guys in suits working outside the space station don't have to contend with the wind. The coldest I actually camped was just zero in Bigelow Col on a February backpacking trip. Even eating my oatmeal fast in the morning, it froze before I could empty the bowl.

The Solemates
11-15-2004, 10:27
We had 124 mph winds on Washington this year on our thru. Couldnt stand up. But we had +34 temps, not -34 :)

bigcat2
01-17-2005, 22:34
I just had my coldest night on that AT this winter doing a section hike form Dick's Creek Gap, GA --> Wallace Gap, NC. We were staying at Cater Gap Shelter on 01/16/05 and it dropped to 8F with a wind chill of -6F to -9F. My 20 rated bad did alright, w/ a little help from some layers. It was so cold the condensation on my bag from where I was breathing froze over. It was cold enough.

Joey
09-28-2005, 19:47
What is the coldest night you've had to endure on while backpacking on the AT?Tri-Corner Knob on the AT November 17, 2002. Minus 10 degrees and 12 inches of snow and 50mph winds all alone.

Kerosene
09-28-2005, 21:53
Tri-Corner Knob on the AT November 17, 2002. Minus 10 degrees and 12 inches of snow and 50mph winds all alone.Wow, -10F in November...brrrr.

Joey
09-28-2005, 21:59
Wow, -10F in November...brrrr. Shocked the crap out of me. Dayhiked two days earlier from gatlingburg up to the top of LeConte. Was raining in G'burg and snow and sleet on top of LeConte. Next day went to Icewater from Newfound and was very cold and misty. Started getting colder that night and snowed by midnight. Left Icewater at 8am and it took me 11 hours to get to Tri-Corner. I looked like a frozen corpse when I arrived. Patrick was below me at Mt. Sterling and he had a temp of 5 degrees!! Was a whiteout at Eagle Rocks to Mt. Chapman

Green Bean
01-30-2006, 11:47
4 degrees and snow 2 inches

Footslogger
01-30-2006, 11:58
Had a couple "water freezing" nights in the beginning but the coldest I remember feeling was the night before I climbed Crocker Mountain in southern Maine (September 2003). Temps dropped like a bomb that night and it started to snow while we were cooking dinner at the shelter. Next morning we climbed Crocker and covered a lot of the Bigelows in knee deep snow and freezing temps.

'Slogger

general
01-30-2006, 12:22
-7 on cowrock in february. pee froze in 9 verticle feet

boy, no matter where you go, don't you eat no yellow snow.

Fiddleback
01-30-2006, 20:38
14 w/12" of old snow on a weekend trip 'somewhere' in Shennadoah NP. We were pretty comfortable but I did have to make a reflector out of aluminum foil and used it in combo w/my stove to thaw out my boots.

Ridge
01-30-2006, 20:49
.....but I did have to make a reflector out of aluminum foil and used it in combo w/my stove to thaw out my boots.


The very reason I use a Long Bag, sleep with my footwear to keep from freezing. I put the stuff in my tent bag first.

Ramblin' Rose
01-30-2006, 21:17
I did a traverse of the Presidentials from Valley Way campsite just below Mt. Madison hut to the Hostel (that was, but is no more) At Crawford Notch on April 3, 2001. When I got back home I checked the Mt. Washingon weather for that day and was amazed to see that it was -36. It really didn't feel that cold - but then - I was moving for the 12 hrs that it took me.

http://www.mountwashington.org/backcountry/archive/2001/04/03.html

weary
01-30-2006, 22:11
I did a traverse of the Presidentials from Valley Way campsite just below Mt. Madison hut to the Hostel (that was, but is no more) At Crawford Notch on April 3, 2001. When I got back home I checked the Mt. Washingon weather for that day and was amazed to see that it was -36. It really didn't feel that cold - but then - I was moving for the 12 hrs that it took me. ttp://www.mountwashington.org/backcountry/archive/2001/04/03.html

The "hostel" is back in business -- or at least a reasonable facimile thereof.

The price is a bit higher, but in line with other AMC self service facilities.
We win some and lose some. The latter more than the former. But, whatever, every little victory helps!

Weary

Ramblin' Rose
01-30-2006, 22:15
Thats good to know - Thanks Weary!

Stoker53
01-30-2006, 22:29
Week between Xmas and New Years. GSMNP at Pecks Corner shelter. Minus 11 deg when we went to bed. After dinner entertainment was watching 3 guys from New Jersey trying to get a fire going.

Min/Max thermometer said it got to minus 18 deg that night. Woke the next AM to a cobalt blue, cloudless sky and rime ice all over everything.

Hiked to Ice Water Shelter in a winter wonderland. Guys from Jersey still in the rack at 9AM.....still alive with smiling faces.

Tinker
01-30-2006, 23:19
-20F at Kinsman Pond Shelter in nineteen-ninety-something in Feb. It was an overnighter. Does that count?:-?

Snow blowing into front of shelter from 30+mph. east wind. Fingers stuck to stove in morning. Had to blow on them to get them off.

Stephenson bag was WARM (but not "Lite").

fivefour
02-02-2006, 16:58
18 and 60mph wind for me ... three ridges wilderness

trlhiker
04-22-2006, 18:59
coldest night was 5 above at Paul Wolfe shelter one early december morning with some snow on the ground.

Crazy Larry #1
04-23-2006, 15:02
What is the coldest night you've had to endure on while backpacking on the AT?1000 degrees below zero....i'll never forget that night either.......i was just a hiking along shivering to my bones in my goatskin parka, bow and arrows slung over my shoulder and grass stuffed shoes and all at once i was frozen in place and with my right arm slung across my chest, in an ice berg no less for 1000's of years............in fact you may have heard of me, "the iceman?" i just recently changed my name to "the only wanderer" about five years ago..........i've been in all the news for years..........i bet you guys have never experienced that?????

froggie
05-27-2006, 17:24
-6 when I crawled out of the tent Jan. 2002 on Apple Orchard Mt., not sure how cold it got down to that night but the high was 12

Vi+
05-27-2006, 17:57
Near the beginning of the second week of March, 1996, North Georgia. AT hiker's radios reported low temperatures of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the towns along the mountains the AT traversed. Since the towns are at lower altitude, deduct lower than that temperature for the decrease of temperature due to the increase in altitude along the ridge line.