View Full Version : minimize cold weather

01-04-2013, 21:50
I have just started planning a 2015 thru hike and am trying to decide between SOBO and NOBO. As strange as it may sound, I'm afraid my biggest obstacle will be cold weather. I have a circulation problem in my hands and really don't handle it well. Any advice on the best time to start to stay as warm as possible? Would I be better off going SOBO to chase the warm seasons?

map man
01-04-2013, 21:57
Start the last week of April at Springer and finish at Katahdin by the second week of September -- a 4.5 month hike. Or if you can go faster, start at Springer the first week of May and finish the first week of September -- a 4 month hike. The longer your hike, the colder the weather will be at the front or back end (or both) no matter which direction you choose.

And welcome to Whiteblaze:welcome

The problem with going SOBO for you is that you waste one of the warmer months of the year (May) waiting for the Hunt Trail to the top of Katahdin to open. And by the time you get to the south end (unless you are REALLY fast) you will likely find cold weather in the Smokies and Nantahalas.

Papa D
01-04-2013, 22:21
Start June 2nd or 3rd at Mt. Katahdin and start out steady but build up stamina and speed such that you can do 20 mile days (do 10 mile days the first week to warm up but get your legs such that you can hold down days in the mid teens by the time you clear Southern Maine and Northern New Hampshire (the hardest parts of the trail) - by the time you get to VT an average 20 mile day shouldn't be that hard. Assuming you can hike at this pace SOBO (18-20mpd), you will finish in the first week of October. Now, all of the appalachian mountains can get cold anytime especially when it's wet or windy or both - - especially New Hampshire around Mt. Washington. It can also get surprisingly cold in the South but if you can hold down this pace SOBO, you'll beat most of the cold in the South and you'll be hitting the Northeast at just about (or a little before) its warmest point.

When most thru hikers get the coldest is early starting Northbounders (Late February through Mid April can be cold, wet, and even snowy in North Ga , NC, and TN). The slow ones also get cold in September and October (really pushing it) in Northern New Hampshire and Maine.

A fast (or at least above average speed) Southbound Trip is your best bet at avoiding most of the traditionally colder parts of the AT when they are at their coldest for most thru-hikers.

Good luck.

01-05-2013, 00:17
Section hike it.

01-05-2013, 15:30
Flip-flop. Start in GA in late April, head North until 4th of July, then go to Katahdin & head South.

01-05-2013, 15:51
The older I get, the less I like cold weather. But I love to hike the AT. I agree with Blissful. Do the hike over two years, hiking in the warmest parts of the year (May, June, July, August). :)

01-05-2013, 23:20
Thanks all. I really want to do it al at once, but maybe I'll considerably two year or a flip flop. Would love to do the SOBO but font think I could maintain that quick pace. I have two years to prepare, so we will see!