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  1. #21

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    Geez, I had no idea the damage was going to be this extensive. While some of us might be frustrated or bummed out about not going on our vacations, lets think about the folks and critters who were directly affected by the storm. Still hope I can hike soon though...

  2. #22
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Thats sad, I hope it goes well getting everything cleaned up.

  3. #23
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    I'm a little late here but we ended up leaving the trail at Unicoi Gap. It just got to the point where it was to dangerous to continue. Even 2 flip floppers jumped north to Fontana Dam to continue. It will take a while to get all the trees cleaned up without the use of chainsaws.

  4. #24

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    Who makes the decision against chainsaws and why? Is it the noise or the gas/oil? Stihl has come out with a great battery powered chainsaw that can cut all day long.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    Who makes the decision against chainsaws and why? Is it the noise or the gas/oil? Stihl has come out with a great battery powered chainsaw that can cut all day long.
    My understanding is chainsaws and powered equipment (including battery powered) is normally banned from use in declared wilderness areas. That being said I was also told by a couple of reliable sources that the USFS local supervisor can waive this ban with "the stroke of the pen" during a recognized emergency which includes subsequent clean up.

    There was controversy in the whites after a tropical storm(Irene) hit the area and the FS supervisor elected to not waive the ban. He made a statement that the forest would stick with hand tools. Unfortunately he really didnt have the staff to do so and it took years to reopen some trails and many trails in wilderness areas are still very rough with temporary or hiker created bypasses around the worse spots. In some cases they used to damage as an excuse to down grade trails networks. They also did some "gold plated" projects with restoration funds that sucked up a large amount of the funds. The most egregious is a "road to nowhere" adjacent to the Pemi wilderness whose sole purpose is to allow a septic tank truck access to pump out a vault type outhouse.

  6. #26
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Another Kevin posted the power tool philosophy in a thread maybe a month ago.
    I'm paraphrasing from memory. Always a risk.
    In a nutshell, limited power equipment can be used to protect the environment or in the interest of public safety.
    Wayne


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    Deep in the East Texas Rainforest.
    "Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been." Grateful Dead

  7. #27
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    Who makes the decision against chainsaws and why? Is it the noise or the gas/oil? Stihl has come out with a great battery powered chainsaw that can cut all day long.
    Its the definition of wilderness......intended to preserve the character of it


    A battery chainsaw.......dont make me laugh. Thats for trimming branches in yard. Could work for limbing fallen...till batt dies.

    Theres a reason they advertise it cutting dried 6" logs, and not multiple cuts in 30" green oak. 10-14" bar.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-17-2017 at 10:37.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  8. #28
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    I had planned on doing Amicolola to Unicoi starting on 10/7/17. I was inspired by my Nephews, who thru-hiked this year, to start section hiking the AT. Wanted to start at the beginning and work my way up, but looks like those plans may get changed, thanks to Irma.

    So, Two questions:
    1. What are the chances of this section of the trail being mostly clear by then? A few downed trees don't bother me, but I do want to be safe.
    2. What is the next reasonable section, headed North, that is clear? Looking for about a 50-60 mile long stretch.

  9. #29
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    Analog_Kidd
    I would not try to go to Unicoi, there are 2 very dangerous blowdowns right before unicoi. They will take a good while to clear up, but until you confirm those are clear I wouldn't risk it. I think Amicolola to Neel gap should be clear enough for a 3-4 day slow section hike. But north of Neels Gap is rough.

  10. #30
    illabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog_Kidd View Post
    I had planned on doing Amicolola to Unicoi starting on 10/7/17. I was inspired by my Nephews, who thru-hiked this year, to start section hiking the AT. Wanted to start at the beginning and work my way up, but looks like those plans may get changed, thanks to Irma.

    So, Two questions:
    1. What are the chances of this section of the trail being mostly clear by then? A few downed trees don't bother me, but I do want to be safe.
    2. What is the next reasonable section, headed North, that is clear? Looking for about a 50-60 mile long stretch.
    Analog, for a first hike without the difficulties of Irma, I'd suggest heading to the section just north of the Smokies. Max Patch is a beautiful grassy bald that will give you a nice reward for your efforts. From Davenport Gap to Hot Springs might be a nice enjoyable walk for you. I have not seen this area since Irma, but I also live in the Knoxville area, and there was little storm damage where I live. I would expect that section to be clear enough.

  11. #31
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    Does anyone know the condition of FS71 to the Deep Gap parking lot? We are planning to hike from Deep Gap Parking lot to Fontana Dam in a few weeks.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    Does anyone know the condition of FS71 to the Deep Gap parking lot? We are planning to hike from Deep Gap Parking lot to Fontana Dam in a few weeks.
    If standing indian campground is closed still I'd assume it got hit. Maybe call outdoor 76 or top of Ga hostel see if any reports. Worst case start at WSG.


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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    If standing indian campground is closed still I'd assume it got hit. Maybe call outdoor 76 or top of Ga hostel see if any reports. Worst case start at WSG.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    When we called TOG they said it was really bad through there too, we were at unicoi and that was a factor in us getting off trail.

  14. #34

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    I had a 3 to 4 day section hike planned starting Oct 7, Neels to Dicks Creek Gap. I called Top o Georgia for an update today, they said people have been hiking through, but to have to expect to maneuver around some blowdowns. They recommended dropping your expected mileage per day and possibly have long clothing to avoid getting scratched up climbing over things. They also recommended hemkers use the shelters because of the unknown stability of some of the trees. And everyone should take extra care to look for widow-makers above them when camping. Just wanted to pass on what Id heard. I have really been looking forward to this hike, so I will call for more updates in the coming weeks but I think I might go for it, just give myself another day to finish it.

  15. #35
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    Appreciate the updates. I have been planning to start Sunday, Oct 8, Amicalola Falls to NC border (then back to Dicks Creek). Still wanting to go for it but look for more info on trail conditions in the coming weeks.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Its the definition of wilderness......intended to preserve the character of it


    A battery chainsaw.......dont make me laugh. Thats for trimming branches in yard. Could work for limbing fallen...till batt dies.

    Theres a reason they advertise it cutting dried 6" logs, and not multiple cuts in 30" green oak. 10-14" bar.
    That was my feeling until the dealer talked me into trying it out. I tried the smaller version (for cutting branches and such) also the larger one that's amazing. I wasn't laughing after I used it a while.

    Stihl is making pretty good headway with their tools. There's a battery backpack that allows chainsaw use up to 11 hours. That's longer than any trail maintainer will be out for the day.

  17. #37
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    I was planning Unicoi to Winding Stair Gap mid end of October, reading this it does not look good. Any thoughts?

  18. #38
    North Georgia Wanderer soumodeler's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry too much about it. They are steadily making progress clearing the trail. A month from now I would feel pretty good about the trail being 95%+ back in order. You may find one or two spots with issues, but nothing major.

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