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View Full Version : Our 2nd 4-week-section, mid-July/mid-August, where???



2tall
12-30-2011, 10:34
Hi,
we're planning our second four-week section on the AT for the middle of July until the middle of August 2012.
Last year (in August) we went from Pawling, NY to Rutland,VT and got fantastic support from you here on the forums: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?69942-Which-section-to-hike-in-August&highlight=
(http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?69942-Which-section-to-hike-in-August&highlight=)
So this year we'd like to do another section, and the two possibilities for us are:
1. Nobo from Rutland VT.
2. Sobo from Pawling NY.

What do you think is better?

Our thoughts so far:
1. Nobo from Rutland:
- cooler, maybe too cold?
- more strenuous?
- higher elevation?
- longer stretches between trail towns?
- White Mountains are great, but maybe it's difficult to get room in the huts for section hikers? (We'll carry a tarptent, are there any legal campsites in the Whites?)

2. Sobo from Pawling:
- hot and humid?
- maybe dry at that time, hard to find water?
- less strenuous, lower elevation?
- more trail towns, easier to resupply?
- what is the scenery like south of Pawling?

Please comment on this and keep in mind that we did Pawling-Rutland last summer, so perhaps you can compare and tell us how the stretches of the AT differ from each other.

Any help appreciated,
merry christmas and a happy new year for you all,
2tall & Good Grip from Germany

Ender
12-30-2011, 10:41
In later July-->early August, it'll be hot and humid no matter where you go, though further north up the trail may (though may not) be a little cooler. Vermont will be more strenuous, but there are more water sources (and more streams and rivers to take a swim in to cool off). There's plenty of towns up north to resupply as well. South of Pawling is Harriman State Park, which I love and is pretty. Lots of blueberries to eat if they're in season. Vermont is always pretty, so you can't go wrong there.

Given the two choices, I personally would go up north and do Vermont. Either way you can't go wrong.

Cookerhiker
12-30-2011, 17:03
I remember you from last year. Nice to hear from you and I'm glad that your hike worked out.

I also recommend hiking north from Rutland. Yes, the White Mountains in NH are rugged and strenuous to say nothing of Southwestern Maine which many (including me) consider the most challenging part of the entire AT. But starting at Rt. 4 means you have about a week before hitting the tough parts of NH which start with the descent down Mooislauke. And it's never hot at the Whites' high elevations.

If you hike south from Pawling, you may find yourself wishing you were in the Whites when you're sweating all night in the thick humidity of the mid-Atlantic. Save that for a different time of year if you can.

Blissful
12-30-2011, 18:55
NOBO from Rutland. Too hot down south

2tall
12-31-2011, 14:23
Hey, thanks for your answers.
So it seems everybody (including a good friend by private message) votes for "Nobo from Rutland".
Please answer the following questions we're unsure about:
1. How cold will it be in the Whites at night in mid-August? Will it be freezing below 0C/32F?
2. How difficult is it to get accomodation/shelter/tent sites in the Whites? We've read a few books about the AT and we remember that some people said the huts are always fully booked and the places for work-for-stay are limited and reserved for thruhikers anyway. Are there shelters/camp sites and how far apart are they?
Thanks again and happy trails,
2tall

Papa D
12-31-2011, 14:45
Hi,
we're planning our second four-week section on the AT for the middle of July until the middle of August 2012.
Last year (in August) we went from Pawling, NY to Rutland,VT and got fantastic support from you here on the forums: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?69942-Which-section-to-hike-in-August&highlight=
(http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?69942-Which-section-to-hike-in-August&highlight=)
So this year we'd like to do another section, and the two possibilities for us are:
1. Nobo from Rutland VT.
2. Sobo from Pawling NY.

What do you think is better?

Our thoughts so far:
1. Nobo from Rutland:
- cooler, maybe too cold?
- more strenuous?
- higher elevation?
- longer stretches between trail towns?
- White Mountains are great, but maybe it's difficult to get room in the huts for section hikers? (We'll carry a tarptent, are there any legal campsites in the Whites?)

2. Sobo from Pawling:
- hot and humid?
- maybe dry at that time, hard to find water?
- less strenuous, lower elevation?
- more trail towns, easier to resupply?
- what is the scenery like south of Pawling?

Please comment on this and keep in mind that we did Pawling-Rutland last summer, so perhaps you can compare and tell us how the stretches of the AT differ from each other.

Any help appreciated,
merry christmas and a happy new year for you all,
2tall & Good Grip from Germany

Rutland to Gorham, NH would be great - it's 190 miles - with 4 weeks, many folks would go further on into Maine
You could also hike from Rutland North to the Canadian Border on the Long Trail - you'd have that whole trail completed - perfect season for it.
Since you can, I'd save the mid-Atlantic States (NY/NJ/PA) for cooler temps

tiptoe
01-02-2012, 17:58
My son and I section-hiked from Moosilauke to Pinkham Notch a couple of years ago, and we were blessed with perfect weather. No rain to speak of and great views. We were very lucky. In the Whites, you have to be prepared for pretty much anything, even in August, and the weather can change quickly. We carried 0-degree sleeping bags (I'm a cold sleeper), extra food (just in case), light down jackets, and long johns. We splurged on a couple of hut stays. Along most of the way there are campsite/shelter options, some for a fee, and even in the Presidentials, there are cabins to stay in, but they are at some distance off the AT. A good guidebook and maps will help you plan.

2tall
01-03-2012, 09:10
Hi tiptoe :-)
and thanks for your reply.
I guess by "0-degree" you meant 0 Fahrenheit, didn't you? That would be -17C... that's really cold!
And what you've said about places to stay sounds to me like "no problem". We do have a guidebook (for 2011), but we have to find it somewhere in our stuff... Maybe we'll order a new one for 2012 anyway.
Happy new year!
2tall

tiptoe
01-06-2012, 14:48
Happy New Year to you both. Yes, 0 degree F, but it's not a super-fancy bag, and as I said, I'm a very cold sleeper, so I need a lower rating. You probably won't need to get a 0*F bag, and you won't need a new guidebook, either; things don't change all that much from year to year.

4eyedbuzzard
01-06-2012, 15:31
You won't need a 0F degree bag mid-July to mid-August anywhere in NH or ME. A 20F is more than enough. I use a 35F bag until early Sept. Just wear your layers and cap if there is a really cold night or two. The chances of it breaking under actual freezing temps is pretty remote even at higher elevations. Normal lows will be in the 40's, with the occaisional 30's overnight. That's at or near summits. It will be warmer in the huts and in shelters / tents below treeline where you camp.

Cookerhiker
01-07-2012, 09:25
Agree you don't need a 0 sleeping bag but good rain gear is critical for the Whites as well as adequate waterproofing for your pack to keep your clothes inside dry.

2tall
01-08-2012, 06:51
Usually we use ponchos as raingear, they cover our body down to the knees and the backpack is also under the poncho.
That doesn't look very stylish ;) but it's good for keeping the pack dry.
Mmh, the only problem with these ponchos is how they do in strong wind...?
What do you think?

Cookerhiker
01-08-2012, 13:35
Usually we use ponchos as raingear, they cover our body down to the knees and the backpack is also under the poncho.
That doesn't look very stylish ;) but it's good for keeping the pack dry. Mmh, the only problem with these ponchos is how they do in strong wind...?
What do you think?

I did the large poncho-over-the-pack thing once, on my Long Trail thruhike in '07. It was OK - my biggest problem was getting in on right since I was hiking solo. Another problem is making sure you don't trip or get tangled up in the poncho on real steep stretches like you have in the Whites. And the wind can be an issue so as a minimum, I wouldn't rely on the poncho as a substitute for a pack rain cover. And at least, the poncho would prevent the pack rain cover from being blown away, an experience I've had.

Nothing will keep you very dry in heavy rain and high winds on White Mountain ridgelines. The most important thing is keeping the contents of your pack dry so that you have dry clothes to change into.

2tall
01-09-2012, 08:11
Sounds like an issue we have to think about...
Usually we have all our clothes and also the sleeping bag inside these light-weighed waterproof bags (Sea-to-Summit), and they're really waterproof.
The most steep climb we've had with ponchos was the steep descent down to Route 9 (near Bennington, VT) hiking northbound from Seth Warner shelter. It was raining hard, all the stones were wet and slippery. But we hadn't had wind there.
Mmmh, I don't like the idea of changing our raingear to rainjacket + pack cover, because that means spending money and carrying more weight.

2tall
02-09-2012, 12:53
Ok, now it's time to think about getting there. My search on the internet hasn't brought me anywhere...

I think we'll fly into Boston. What is the best way to get from Boston airport to Rutland, VT by public transportation?

Thank you
2tall

Tinker
02-09-2012, 13:04
Usually we use ponchos as raingear, they cover our body down to the knees and the backpack is also under the poncho.
That doesn't look very stylish ;) but it's good for keeping the pack dry.
Mmh, the only problem with these ponchos is how they do in strong wind...?
What do you think?

In strong wind, take the back corners of the poncho and tuck them into the pack's hip belt in front. It covers up the open sides.

The information on the sleeping bag temperature rating is good. You can tent at Mizpa Spring Tentsite, next to Mizpah hut, in the Presidential Range the first night, spend a night at Lakes of the Clouds Hut (try for work-for-stay or sleep in the dismal "Dungeon" under the hut) the second night, then hike over to The Perch Shelter (Randolph Mountain Club) which has a couple of tent platforms for the third night. From there you can hike into the AMC's Pinkham Notch visitor center with rooms and all amenities (and can catch a ride into Gorham for resupply). After that, it's easier to stealth, as you only cross a few mountains above treeline, with valleys to camp in and obtain water.

2tall
02-09-2012, 14:36
Thanks Tinker, sounds like a good schedule!

Do you have any information how to get from Boston to Rutland, Vermont?
My wife and I are thinking about getting a rental car for this. With a car the first trip to the supermarket to get supplies would also be much easier. The rates at Hertz seem ok and we can drop off the car at the airport near rutland which is in walking distance of the AT.

And what about getting back from the trail to Boston? It's hard to guess where we're going to get in about 4 weeks of hiking, but I think somewhere around Andover, Maine.

Thanks again
2tall

2tall
02-10-2012, 10:13
Thinking about sleeping bags again.
What about a Mountain Equipment Helium 400, which is rated 39/34/3 F (comfort/limit/extreme).
Do you think this bag is warm enough for the Whites? We'll use a silk liner inside the bag and put on fleece clothes.
Do you think we'll have problems keeping it dry? It's a down bag and we use a Tarptent when not at shelters.
Let us know what you think.
Thanks again
2tall

tiptoe
02-10-2012, 10:51
Amtrak goes from Boston to Rutland. From Gorham, there's a bus back to Boston. Will send links later; I'm at work now and headed to a meeting.

tiptoe
02-10-2012, 11:26
Skipped the meeting. Amtrak.com for the train (use Boston's South Station as the start point); http://www.concordcoachlines.com/berlin-to-boston.html for the return trip by bus. You can take it from Gorham or from Pinkham Notch.

tiptoe
02-10-2012, 11:27
Skipped the meeting. Amtrak.com for the train; http://www.concordcoachlines.com/berlin-to-boston.html for the return trip by bus. You can take it from Gorham or from Pinkham Notch.

2tall
02-10-2012, 11:45
Thanks, tiptoe, for the link to the Concord Coachlines. We'll use that.
But Amtrak from Boston to Rutland... we've already found this link, but we thought there'd be a better way to get there, because Amtrak takes very long and it is so expensive that we could pay about 40$ more and then we'd have a one-way rental car.
If there's nothing else for Boston-Rutland we'll probably rent the car.
Thanks,
2tall

tiptoe
02-10-2012, 12:13
Yes, the train is slow. You could drive from Boston to Rutland in much less time. I think with Amtrak that if you purchase tickets early (at least two or three weeks ahead) you get a decent price break, but I could be wrong.

Here's a better link for Concord Bus: http://www.concordcoachlines.com/images/stories/pdf/CCL-NH%20Sched%20Oct11.pdf

There is a bus from Boston (South Station, again) to Hanover, NH. I've taken this one, and it's very comfy. Not sure about getting from Hanover to Rutland, but perhaps there is local bus service or a shuttle.
http://www.dartmouthcoach.com/schedules.html

Both buses start/end at Logan Airport, which would be convenient for you if you fly into Boston.

2tall
02-10-2012, 14:52
Thanks again tiptoe!
We've just booked our flights! Yeah, we're going back to the trail this summer!!!
We can't wait to be hiking on the AT again.

2tall
02-10-2012, 19:29
Thinking about sleeping bags again.
What about a Mountain Equipment Helium 400, which is rated 39/34/3 F (comfort/limit/extreme).
Do you think this bag is warm enough for the Whites? We'll use a silk liner inside the bag and put on fleece clothes.
Do you think we'll have problems keeping it dry? It's a down bag and we use a Tarptent when not at shelters.
Let us know what you think.
Thanks again
2tall