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View Full Version : Connecticut to Mass. AT Partners Wanted sometime 12/26/07 to 1/21/08



Fornfearen
12-14-2007, 20:23
I work at a university and will be off during our long Winter Break.
We'd be starting at Rte. 41 in Salisbury, CT and heading north.
I want to continue working my way up the AT through this deer tick/Lyme disease infested stretch. I just haven't heard anything good about Lyme disease,http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif and don't want to mess with it. The ticks are supposed to be dormant at temps below 35F, so I'm only going to do this when the forecast says the maximum daytime temp will be below 35F. Actually, forecast temps are based on shade readings, so 35 would be too high.

-I'd like to day hike as much distance as possible, having a car at each end so we can do sections as day hikes; light packs and moderate pace. In some stretches though, it looks like it's a long way down to get off the trail, and the same long way up to get back on the next day. So it might be better to backpack those sections.


I'm 53 years old, and after a 10 year gap, got interested in accumulating more continuous AT mileage. I've done 3 of these trips in Dec. or Jan. Twice solo, once with a partner found on this forum.
I prefer to do sections S --> N for the sake of continuity.
I'm in pretty good, though not excellent shape. I hike year round and have done 75/115 NE 4,000 footers in Winter, including 11 in Maine last December.
I'm probably a moderate paced hiker. I seem to slow down more than most going uphill, and I go slower downhill to save my knees.
I think that ice could be a problem on the first 10-15 miles from Salsibury. There's some rugged terrain in that section, so crampons may be necessary.

Painted Turtle
12-14-2007, 20:42
Don't quit know what you are looking for, but if you need a shuttle give me shout.

I don't charge I like to barter a ride for a ride. Seeing that you are in NY I guess that will not work so just feed my gas tank. If I am off work then I just may join you for a day.

sasquatch2014
12-14-2007, 21:01
I am doing a winter hike in the middle of that time frame but depending on when you go I may try to join you for a bit or two. That is a part of the trail that I am missing as of right now. Keep it posted as you nail things down more.

river1
12-14-2007, 21:49
I need that section of the trail also.. I have another hike around that time but maybe something can be worked out.. Keep me posted..

Fornfearen
12-15-2007, 18:55
Painted Turtle, Sasquatch2014, and river1,
I'm encouraged by the number of people interested in this. I hope we can plan something. That will be complicated by your available dates and my temperature requirements.
I'll be driving 3 hours east to VT for Christmas, and as long as I'm already that far east, I'll want to leave directly from there for NH to bag some winter 48's. BUT, if 12/26 and following work out for any of you guys, and the weather is cold enough, I could turn south to CT and save NH for later.
So please let me know if any of you are up for hiking starting 12/26 or 12/27.

Painted Turtle
12-15-2007, 22:54
I can get from my house to any part of the trail in CT in about 45 minutes. I am a school bus driver and have that week off, but my son is also flying in from FL that week so who knows if I will be able to hike, but I will do my best to be avaqilable to shuttle.

Tinker
12-16-2007, 00:57
I just finished the Conn. section, and did Ma. last year. One short section in Conn. comes pretty much right down a cliff. Can't remember where it is right now. I wouldn't want to do it in the snow and ice. Be careful.

jzakhar
12-16-2007, 01:44
I live in Old Saybrook, about an hour and 45 from most of the AT in Conn. I would be in for a hike, id prefer to camp it since it's quite a distance for me, but I can work something if yall are going to hike from trail head to trail head

micromega
12-16-2007, 09:39
Having lived in CT most of my life, I think your worries about ticks are a little overblown. Can't hurt to be careful, of course, but after mid to late fall, after the leaves are gone and the ground freezes, I've never seen a tick. I hiked from Sages Ravine to the NY border almost exactly a year ago, with daytime temps from low thirties to near fifty and never saw a tick. I don't mean this as a criticism on being careful (too many people aren't), just pointing out that you probably won't see any tick (or insect) activitiy even if the temps go up into the forties during the day.

Given the recent weather, you'll likely find a fair amount of snow on the higher areas, especially Bear Mountain. The descent off Bear Mountain into Sages Ravine may be very difficult and dangerous, it is very steep and exposed, often is covered with snow and ice. The steep section Tinker mentions is probably St. Johns Ledges, a little further south near Kent. If conditions atop Bear Mountain are bad, I'd give consideration to the Paradise Lane Trail to bypass the descent to Sages Ravine. Wouldn't hurt to see if anyone here has made any trips there lately to see what the conditions are up there.

Painted Turtle
12-16-2007, 09:52
Bear MT and St. Johns Ledges are probably the only 2 places you will have big trouble. With the ledges it is only coming down, It is short but steep, but with Bear it is also going up because you have to rock hop and if you can't see the rocks well hopping maybe a problem.

Also if you go to the the line CT/MA then your exit trail, "Race Brook Falls" will be a chalenge.

The "AT", to Undermountain, to Paradise Ln, to the "AT" is an easy hike and a nice hike.

I would also bet that you will be braking snow/ice almost the whole way.

sasquatch2014
12-16-2007, 10:40
Not sure about those of you near the AT in CT but I am just over the border in NY and the last storm and this current one with the wind and the ice I am sure will be bring down some stuff. I plan to walk my section that I maintain later this week but a lot of people will not give the trail a whole lot of attention till early spring so be ready to climb in, over, and around some stuff.

Fornfearen
12-16-2007, 23:33
I just finished the Conn. section, and did Ma. last year. One short section in Conn. comes pretty much right down a cliff. Can't remember where it is right now. I wouldn't want to do it in the snow and ice. Be careful.

Thanks for that warning, but I may be beyond the point your'e thinking of.
At least, that's the first place that came to mind when I read your post. Two winters ago I went from Bulls Bridge to Salisbury, and remember going down St. Johns Ledges. There was a bit of ice and snow, but most of the rocks were bare. But it was still a bit sketchy, especially at night.

Fornfearen
12-16-2007, 23:49
I live in Old Saybrook, about an hour and 45 from most of the AT in Conn. I would be in for a hike, id prefer to camp it since it's quite a distance for me, but I can work something if yall are going to hike from trail head to trail head

jzakhar,
I also live a long distance from that section of trail, 6-7 hours.
Your post reminds me I should give more details about how I'm thinking of doing this. Ideally, I'd like to have a car at the end of the day's section. We'd hike with a day pack. Camping gear would be in the car, and we'd sleep out up or down the trail a few hundred yards. The next morning we'd spot a car at tne end of the day's hike, and do the same as before. If the weather's really nasty or if my inner wimp has gotten a lot stronger in the last 2 years:), I could also see staying at a motel, but I don't want to make a habit of that.

Fornfearen
12-17-2007, 00:10
Having lived in CT most of my life, I think your worries about ticks are a little overblown. Can't hurt to be careful, of course, but after mid to late fall, after the leaves are gone and the ground freezes, I've never seen a tick. I hiked from Sages Ravine to the NY border almost exactly a year ago, with daytime temps from low thirties to near fifty and never saw a tick. I don't mean this as a criticism on being careful (too many people aren't), just pointing out that you probably won't see any tick (or insect) activitiy even if the temps go up into the forties during the day.

Micromega,
Thank you for your observations based on experience. I don't like treating "35F" as a magic number, but til now, that's all I had to go on. So now if the forecast indicates it might max in the mid 40's, I won't change my plans because of that.
But I still want to plan for <35. There's a lot of ignorance within the medical community, and something worse within the health insurance industry, regarding the effective course of treatment if Lyme isn't diagnosed and treated immediately. An effective antibiotic course of treatment is very expensive, and I don't have have health insurance.


Given the recent weather, you'll likely find a fair amount of snow on the higher areas, especially Bear Mountain. The descent off Bear Mountain into Sages Ravine may be very difficult and dangerous, it is very steep and exposed, often is covered with snow and ice. The steep section Tinker mentions is probably St. Johns Ledges, a little further south near Kent. If conditions atop Bear Mountain are bad, I'd give consideration to the Paradise Lane Trail to bypass the descent to Sages Ravine. Wouldn't hurt to see if anyone here has made any trips there lately to see what the conditions are up there.Thanks for that warning about the descent from Bear. I'd read that before, but after 2 years, it's good to have a reminder. I'll check the CT page of Views from the Top to try to get a handle on current conditons. I was already planning on bringing crampons. Maybe I should bring an ice ax as well.
Thanks also for the Paradise Lane Trail bypass. Where would I pick that up, and is it considered an official AT bypass trail?

jzakhar
12-17-2007, 00:22
jzakhar,
I also live a long distance from that section of trail, 6-7 hours.
Your post reminds me I should give more details about how I'm thinking of doing this. Ideally, I'd like to have a car at the end of the day's section. We'd hike with a day pack. Camping gear would be in the car, and we'd sleep out up or down the trail a few hundred yards. The next morning we'd spot a car at tne end of the day's hike, and do the same as before. If the weather's really nasty or if my inner wimp has gotten a lot stronger in the last 2 years:), I could also see staying at a motel, but I don't want to make a habit of that.

I got ya, that is fine by me. Your post says CT to Mass, which is like 52 miles. But the dates are 12/26 to 1/21 did you plan to go further into Mass? I can join you for a portion of it for sure.

Fornfearen
12-17-2007, 00:59
Bear MT and St. Johns Ledges are probably the only 2 places you will have big trouble. With the ledges it is only coming down, It is short but steep, but with Bear it is also going up because you have to rock hop and if you can't see the rocks well hopping maybe a problem.
Thank you. More reason to look for trail condition reports on VFFT.

Also if you go to the the line CT/MA then your exit trail, "Race Brook Falls" will be a chalenge.
Thanks for the caution on the Race Brook Falls trail.
I think that given the difficulty of the terrain in that section, I don't want to be carrying a full pack. It looks like a ~12 mile, +3300', -3300' day to end down at Rt. 41. So that's what I'm looking at for the first day.
And re-climbing RB tr. ~1200' the next day to get back on the AT.

The "AT", to Undermountain, to Paradise Ln, to the "AT" is an easy hike and a nice hike. AT in quotations; Is that an official AT bypass route?

I would also bet that you will be braking snow/ice almost the whole way.


I hope it will be well consolidated by then, without being icy. And while I'm at it, I can hope for temperatures that stay at 34.5F around the clock.:D

Fornfearen
12-17-2007, 01:05
I got ya, that is fine by me. Your post says CT to Mass, which is like 52 miles. But the dates are 12/26 to 1/21 did you plan to go further into Mass? I can join you for a portion of it for sure.

Actually, I have only about 6.5 miles, rugged miles, left in CT. Also, 12/26 to 1/21 is just the period I have free, not the amount of time I want to spend on the AT. I also want to hit the Whites in NH.
I wouldn't mind spending ~4-5 days in the area if it means getting north to US 20 or beyond.

jzakhar
12-17-2007, 01:17
Ok, I can do 4-5 days with you no problem, I do have an appointment on Jan 8th that I need to be at. Barring that just let me know what dates work for you.

river1
12-17-2007, 19:35
Anytime after Jan 5th works for me.. Can't do december at all.. Day or overnight hikes are ok..

wystiria
12-18-2007, 17:51
Hi folks, I was out in that section around thanksgiving and it was ICY! we hiked north to south and went over everett and Race in Mass and then Bear in CT and the norht sides of the Moutains were icy but passable - with the foot or so of snow and Ice we have here on the ground now I would say crampons would be a good idea to carry (I live in CT) they aren't predicting that the weather is going to warm up so the snow will stay.

Also Paradise trail is well marked - but hiking south to north you would have to go down a way on the Undermountain trail that intersects with the AT just prior to ascending Bear Mt.

if you want to hike a little farther in to MA. Elbow trail is a well graded easyt o follow trail down to 41. there is a parkign spot at the trail head which is in berkshire school. its a LOT easier than racebrook falls trail.

Enjoy your time out there! if I didn't have to work I would join you!

Painted Turtle
12-18-2007, 18:06
My wife has a million and one things for me to do this weekend, bu I will try and take a ride and hit a few of the trail heads and at least let people know if the trail has been used. (Kent, Cornwal, Falls Villiage, Sharon) We have had back to back storms since Friday so I am not expecting much. If I make it out look for a post Saturday night.

adamkrz
12-18-2007, 18:41
You will need crampons coming down from bear mtn, If you decide to bypass and go the paradise lane route - it will be a short distance from the brassie brook shelter going north - take a right at the trail intersection and then a left about 1/2 mile down..

Race falls trail is doable also to rt 41..

Fornfearen
12-19-2007, 00:05
I think it's better for me to do this trip before climbing in the Whites because it will be less demanding than the Whites, and will help prepare me for them. So if the weather cooperates, I'd like to start this hike on Wed, 12/26, or Thurs, 12/27. depending on when I leave Burlington, VT. That could be Christmas day evening, or maybe not til the next morning. Ideally, I'd like to hike Wed-Fri, take Sat. off, and maybe hike one or two more days.
For anyone who is still interested, as the time draws near, and forecasts are available for these dates, we can PM to exchange phone #s and e-mail. I don't have a cell, but can check my home answering machine for messages.
It's possible that after this trip I might want to continue at another time during my break. Possible, but not probable. But if I catch the bug (the AT hiking bug, not a deer tick:)) I may be enthusiastic about continuing north right away!

Wystiria,
Welcome to Whiteblaze! Thanks for pointing out the Glen Brook trial! I hadn't noticed it, and it does look better. According to my Topo program, it adds only 1.5 miles, +450', and -300' compared to exiting on the Race Bk. Trail. It also means 200' less reclimbing the next day to get back on the AT.

Dingus Khan
12-19-2007, 08:18
hey fornfearen - unless something drastic comes up, count me in for part if not all of the time. i have been working on i just started working on salisbury-vt recently and have gone only up to the crossing at rt 41 (a quick overnighter from salisbury, stayed at racebrook falls campsite) it was last week the day after the 12 inches of snow - the decent from bear was icy and crampons could have helped but not bad at all. the other steep decent is the last bit of trail before hitting rt 41 and the cow fields - very short ledge you come down from and it was icier and more dangerous than bear. still nothing to be too concerned about. i did it without snowshoes as well, my legs were a bit sore the next day. another potentially dangerous area if the temps are right is the loop by racebook falls, only since the spray can coat the surrounding area up to 200 ft with a nice clear layer.
i have been looking for hikers to go out with since it alleviates a lot of my wifes valid fears of going solo when it is 20* out. i am off 27-30 of dec. and besides a quick dinner one of the evenings I should be able to join you!
as far as speed and skill, i do comfortable 9-12 mile with these shorter days and certainly do not feel the need to do more unless there is a destination we need to make. i have been hiking on and off for 20 years now (did more in my younger years with my pop) but have not done much of the AT recently, and only lately have re-upped my gear to more conventional lightweight stuff.

let me know regarding plans and destinations - i was going to be doing the same area during the same time frame :)

nitewalker
12-19-2007, 08:31
hey guys i just want to remind you all that if there is snow on the ground and the trails are unblazed the going will be sumwhat slower. if the trails are packed you will be fine..just make sure you take these factors into consideration when planing mileage..other than that"have a great hike"........peace out, nitewalker:D

jzakhar
12-19-2007, 13:36
Assuming no disasters on my end, I plan to join you guys out there as well.

Dingus Khan
12-19-2007, 14:08
if someone could come up with a potential itinerary with start date, approx choice of shelter/site per night, and total distance I think it would help us out in establishing a plan...
personally, i may have to leave and return depending on when we are meeting up with my in-laws for dinner (i work the 25-26).
if nothing else i will meet up with you and do an overnighter at the least.

Dingus Khan
12-19-2007, 14:11
ps. i doubt the trails will be packed unless it is from rain/ice... i've been out 6 times in the last 3 weeks and everytime i'm the only footprint out there, nice but nitewalker is right, i had to be extra vigilant but most of the going was pretty easy.
i need snowshoes... geez

wystiria
12-19-2007, 15:30
THanks for the welcome! I have been reading these boards forever and could have sworn I had a log in. LOL but no dice.

Anyway - elbow trail is a nice trail a few water falls along it too. We used it recently to hike in to Hemlock shelter at night on a friday after work.

I am super JEALOUS that I can't join you! sounds like the right milage for me and everything. *sigh* but I will have house guests. and although my mom is a BPer, my stepfather is most certianly not!

enjoy! I will watch this thread in case the dates change and I can go!

I will say though that my DH and I are planning to head out to the area at least one weekend in January if we can!!!

Fornfearen
12-20-2007, 00:36
hey fornfearen - unless something drastic comes up, count me in for part if not all of the time. i have been working on i just started working on salisbury-vt recently and have gone only up to the crossing at rt 41 (a quick overnighter from salisbury, stayed at racebrook falls campsite) .... I'm currently favoring a day hike from Salisbury to the Glen Brook trail down to the Berkshire School. If this happens on the 26th, how would this fit with your plans? And if it happens on the 27th? i am off 27-30 of dec. and besides a quick dinner one of the evenings I should be able to join you!
as far as speed and skill, i do comfortable 9-12 mile with these shorter days and certainly do not feel the need to do more unless there is a destination we need to make. Is that 9-12 miles as a day hike, or with a full pack?

let me know regarding plans and destinations - i was going to be doing the same area during the same time frame :)
I think that first section would be about 15 miles, with +3700' elevation.

Fornfearen
12-20-2007, 02:29
hey guys i just want to remind you all that if there is snow on the ground and the trails are unblazed the going will be sumwhat slower. if the trails are packed you will be fine..just make sure you take these factors into consideration when planing mileage..other than that"have a great hike"........peace out, nitewalker:D

Are the trails that poorly marked in this section? Even if they're well blazed, I know how hard it is to find white markers on trees plastered with snow.:) That's a possibility.


if someone could come up with a potential itinerary with start date, approx choice of shelter/site per night, and total distance I think it would help us out in establishing a plan...
personally, i may have to leave and return depending on when we are meeting up with my in-laws for dinner (i work the 25-26).
if nothing else i will meet up with you and do an overnighter at the least.

A potential itinerary, eh?
For safety and ease over the rugged and icy stretches , I'd prefer to hike Salisbury to the Berkshire School with a day pack. However, given the possibilities that nitewalker raised, trail breaking and trail finding might be so time consuming that it might be more safe to have overnight gear than to have an easily manageable day pack. I hate dealing with this kind of question, especially since it's based on conditions we don't know yet and might not even know at the trailhead.
I've been trying to come up with just a potential itinerary for almost an hour now. Right now I can't, so I'll just throw out some more info and ask some questions.
nitewalker's name reminded me about hiking styles, so I'll tell you more about mine.
--I don't mind hiking at night, though not on steep or icy trails. But I've done that too.
--My range can vary quite a bit. In December '05, I had one lethargic day in which I backpacked 10 miles in 10 hours. Some of that mileage was along the Housatonic, about the easiest stretch on the AT. The next day I felt better and backpacked 15.5 miles in 13 hours. So I really poke along with a heavy load, but I can can keep at it a long time.
--Day hiking in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks I've done 14+ hour days covering ~20 miles and gaining 4000'elevation or more.
--I do only easy, non-strenuous hikes on Saturdays, which can be very inconvenient, especially if this trip starts on Thursday.:)
--If there's no rain in the forecast, I won't carry a tent; just a large sheet of plastic. With this I'll camp anywhere I think I won't disturb or be disturbed by anyone. So I'm not limited to shelters. Again, hiking car-to-car, I would go a short distance back or forward on the trail to just lay out my bag and sleep. Starting ~7 miles before the Tom Leonard L/T there look to be many opportunities to just crash in the woods.
--I will most definitely bring full crampons, and possibly an ice ax, and would go up and over Bear Mtn. if everyone else is comfortable with that.
--I will also have snowshoes with aggressive cleats. At the last minute I may decide to leave the shoes in the the car.
--My knees aren't great, so don't be shocked if you see me going downhill backwards.:eek: It helps a lot.
--When I drive a long distance to work on the AT, I want to maximize the trail distance. So I prefer doing a series of high mileage day hikes. However, if a hiking partner strongly prefers to backpack, I'll do that in addition.

Questions:
--Those of you who are most likely to join me (looks like JZakhar, Dingus Khan, and possibly Sasquatch 2014), what are your preferences?
--Do you have full crampons and confidence in them? If not, the Paradise bypass is ok with me, if it's an officially accepted AT bypass. I didn't get any replies to that question.
--Is it worth your while to hike 2 days, take a day off (or at least without me) and continue another day or so? Maybe it's the tiredness of 1AM, or the lack of physical preparations so far, but at this point, getting in a full day on 12/26 doesn't seem likely. If 3 consecutive days is important, I'll try.
--Where do you prefer to sleep?
--Do you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, quirks, etc.?

Good Night.
Fornfearen

Dingus Khan
12-20-2007, 10:33
Hey Fornfearen et al
To answer to your first question I did the section with a 25-30lb pack - I think total mileage if I remember correctly was around 18 miles for 2 days, the first from 41 in Salisbury to Sages Ravine campground (I was mistaken about campsites, was not Racebrook but Sages that I stayed at... I get those two areas confused all the time) with the second day being a longer but somewhat easier day. Although bear is an easier climb nobo than Everett, I have always flown over Everett faster it seems. I had no trouble following the southern part of that trail but north of Bushnell I got off track three times, my own lack of paying attention being the cause. They were not difficult days and I could have easily extended them (got into camp around 3 the first day, but had to walk back to my car along 41 the second - that SUCKED!!. I kind of was hoping to hitch it, but that failed. I don't count 10 miles road walk as mileage either - it doesn't deserve the title :)
During warmer months I hammock, winter I am more confident with an old 3 season tent I have (I get down in the 20's in my hammock) The ONLY thing I don't like about it is that it is not free-standing which is a real pain in icy terrain. It is an old eureka cirrus and we have been through hell together so replacing it has been tough. It weighs less than 3 lbs too...:( I'll miss it when its gone. If we backpack I will be limited to finding an ok campsite, or shelter would be OK to. I don't trust the water proofness of my bag - just lack of experienced exposure with it. (EMS Mountain Light 20 with Pertex shell - says it water resistant but I haven't really had to test it yet)

As far as personal schedule and destinations, I have done the section from Salisbury to Rt 41 in MA twice and was hoping to meet up with you guys heading into the Beartown State Forest section. I am working on the 26th and would catch up with you most likely on the trail around 10ish on the 27th, depending on your route of course I could adjust the timing as needed. I expect to hike up one of the access trails and hang out until you reach me since "catching up" can be a pain...

I would rather do Bear Mt section again than miss out, so I will plan on joining you regardless of destination, unless you DO plan on continuing north afterwards, (ie Salisbury-MA rt 41 on the 26th-27th, Beartown 28th-29th etc) at which point I would meet up with you for the latter section.

I can poke along as well, it takes me 3 days to really get my 18+mile/day legs, so these 1-2 nighters that are most common for me tend to be ~10 miles days with no pressure to go farther. I can go a lot farther if I have to, or get to an early start, but I tend to choose enjoyment over distance when on a quick trip. I tend to plan for shorter days and extend them depending on how the day is progressing. Sometimes that "6 more miles to the next shelter" doesn't sound so bad at 6pm when you see a bunch of drinking teens at the pre-planned site..
As far as day pack distance, with an sun-up start and return to car for sundown I can get in a comfy 20 miles depending on who I'm with. Some people push me and others slow me down. Solo is best but I find myself dilly-dallying (pictures, galavanting off-trail, tracking animals, swimming etc).... I did a 7 mile day in the whites once... ALL day... lol

I have not done much winter night-hiking but weather permitting I have no qualms with it.. rain or heavy snow tend to make that a pain IMO. My headlamp is a 3 bulb Princeton Tec - good to about 20 feet, not the best but it works. Night hiking is more familiar to me during the warmer months, but I find tenters have a hard time finding a suitable area and can get frustrated with setting up camp. Hammockers can just hang wherever making it much faster to hit the sack at 10pm. I am interested in the whole "find spot - lay down" technique though. Seems a lot more practical. I hammock, tent and tarp, I just can't choose my favorite since they all have pro's and cons. Hammocking is def. the most comfy and I sleep the best.

--I do mostly day hikes in winter and would also be happy to do that as well.

["-When I drive a long distance to work on the AT, I want to maximize the trail distance. So I prefer doing a series of high mileage day hikes."]
Question - if you do day hikes, where do you sleep? Do you car camp and then hit the trail again the next AM? How do you get your car from location A to location B?

Answers:
1- My preferences are to head north of Rt 41 in MA but will join up with you when possible wherever you are..
2- I do not have crampons and limited experience with them, but what better chance to learn! Would these suffice? The reason I am asking is because I live 0.5 mile from an EMS and have been looking at these as a reasonably-priced option but have never used the half-length type. The are so much easier to pack though :

http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_detail_square.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=8455 24442583545&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=282574488340929&bmUID=1198158715241

I just called them and the West Hartford EMS will rent a full set for 3 days for only 20$.

3. I do not know what my plans would be if you were to break it up in two sections. I have the 27th 28th, 29th, 30th available and will try to maximize my trail time with you guys during those 4 days. It doesn't look as though I will be forced to meet up with the in-laws, so as of now those days are completely free.

4 - I think I addressed the sleeping thing earlier - I will plan on tenting unless we day hike. I am not fond of B&B or hotels since they eat up much needed gear stash money. There is a great B&B open at the base of RaceBrook Falls... I am sure they cater to many thru's during the reg. season.

I guess it comes down to this: plan whatever you think is best since you are probably driving the farthest distance. My four days are open and I will meet up when and where I can.
Have a great day.

Dan

jzakhar
12-20-2007, 14:08
For my part, I have no preference as to what we do, I am 33 years old, I can put down 10 miles in the snow with a 30 lb pack on. I own crampons, but my ice axe is somewhere on the flume slide trail heh.

I plan to bring a full pack and 2 person tent. If we end up off trail in a motel/BB so be it, but id rather be prepared since I will be many hours from home.

Regarding the actual hike times, I am open to whatever everyone else wants to do. If yall want to hike for 2 days and take one off ok. If not then ok too.

I would say when it comes to me, plan your hike and just know I have to be out of the woods by Jan 7th to make an appointment on teh 8th. Otherwise, I have all teh gear to hike whereever you all decide on.

wystiria
12-20-2007, 14:11
Hey Folks!

I was in Beartown St. Forest in Oct (I hike in this section alllll the time basically have done CT and MA 10 or more times over) anyway its pretty easy hiking! AND there is a parking spot on Old beartown rd. I believe is the name. You can get pretty darn far in from teh OPOSITE way in NOT thru the park. even if its not passable there is parking pull off al ittle less than a mile from the trail crossing. It is a dirt rd. however. You can see this rd. on the AT map - its not a listed parking area. we left our car there for 3 days no problem. there is also a pull off spot on Jug end rd.

Anyway - if anyone wants to go out on a weekend in January I am game.

Sounds like I might be faster than you guys but I am used to hiking with all levels and have no issues slowing down. I also am an "energizer bunny" and can go for hours :) I routinely hike in the dark - and I slow WAY down going down hill. esspecially if its icy.

I do prefer to camp - I love to cook on teh trail :) and am known to carry heavier food for the pleasure of a good meal. I almost always have my outback oven on me and almost always make dessert.....in Nov it was carmel brownies. and Steak fajitas ;) I even carried an avocado lol

I always carry a tent - I have a plethora of them! 3 and 4 season tents. Enough to lend if someone is interested. I have everything from 1 man not freestanding to 3 man freestanding in both 3 and 4 seasosn. (I used to teach Backpacking)

I like to bring my husband along :) he is a great packhorse LOL and amuses me with his antics besides he is a HOT sleeper :)

Let me know if you are interested in a 2nd trip on a weekend :) Also this fall I hiked this entire section so ask questions if you have them

OHHHH and Paradise lane is the AT excepted By-pass trail!!

wystiria
12-20-2007, 14:14
Oh and you can find me in all the registers in this section as Wystiria lol usually Wystiria & Sherpa

jzakhar
12-20-2007, 14:42
Wystiria,

Id be game for a weekend outing in Jan, I just left my job, I am here in CT biding my time until my March departuer for Georgia, so I will jump at every chance to get in the woods and do some walking..

I am also one known to carry a few extra pounds of food so I can eat well. I've never seen any baking, but I make really good curry chicken =)

wystiria
12-20-2007, 15:00
ooohhhh curry chicken! yum!

Maybe we shoudl start our own thread? and not hijack this one?

anyway we are available the 12th and the 19th weekends. I think the last weekend is out because it will most likely be "christmas" with the inlaws.

I am determined to get out 10 out of 12 months in 08' that is the goal. Ken my DH is missing sections south of lions head in CT, and North of Upper Goose pond in MA. and of course hte coupl of miles from Jug end road to the intersection of Elbow trail on teh AT. He would love to capture any of these! I think he is also missing NY. Though I took him on his first trip ever to do all of NJ :)

We live in Cheshire ct - where are you located? and soooo exciting to be thru-hiking!!!!!! I thru hiked in 98' but didn't complete the whole thing due to injury and am now section hiking what I am missing.

jzakhar
12-20-2007, 15:07
I live in Old Saybrook, the shoreline area by Old Lyme et al. Either of those weekends or both sound fine to me, as do the locations Ken needs. I am really flexable, my only goal is to get out and walk, I really don't much care where it is =)

wystiria
12-20-2007, 15:25
Ok lets plan for the 12th. I will pull out the maps and trail data book and plan something. How are you for hiking in on a friday evening? we have a tendency to do this so as to not have to drive up early sat day.

FYI my personal email is my screen name here at gmail. just make sure you spell it the way I do and not the correct way! LOL

Obviously anyone who want to come out the weekend of the 12th is more than welcome!!!

jzakhar
12-20-2007, 15:29
Friday is just as good as any other day. I have no problems night hiking. My email is jzakhar at gmail dot com, cell is 860-335-6270 if anyone wants to work out details via the phone. Just added teh 12th to my calendar.

wystiria
12-20-2007, 15:35
jzakhar check your gmail I invited you to chat :)

~Christy

Fornfearen
12-20-2007, 22:59
Hey Fornfearen et al
To answer to your first question I did the section with a 25-30lb pack - I think total
I'm not a light backpacker. My winter backpack may be close to 45#! An 8# sleeping bag is the biggest single part of that. I have a 1+ person tent <3 lbs. which I'll bring in the car. If rain is likely, I'll carry it.

As far as personal schedule and destinations, I have done the section from Salisbury to Rt 41 in MA twice and was hoping to meet up with you guys heading into the Beartown State Forest section. I am working on the 26th and would catch up with you most likely on the trail around 10ish on the 27th, depending on your route of course I could adjust the timing as needed. I expect to hike up one of the access trails and hang out until you reach me since "catching up" can be a pain...
See an actual potential itinerary in my next post!:)

I would rather do Bear Mt section again than miss out, so I will plan on joining you regardless of destination, unless you DO plan on continuing north afterwards, (ie Salisbury-MA rt 41 on the 26th-27th, Beartown 28th-29th etc) at which point I would meet up with you for the latter section.

...I find tenters have a hard time finding a suitable area and can get frustrated with setting up camp. I am interested in the whole "find spot - lay down" technique though. It's a bit easier w/o a tent because you just need a space for your body, not a rectangle longer and wider than your body. Also, it's easier with snow because snow smoothes out lots of irregularities and things that go bump in the back.

--I do mostly day hikes in winter and would also be happy to do that as well.

["-When I drive a long distance to work on the AT, I want to maximize the trail distance. So I prefer doing a series of high mileage day hikes."]
Question - if you do day hikes, where do you sleep? Do you car camp and then hit the trail again the next AM? I camp near the car, or drive to some nearby place that looks promising on the map. If I'm really tired at the end of a long day and it's raining, I can sleep in the car fairly comfortably. How do you get your car from location A to location B?I used to drive to my ending point and hitch back to the start. Two winters ago and three winters ago I paid someone to shuttle me back to the starting point. I'm looking forward to hiking with someone with a car!:)

Answers:
1- My preferences are to head north of Rt 41 in MA but will join up with you when possible wherever you are..

2- I do not have crampons and limited experience with them, but what better chance to learn! Would these suffice? ... I just called them and the West Hartford EMS will rent a full set for 3 days for only 20$. I don't know the terrain you'd be on, but I can say that I went DOWN a very steep mountain trail w/ insteps and they worked fine. I'd gone UP a more gradual trail where ice wasn't as much a factor. Insteps don't work as well when going up steeply because the natural stride involves rolling onto the front of your foot, which has no points. It's easier to walk on your heels going down. See my next post to decide if you might need them. But I also have a pair of insteps that I can bring down and let you use, so you can have a free trial.



4 - I will plan on tenting unless we day hike. I am not fond of B&B or hotels since they eat up much needed gear stash money.I mentioned hotels as a possibility, but I also hate to pay for a place to sleep. Why do that when I already paid for a good bag? One more thing on my sleeping style. I frequently hike solo, so when I find a place to stop for the night, nobody living or taking a walk nearby will hear strangers conversing in the woods. This makes it easier to find a place to crash. So to me, day hiking does not mean motels or B&B's.

I guess it comes down to this: plan whatever you think is best since you are probably driving the farthest distance. My four days are open and I will meet up when and where I can.
Dan
There's a lot of uncertainty as to what time jzachar and I might be at a particular trailhead, but I hope we can work something out. See next post.

Fornfearen
12-21-2007, 00:13
I was really frazzled at 1:00 AM trying to come up with a plan. I'd really like to get on the trail 12/26, but my starting time is so indefinite that I couldn't make a decision. After sleeping, today I realized that starting on 12/26 almost certainly means camping on the trail, and I need to just let go of the idea of getting to the 41 crossing in a day hike. So here's what I've come up with:
I'd try to give jzachar my ETA in Salisbury as soon as I can figure one out. We'd spot a car at Jug End Rd. or Rt. 41 and start from Salisbury with full packs and get as far as we can that day and camp out. The next day we'll continue to backpack to Jug End or Rt. 41, and possibly meet Dingus Khan. Then we can spot a car/cars at potential end point(s) for the day hike we would start from JE or 41.
Two details here: 1. My contacting jzachar and 2. He and I contacting D.Khan.
1. Jzachar, I can call you at home when I'm underway because my drive will be longer than yours. I don't know how long. 4 hours or longer? If you have a cell, I can call you when I'm much closer so we'll have an idea of when each would be arriving at a rendezvous poiint.
2. If you and Dingus Khan have cells, you can call him when we have some idea when we'd be getting to JE/41 on Thursday, 12/27. If not, at the very least we could leave a note in the windshield of the car at JE/41 saying what time we'd headed down to Salisbury. He could then play all sorts of scenarios through his head to come up with our ETA. :) Are there any other ideas out there for how to meet DK?

I need to call my niece (too late tonight) to see what her plans are for Christmas Day. If she puts on the dinner very early, I might even take off that night. NOT likely!


Dingus Khan, if you wait for us at our spotted car, the section most likely to need crampons will be behind us. But East Mountain looks like it could require them, especially given the forecast of lots of rain followed by freezing temps. Using poles will give you added stability w/insteps.

Well, I just had another idea, but if I mention it, I'll probably end up tweaking this posting til 1 AM, so good night all. Except for the next brief post.

Fornfearen

Fornfearen
12-21-2007, 00:22
Wystiria,
Thanks for confirming that taking Paradise Tr. will still count.
You are our resident expert for that section, so tell us: What's your impression of how well marked the trails are?
Old business: Too late I realized I could have added something when I welcomed you to this forum. Please accept this belated :welcome.

This is about as fancy I get: Boil water, pour some over instant rice. Use rest to heat sealed pouch of Indian food. Pour pouch over rice in 5 minutes.

Fornfearen

jzakhar
12-21-2007, 02:23
I am roughly 2 hours from most AT points. I am just coming from the shoreline in CT. I only own a cell phone, so you can reach me just about anytime at 860-335-6270.

That rough plan seems fine. Including camping on the 26th with full packs.

Dingus Khan
12-21-2007, 09:36
hey guys, my cell is 774 644 7639, like jzakhar i do not have a home phone. i am in manchester ct right now and can make the jug end road in 2 hours, including bad traffic along rt 44.
as of now, it sounds as though I will plan on meeting you guys on the 27th. i will be packed and ready to go as early as 5 am planning on two nights. just in case, if ithe plan is to hike till the 28th that is fine as well.
if you pull an overnighter you will most likely be hitting jug end road at lunch time the second day, unless the going is very slow.
we can hop in my car when you show up, pick up the drop off car and run it up to ??? for a shuttle car.
i will rent a pair of full crampons just in case, snow is cake but freezing rain can be bad with a heavy pack.
as far as poles, i do not have mine with me (in storage and 2 hours away). i have been doing the ol' stick grab of late. i also do not have any AT trail maps, i have been using the state park maps or just winging it with rough mileage and site spots.

ps Dingus Khan is just a screen name and I do not have a trail name.... not that it really matters...lol

Dingus Khan
12-21-2007, 09:37
ps -- i am guilty of missing the clues as well, welcome wystiria!

Fornfearen
12-21-2007, 20:35
I am roughly 2 hours from most AT points. I am just coming from the shoreline in CT. I only own a cell phone, so you can reach me just about anytime at 860-335-6270.

That rough plan seems fine. Including camping on the 26th with full packs.

Great! This seems to be coming together. My home (and only) phone is 315-386-3945. Again, I can pick up messages on my machine from anywhere. Between that and pay phones, I'm almost in the 21st century!
I'll try to keep you posted in a timely manner. For instance, if I leave Burlington very early Wednesday, I could call you the night before, then again when I think I'm just over two hours from our meeting point, and maybe one more time when I'm pretty close. Maybe we can hit the trail well before noon.
Meeting point: In the potential itinerary, I said Salisbury. But I think it might be easier to meet where the AT crosses Rt. 41 in Mass, and drive down to Salisbury in one car.

Fornfearen
12-21-2007, 21:06
i will be packed and ready to go as early as 5 am planning on two nights. just in case, if ithe plan is to hike till the 28th that is fine as well.
I didn't go into any details about the rest of Thursday's hike, or Friday's. We can discuss that based on what time we meet on Thurs. I'd like Friday to be a mile-bagging day hike, but depending on where we end up Thursday, we could do a hybrid. Example: After meeting at JE/41, suppose we think we can make it to the Tom Leonard shelter that night. So we'd spot one car with our overnight gear at the last road before the shelter, and another car at the first road after it. Then we'd hike at a good pace to the first car, grab the overnight gear and continue to the shelter. The next morning, we continue to the next car, drop the heavy stuff, re-spot cars, and go light and long on Friday. Maybe repeat this Fri afternoon and Sat. morning. I've never tried or even heard of this before, but with 3 cars and a keyboard, this is what I come up with.

we can hop in my car when you show up, pick up the drop off car and run it up to ??? for a shuttle car.

. i also do not have any AT trail maps, i have been using the state park maps or just winging it with rough mileage and site spots. I don't have the AT maps either, just topo maps with someone's route downloaded. I've also just gone by a chart of mileage and site spots. That was when I forgot my maps in the car.:datz

ps Dingus Khan is just a screen name and I do not have a trail name.... not that it really matters...lol I figured it was meant to sound like Ghengis Khan without ticking off any of his living descendents. Fornfearen is a trail name I came up with but still don't know how to pronounce.

Dingus Khan
12-22-2007, 07:08
lI've also just gone by a chart of mileage and site spots.

likewise... i did go take a glance at the official AT map of the area and I will make sure to document some of the potential parking sites since there are quite a few of them.
i believe the TLshelter was 9 miles from rt 41 in ma with, if i remember correctly - don't quote me, a parking lot at the mountain view road crossing. there were several pretty close to each other, i will get the definite parking spots on monday... i will be at work until then, online though occasionally.

i use google earth for visual, Garmin Topo (don't have a GPS unit yet) and state park maps/trail maps and just wing it with shelter distances and trail markers between known areas. probably not the safest and I will be getting the offical maps for both VT and NH as I head northerly.
this area is so populated it doesn't feel stupid to just wing it...

I am interested in the carpooling/stashing of gear. That sounds to be a good idea and maxing out some of these milder sections is a goal of mine as well.
as long as we have a good street map (i think jug end et al are dirt roads - it was snow covered last time but looked dirt) and can reach a car by dark we should be able to figure out the details during our hike.

this will be an interesting test for myself, it will be my the coldest camping to date (estimated 10* nightly low) and i think will be maxing out my 20* bag with fleece liner. I am considering bringing my "snow pants" but they are soooo bulky - i use sil chaps for rain - not the warmest around :)
what kind of insulation do you favor? down or synth? (not trying to make this a gear comparison thread... that could go on forever... :)

as for Dingus Khan - it's actually a bit of an insult. I have a clumsy goofy 20lb Maine Coon cat that acts more like a dog. He is all black, has 6 toes on each front paw and is named Gotti (8 years old, no I dind't get it from that stupid show, but the *actual* Teflon Don) He beats up dogs etc... pretty funny really. He gets called Dingus Khan all the time for doing stupid stuff; over time I have been called the same and have somewhat taken it on for online sites etc, just cause it was handy.
<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr valign="top"><td class="def_number" width="20">1.</td> <td class="def_word">dingus</td> <td class="def_thumbs"> <table style="margin-left: auto;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"><tbody><tr> <td>http://static.urbandictionary.com/thumbsup.gif (javascript:void(0))</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">167 up, 45 down</td> <td>http://static.urbandictionary.com/thumbsdown.gif (javascript:void(0))</td> </tr></tbody></table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td>
</td> <td colspan="2"> another word for a spaz.
NOTE: a dingus is NOT a stupid person, because a dingus is someone who can make you laugh by doing stupid THINGS, but they are not stupid people. a stupid person is an idiot. idiot and dingus are different.
(your friend is rocking back and forth on their chair and it topples over, thus flinging them across the room)

</td></tr></tbody></table>

jzakhar
12-22-2007, 14:38
Wow 10 degrees, I will probably re-evaluate what I plan to bring, that is just cold lol.
I think with a 20 degree bag and liner/tent/mat you will be ok. That or it will be a late night at the came fire telling stories lol.

Painted Turtle
12-22-2007, 16:05
Ok just got done with checking things out here is the story:

9:30 left my house

10:10 Race Brook Trail only a couple of tracks.. Parking for 4 -5 cars if no-one gets stupid

Note: Section Between Sages and Race brook on an exposed rocky ridge line close to the edge will have a lot of ice and hidden holes.

10:35 Undermountain trail head. Light use.. room for 3 cars 4 wheel drive maybe needed could not pull into lot

10:40 Parking lot at base of Lions Head on Rt41 unuseable One set of tracks leading in.

10:40 no sign of tracks coming off Mt Barrack to RT 44 Salisbury

10:55 Falls Village parking lot near Power station plowed well used plenty of room Trail heading South well used. Great Falls parking area CLOSED no signs of tracks.

11:10 Lime Rock RT7 parking area excellant plenty of room No tracks coming off MT from Betlers Campsite

11:20 West Cornwall Rd No tracks from the south Two sets going north and back looks like whoever went in to Shelter and back out. Parking for one car with 4 wheel drive. Sharon road only useable for about 100 yards need 4 wheel drive.

11:34 Pine Knob Loop Parking good Trail shows limited use. If Using think twice about coming down or going up the North end.

11:37 Breadloaf MT trial heavily used Parking excellant.

11:45 Parking at Dawn Hill and river RD for 5 cars. Where "AT" crosses Dawn Hill no sign of tracks

12:05 Kent 341 no sign of tracks from the South a few going North Need 4 wheel drive to get off road to park.

12:10 River Road out of Kent unpassable never plowed

I did not go any farther south. Bulls bridge is a heavy traveled area and there is always parking there.

I hope this helps some. Temp has been in the low to mid 20's with an occasional single digit at night Days have been in the mid to upper 30s with a occasional low 40. At 3:05 it is 34 very over casted and with a light snow.

Fornfearen
12-22-2007, 21:54
Wow 10 degrees, I will probably re-evaluate what I plan to bring, that is just cold lol.
I think with a 20 degree bag and liner/tent/mat you will be ok. That or it will be a late night at the came fire telling stories lol.

For winter sleeping, I use two ground pads, sometimes three. Our weight compresses the insulation of the bag under us so it doesn't insulate well, so something has to compensate, or we loose a lot of heat by conduction to ground.
I checked 2 weather sites, and didn't see anything below 18F, but this far in advance, what do they know. :) What site said 10 degrees? I'd like to monitor that for worst case scenario.

Fornfearen

Fornfearen
12-22-2007, 22:02
Painted Turtle,
Thank you for your epic scouting expedition! Especially useful are your observations of how hard the parking spots might be to get to. Our plans may call for parking along dirt roads, so we may have to revise them, or at least allow for more scouting ahead for where to spot cars.
By the way, your offer to shuttle early on was very encouraging. That was difficult and irritating detail the last two times I did this. As it looks now, I won't have to take you up on that, but I don't know what the three of us will be doing after Friday, so I may yet give you a call. Thanks.

Ok just got done with checking things out here is the story:

9:30 left my house

10:10 Race Brook Trail only a couple of tracks.. Parking for 4 -5 cars if no-one gets stupid

Note: Section Between Sages and Race brook on an exposed rocky ridge line close to the edge will have a lot of ice and hidden holes.

10:35 Undermountain trail head. Light use.. room for 3 cars 4 wheel drive maybe needed could not pull into lot

10:40 Parking lot at base of Lions Head on Rt41 unuseable One set of tracks leading in.

10:40 no sign of tracks coming off Mt Barrack to RT 44 Salisbury

10:55 Falls Village parking lot near Power station plowed well used plenty of room Trail heading South well used. Great Falls parking area CLOSED no signs of tracks.

11:10 Lime Rock RT7 parking area excellant plenty of room No tracks coming off MT from Betlers Campsite

11:20 West Cornwall Rd No tracks from the south Two sets going north and back looks like whoever went in to Shelter and back out. Parking for one car with 4 wheel drive. Sharon road only useable for about 100 yards need 4 wheel drive.

11:34 Pine Knob Loop Parking good Trail shows limited use. If Using think twice about coming down or going up the North end.

11:37 Breadloaf MT trial heavily used Parking excellant.

11:45 Parking at Dawn Hill and river RD for 5 cars. Where "AT" crosses Dawn Hill no sign of tracks

12:05 Kent 341 no sign of tracks from the South a few going North Need 4 wheel drive to get off road to park.

12:10 River Road out of Kent unpassable never plowed

I did not go any farther south. Bulls bridge is a heavy traveled area and there is always parking there.

I hope this helps some. Temp has been in the low to mid 20's with an occasional single digit at night Days have been in the mid to upper 30s with a occasional low 40. At 3:05 it is 34 very over casted and with a light snow.

Dingus Khan
12-22-2007, 22:05
right, the hammockers worse nightmare.
problem is, is that my other pads are in storage... i can always "duff it" if there is duff to be found.... now you have me worried... lol, they ARE only 10$ at wallyworld...
i cant imagine strapping two ccf pads to the outside of my pack...that in and of itself is worthy of a trail name...

the temp was based upon 13 degree low according to either wunderground or weather that i read recently. i dropped it to ten for wind chill and elevation... i have really no idea what they will be forecasting as the days get closer.
i know it is supposed to be 40's and rainy for the next 2... then chilly during the end of week.

jzakhar
12-22-2007, 22:26
I've used the chemical hand / foot warmers and strapped them to my wrists and feet before in the whites. That has always made a bad night into a much better one.

You could try one CCF and an air pad under it. I might have an extra CCF if you need one, ill have to check in the attic.

PT thanks so much for the scouting.

Fornfearen
12-22-2007, 22:28
right, the hammockers worse nightmare.
problem is, is that my other pads are in storage... i can always "duff it" if there is duff to be found....I have an extra ccf which I'll bring for you.

the temp was based upon 13 degree low according to either wunderground or weather that i read recently. i dropped it to ten for wind chill and elevation...Good thinking, DK. You really have your head in the game. I usually account for elevation, but simply forgot this time. i have really no idea what they will be forecasting as the days get closer.

i know it is supposed to be 40's and rainy for the next 2... then chilly during the end of week.It sounds like a recipe for glazed rock. Not only that, but there might be a dusting of powder on top to hide the ice. Not looking good.

Painted Turtle
12-22-2007, 23:01
I have a busy week but the offer still stands I will try very hard to help.

RITBlake
12-22-2007, 23:15
I just finished the Conn. section, and did Ma. last year. One short section in Conn. comes pretty much right down a cliff. Can't remember where it is right now. I wouldn't want to do it in the snow and ice. Be careful.

I'm guessing you are thinking of the section immediatly after St. John Ledges just outside Kent. Its an extremely steep and rocky section that I wouldn't really want to do in the snow.

Dingus Khan
12-23-2007, 07:20
forn and jza, check your pms

wystiria
12-26-2007, 16:12
Hey folks!!! sorry I didn't even turn on my PC for the last few days! anyway hope youa re all having fun and are safe and warm! you can read this when you get back!

This wont matter now but the sections we did this fall were fairly well marked - a few spots the blazes were farther apart I would have liked BUT this was headied southbound...and my trick when I think I may have lost the trail is to turn around and look for blazes the other way :) works most times LOL

Anyway - tty all when you get back!!!

Fornfearen
01-12-2008, 23:50
I was going to post trip reports on Views From The Top from the computer of local libraries after each section hiked. That didn't work out, and by the time I got home, there had been 2 snow storms, and my conditions report would have been irrelevant.
So here's what happened, from my hiking log:

<st1><st1:city w:st="on">Appalachian Trail</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">CT</st1:state></st1> to MA
Wednesday & Thursday, December 26-27, 2007<o></o>
Solo backpacking
I got to the t/h around 11AM, but had to use my small snow shovel and ice ax to dig and chop my way through the hardened berm thrown up by the plow. This took a while, then I went looking for a public phone to inform DK and jzachar of my actual starting time. <o></o>
Started from Rt. 41 in <st1></st1><st1><st1:city w:st="on">Salisbury</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">CT.</st1:state></st1> Hit trail at 2:15PM with full pack. Hadnít hiked since Phelps Mtn., 6 weeks earlier. Felt weak. Slow. Decided not to do <st1><st1>Bear</st1> <st1>Mtn.</st1></st1> alone in dark due to ice and steep north side. Missed jct. of <st1>Paradise</st1> and Undermountain trails. Lost 1.5 hours and lots of energy doing so. Iíd expected to cover that section in daylight, so I hadnít given myself the extra help of printing the elevation of the jct. on the map, carefully calibrating altimeter, and setting altimeter alarm for 100í above that point. (Contours were hard to read on map) I couldnít trust the altimeter, so I kept descending just to be sure I didnít turn around just above the jct. I finally realized I was too low when looking at cars on the road below, I realized I was probably less than 300í above road level. I found the jct. on the way up. The sign was high on a tree on the downhill side of the tree, so it was very easy to miss from the uphill side. Previous tracks ended at Sageís Ravine, but finding the trail in the dark, and the terrain itself werenít too bad. Crossed into <st1><st1:state w:st="on">Massachusetts</st1:state></st1> about 11:58PM. Got to <st1> <st1>Laurel</st1><st1> Ridge</st1></st1> camp site, ~9 miles, around 1AM or later. Slept on snow on tent platform, under plastic sheet. The rain, which was supposed to start mid-to-late PM the next day, started just as I was laying out the pads and plastic.
Thursday morning again, very slow going. Rocks which had been bare yesterday were now glazed. Put on crampons at first stream crossing, and left them on til soon after starting down bail-out trail. Due to slow progress, I wasnít going to be able to meet Dingus Khan at <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Jug End Rd.</st1:address></st1:street> on time, so I bailed out on the Elbow Trail down to the <st1><st1>Berkshire</st1><st1> School</st1></st1>. Got to road at 2:50PM, hitched to car, called DK, and met him at the Rt. 41 t/h, where we spent the night.<o></o>
1<sup>st</sup> day, 8.8 AT miles, plus extra while overshooting trail jct.<o></o>
2<sup>nd</sup> day, 5.3 AT miles, plus 1.5 miles on Elbow trail, plus t/h to road.


DK was a good sport. I was wet, exhausted, and withdrawn after 2 days with the backpack. I didn't want to do anything, or even THINK about doing anything. But after making a hot dinner, I was a bit more communicative, and we made plans. jzakhar didn't show up.
<o></o>
Appalachian Trail, <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Jug End Rd.</st1:address></st1:street> to Rt. 23, <st1><st1:state w:st="on">Massachusetts</st1:state></st1>
Friday, December 28, 2007<o></o>
With Dingus Khan<o></o>
We spotted his car at Rt. 23 and rode back to Jug End in mine. <o></o>
Hit trail at 9:40AM. Got to Rt. 23 at ~4:40PM. Some pleasant, fast, flatlands at first. Then lots of ups and downs through some small mountains. <o></o>
12.9 miles in 7 hours. <o></o>
<o></o>
Appalachian Trail, Rt. 23 to <st1><st1:city w:st="on">Tyringham</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">Massachusetts</st1:state></st1>
Sunday, December 30, 2007<o></o>
With Dan
The day before I'd scouted out the AT road crossing and parking situation. The parking area wasn't plowed, but the plow had pushed out a wide swath on the shoulder so my car was completely off the road. The day I scouted it, I got out of the car and walked toward the actual AT crossing, about 50 yards ahead. I heard a noise in the woods on the south side, and saw a small black bear looking at me. It immediately turned around and lumbered off. I continued to the crossing and looked down the trail, where I saw the bear crossing it and continuing on. Later, after first checking out the NoBo section of trail for tracks and a sign, I walked down the south side and found one really good bear print showing the claws!
<o></o>
I had slept out under the stars on the AT going north from <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Main Rd.</st1:address></st1:street> in Tyringham, where Iíd parked. We were to meet at 7:30AM, but Dan came by about 6:50AM and I was ready to go 5 minutes later, so we got an early start. Rode in his car to Rt. 23, and hit trail at 7:44AM. Snow was crusty and bad for walking most of the day. Most of the time we broke through with every step. Rarely, we walked several steps without breaking through, and this reminded us, and got our hopes up, for how a trail should really feel. Then it was back to breaking through. We lost the trail briefly in some kind of nature area just before Tyringham. We could hear and see the road where I'd parked, so I knew when to look for that bear track, which was still intact for DK to enjoy. Actually, DK had pointed out a bear track somewhere around the middle of our hike that day. Got to <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Main Rd.</st1:address></st1:street> in Tyringham at 3:00PM, having done 12.1 miles. <o></o>
<o></o>
Appalachian Trail, <st1:street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Jug End Rd.</st1:address></st1:street> to Elbow Trail jct. (SoBo), <st1:state w:st="on"><st1> Massachusetts</st1></st1:state>
Monday, December 31, 2007<o></o>
Solo<o></o>
I needed to make up this section after bailing out before it on 12/27. I was going to do it NoBo, but after talking to some locals who emphasized the steepness and trickiness of Jug End, I decided safety was an important enough consideration to make me go up that way rather than down. So after sleeping in the car at the Berkshire School, I hiked down to 41, and ended up hiking along the road all the way (~3 miles) to the Jug End t/h. <o></o>
Effective leaving time from car-9:10AM. Started on trail at JE 10:30AM. There had been ~4Ē of snow overnight, so based on that and the previous dayís experience with the crust, I started out with snowshoes. They stayed on until I got to the t/h at the <st1><st1> Berkshire</st1> <st1></st1></st1><st1><st1> School</st1></st1>. It was slow going up Jug End, but once on the ridge I felt I was moving right along. There were no fresh tracks until I got to the top of the Elbow Tr. Someone had already skied up and down. On my way down I was able to stay off the ski tracks >99% of the time. <o></o>
2.8 miles of AT mileage in 2:30, plus 3 miles on road, and 1.5 on Elbow Tr. 7.2 miles total.

My continuous section of hiked AT now extends from 9 miles south of the PA line up to Tyringham. The next 9 miles, whenever I do them, will get me through a notorious mosquito area.

==============
DUH! I'm doing this section at this time of year to avoid the deer tick, right? So one night I'm sleeping under the stars on a patch of bare ground. As I settle down, I feel a back-poking lump under me. So I reach my wool gloved hand underneath my pads and plastic sheet, and dig up and remove the offending stick. I pull my hand back inside the sleeping bag, zip up, and think. Deer ticks may, I'm not sure, spend the cold weather down in leaf debris. I just dug into that to remove the stick and the rough texture of the gloves could have caught and held a tick in any of it's 3 infective life stages, and then I potentially brought it inside my warm bag where my warm body will gently awaken it to the smell of a warm dinner. Well, too late, nothing I can do now, just want to sleep, I'll check for ticks tomorrow. The next night, Friday, was the only time I sprang for a motel on the whole 8 night trip. I probably would have anyway, as that night's forecast was nasty. In the motel, I rinsed off the plastic sheet in the shower, and checked my self. I thought it was unlikely that I would have picked up a tick in that momentary lapse, and it appears I was right. I've checked myself once or twice since then, and am satisfied I dodged that bullet.



On the trail, the temps went a little above 35F a few times, but thanks to micromega's comments, I didn't worry about it.
<o>
</o>

wystiria
01-14-2008, 00:38
nice trip log - I am surprised you don't at least carry a small bivy tent! more power to you!!

whcobbs
01-18-2008, 17:26
Fornfearen--
Enjoyed the trip account. Sounds like you might be starting NoBo from Tyringham next year?
Walt

Fornfearen
01-19-2008, 20:09
Fornfearen--
Enjoyed the trip account. Sounds like you might be starting NoBo from Tyringham next year?
Walt

Hi Walt,
I thought I'd hear from you soon after my initial post. I hope you're doing well.
Unless I start NoBo from Tyringham sometime during St. Lawrence U's spring break, that section will indeed be on my schedule for next year. Do you want to pencil that in?:)
SLU's spring break frees me up from March 15 to the 25th. Those first few days I'll probably want to spend bagging peaks in NH while it's still officially Winter. (Spring begins at 00:48 AM on March 20.) After that, [3/20 - 3/25, but remember, Easter Sunday is 3/23] if the weather isn't too bad (or too good;)), I'd still have enough days left to make the drive down to MA worthwhile.
Is anyone interested in this section on these dates? I don't need any replies now. I'll start another thread for these dates in February, or with procrastination, early March.

Fornfearen
01-19-2008, 20:15
nice trip log - I am surprised you don't at least carry a small bivy tent! more power to you!!
I did have a small tent, in the car. Based on the forecast, I didn't bring it on the trail. If there's no precip, or only light snow in the forecast, I can get by with the big plastic sheet. If it's going to be cold and breezy, or rainy, then I'll bring the tent for extra warmth, or dryness.
I like sleeping in a tent, but I like sleeping under the stars even more, if there's no rain or BUGS!

Fornfearen

whcobbs
01-22-2008, 13:48
Fornfearen--
Yes, I'll pencil in Tyringham--??N Adams for next December. Looks like you made about 8 mi/d under winter conditions (not counting approach mileage). For approx 54 mi Tyringham--NAdams that amounts to 6-7 d. Does that sound right to you? Too ambitious? Not enough? It's a little bit of a problem to work out a car shuttle involving Tyringham, although there is a taxi that will go there.
I'll probably be tied up for the March holiday.
Walt

wystiria
01-28-2008, 12:23
Keep me and my DH in mind. though we can't go during the week but if you head out over a weekend we could meet up with you.

Homer&Marje
08-17-2008, 17:04
[quote=Fornfearen;473797]I work at a university and will be off during our long Winter Break.
We'd be starting at Rte. 41 in Salisbury, CT and heading north.
I want to continue working my way up the AT through this deer tick/Lyme disease infested stretch. I just haven't heard anything good about Lyme disease,http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif and don't want to mess with it. The ticks are supposed to be dormant at temps below 35F, so I'm only going to do this when the forecast says the maximum daytime temp will be below 35F. Actually, forecast temps are based on shade readings, so 35 would be too high.]

Lived in Mass my whole life and have never had lyme disease, I don't think you should worry about it that much, even under 50 degrees those ticks don't come out much, Unless your walking with a dog who could pick up more ticks being just a little self conscious of your own body and whether or not you have a tick on you will probably suffice. I have known 1 person who contracted lyme disease and it wasn't fatal. I'd hike in warmer weather if I could and worry about filtering water and hanging your food before lyme disease. Just my opinion