View Full Version : Any tips for...

05-19-2008, 13:58
Someone attempting a NOBO thru-hike so late in the year?

(Besides "section-hike" or "go another year.")

05-19-2008, 14:11
have moutanering gear ready to be sent to you

05-19-2008, 14:19
Depends upon your pace.

If you can do a 4.5 month hike, you'll finish in early October. If you can go a little faster, a 4 month hike will put in mid-late September.

Most first time thru-hikers for AT, probably do not want to do that pace, though.

If you want to do a more leisurely paced thru-hike, why not wait a month and go SoBo? If you go Nobo, on a 6 month pace, you'll have to flip.

05-19-2008, 14:25
Starting tomorrow there are 148 days until Oct 15. You would have to do 15 miles a day every day with no zeros. You will behind the pack, which brings up safety issues for females hiking alone. Those issues have been discussed recently on this site.
Reading some of your recent post on other threads I get the impression that you don't have all your gear, and may be new to back packing.
What is the big deal about doing a thru hike this year, just start hiking. Once you get the hang of it, you will know when you are ready to thru. I love backpacking, but am not at all interested in thru hiking. I enjoy getting out in wilderness areas. Getting away from crowds.

max patch
05-19-2008, 14:28
You'll probably, unless you are a faster hiker than most, will need to skip ahead to Katahdin and some point and hike SOBO. No need to figure out where and when yet; keep an eye on your weekly mileage and the calendar and you'll figure out if/when you need to do this. Just be prepared mentally and financially for this eventuality.

The Cheat
05-19-2008, 15:11
Someone attempting a NOBO thru-hike so late in the year?

(Besides "section-hike" or "go another year.")

"Walk fast." ?

05-19-2008, 15:44
The Cheat beat me to it. :)

My advice would be to start right now at Harper's Ferry and walk northbound. When you get to Katahdin, drive back to Harper's Ferry and walk southbound. There are several advantages to this sort of thru-hike:

1. You'll start in moderate terrain in moderate/warm weather, with a lighter pack (no winter gear.)
2. You'll start with the thru-hikers, though you will not be able to keep up with them.
3. You'll get to "finish" at both Katahdin and Springer.
4. You'll get the best weather in New England and Maine (late summer), and the best weather in NC and Georgia (late autumn.)

The biggest downside is that it's not a "continuous" hike all in one direction. That doesn't bother me at all, but then I'm doing the trail in sections, and not in any particular order at that.

jersey joe
05-19-2008, 16:35
You will not need as much cold weather gear in the southern states starting this late so you can lighten your load and hike faster. I'd start at springer and see how far you get. If you are on pace to reach Katahdin, keep going. If not, consider flip-flopping.

05-19-2008, 16:46
If you're not on schedule to make Baxter/Katahdin by closing - and that means taking into account less miles per day for the last 600 or so trail miles due to the severity of the terrain in NH and western ME(and to lesser degree in VT), you'll probably need to flip to Katahdin if you want to complete the trail in the same year(not one of life's true necessities;)).

My suggestion would be to then do the opposite of the traditional NOBO's "walking with spring" - why not "walk with fall" SOBO through New England starting mid to late August to make sure you can get through ME and NH before snowfall and/or ice in the White Mountains becomes a factor. Even if you're in "thru-hiker" shape by August in the mid-atlantic and cranking out 20's there, IMO a 15 mpd AVG pace would be pretty optimistic in ME and NH (other more rugged hikers may disagree here). There are probably some days you'll do far less due to fatigue and weather. October is a real tricky month weather wise in the Whites - simply unpredictable. It could be 60F one day and the next will bring 20F with high winds, rain down low, and even a foot of snow at the higher elevations. Cold, wet, and really windy is a certainty at some point. Best to be through Glencliff, NH and into VT by the first week in October IMO. You'll hike through the best of foliage season in higher elevations in NH and VT, in cool weather, and avoid early season snows in the Whites.

You'll have to pick the flip date based upon needing to hike the 450 miles from Katahdin to the NH/VT line based on I would think approximately 25% less miles per day(other input would help here). Even so, I think it'll be a bit of a push. Lots of elevation change(steep tall mountains) in western ME and NH.

The other option of starting now at Harpers Ferry is good too.

Worst thing that could happen though is you don't thru and have a nice long hike anyway. Enjoy.

Appalachian Tater
05-19-2008, 18:31
I wouldn't attempt a NOBO, I would do what bigcranky said or SOBO. Probably SOBO.

05-19-2008, 19:50
Start at Harpers Ferry and head north. Then go back to Harpers Ferry and head south. Met several last year that did it this way. You get to meet NoBOs and SOBOs

River Runner
05-19-2008, 20:06
I'd say a lot depends on your reasons for wanting to hike. As pointed out, it's possible, but you will be putting yourself under a lot of pressure to make miles if you want to finish a traditional NOBO. I think only you can decide whether you want to try it, with the option of doing a flip-flop, or do a SOBO instead.

One thing to think about is that some of the seasonal hiker perks may be scarce if you start NOBO (i.e. regularly scheduled shuttles at some road crossings or organized trail magic), but that's a pretty minor thing overall.

05-19-2008, 20:11
Start at Harpers Ferry and head north. Then go back to Harpers Ferry and head south. Met several last year that did it this way. You get to meet NoBOs and SOBOs

I don't have the desire to thru hike but if I did this is how I'd probably do it.

Wolf - 23000
05-19-2008, 21:43
Someone attempting a NOBO thru-hike so late in the year?

(Besides "section-hike" or "go another year.")

What are you waiting for? GO HIKING!!!