Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-10-2019
    Location
    Centerville, Mass.
    Age
    60
    Posts
    6

    Default early March NOBO stories

    Greetings, all. New to the forum. Have sights set on early March start from Springer. Would be grateful to hear tales from other NOBOs who set off in early March. (I'm a slow, but steady, hiker who probably needs the extra weeks to make Katahdin before weather shifts.) Thank you, all.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-14-2009
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Age
    44
    Posts
    179
    Images
    17

    Default

    Nighttime temps into the teens and single digits until mid to late April, snow, sleet, ice, lots of other people starting in March so the trail,shelters and tent spots will be crowded. "Early" March some Hostels along the way may not be open yet.

  3. #3

    Default

    Go read the journals of early March starters at trailjournals.com That's your best source.

    March can be harsh. Starting in March may not buy you any extra time as progress is influenced more by weather and short hours of daylight then by the terrain.

    Not much you can do about overcrowding. Might be a good thing so many start in March and end up dropping out before long. If everyone started in April it would be really crazy.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-10-2019
    Location
    Centerville, Mass.
    Age
    60
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Many thanks, Slo-go'en. Excellent point about the shorter daylight inducing fewer miles. It's something that is often lost in discussions about an early spring start.

  5. #5
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-21-2014
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Age
    59
    Posts
    643

    Default

    Great post Slo! I would add that Bubble one is Hikers starting February 15th through March 3. A great time to head out is March 4 - 14, Tuesday through Thursday. Less overcrowding and easier to work around bad weather all the way to the end. Yet you are ahead of the Big bubble the entire way. Surprisingly, I was caught off guard by the overcrowding caused by SOBOs in July. Slow but steady will get you to Katahdin anytime you chose during the months of August or September. Look for my Journal in 2018. I was 58 and looking back, wouldn’t change a thing.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

    I am Third

    We are here to help one another along life's journey. Keep the Faith!

    YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCik...NPHW7vu3vhRBGA

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-26-2015
    Location
    Northern Va
    Age
    35
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Aside from some really cold days I really liked March.

    My third night I was camped near the top of Blood Mountain during a nasty storm and with the windchill it dropped to -8, according to one kidís thermometer. That sucked.
    But the next day was gorgeous and afterwards I rented a cabin near mountain crossings with a few strangers. We were just grabbing people in the store that looked like hikers and asking if they wanted in. Soon we had 8 people and two cabins
    One guy asked if he could sleep on the floor if he made dinner and bought beer. I handed him a 20 not sure if Iíd see him again but sure enough, he hitched to town, got booze and food, and hitched back in less than an hour.

    I never really had an issue with overcrowding. Some spots had a ton of people but I would just pass em. Othertimes it was fun to have that group dynamic, though with that often comes obnoxiousness. But a lot of that will fade as people start dropping out.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-01-2014
    Location
    bronx
    Age
    56
    Posts
    310

    Default

    You could flip-flop, say from Harpers Ferry early May.
    Last edited by stephanD; 11-13-2019 at 10:10.

  8. #8

    Default

    Mixed bag. We started on April 4 NOBO and the hottest days were in the 80's; day one at Springer and day 22 at Hot Springs. In between it was usually friggin freezin, with significant snow and tons of rain.

    Overcrowding only for the first two weeks; people dropped like flies for all sorts of reasons. One guy who played up the thru hiker bit for three weeks quit after a phone call with his grandson, who told him "Grandpa, we miss you!". Bam, off the trail!
    Last edited by RockDoc; 11-13-2019 at 14:01.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,877

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shrewd View Post
    Aside from some really cold days I really liked March.

    My third night I was camped near the top of Blood Mountain during a nasty storm and with the windchill it dropped to -8, according to one kidís thermometer. That sucked.
    But the next day was gorgeous and afterwards I rented a cabin near mountain crossings with a few strangers. We were just grabbing people in the store that looked like hikers and asking if they wanted in. Soon we had 8 people and two cabins
    April 13 start moderate pace. It was in the high 70's and hot. At Tray Mt shelter about 5 days 60 miles later by several accts it got to 4* as a night time low. Waking up nearly everyone's water bottles were frozen solid. Next day it got to low 70*'s. In GSMNP by several accounts( ABC watches and separate thermometers) the night time lows were 38*, 26*, 12*, 14*. Snow to a 3-4 depth one day. All the rest freezing rain or nearly so. Absolutely no view the entire AT GSMNP stretch. Bubba -NOT-licious but it was what it was and you had to deal with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    Mixed bag. We started on April 4 NOBO and the hottest days were in the 80's; day one at Springer and day 22 at Hot Springs. In between it was usually friggin freezin, with significant snow and tons of rain.

    Overcrowding only for the first two weeks; people dropped like flies for all sorts of reasons. One guy who played up the thru hiker bit for three weeks quit after a phone call with his grandson, who told him "Grandpa, we miss you!". Bam, off the trail!
    Three types that start early. Those in the minority that prepare well knowing what they're stepping into; those who come to a rude awakening but somehow rise to meet the challenges; and the last group who represent the majority - the "I'm going home" category. That hike I place myself in the second category.


    March the weather is even colder and unpredictable.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,877

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
    Greetings, all. New to the forum. Have sights set on early March start from Springer. Would be grateful to hear tales from other NOBOs who set off in early March. (I'm a slow, but steady, hiker who probably needs the extra weeks to make Katahdin before weather shifts.) Thank you, all.
    Most AT thrus MPD avgs vacillate. After getting your trail legs and later settling into the LD lifestyle MPD while finding your OWN ways/styles avgs can go up especially in the flatter sections and as TPW's tend to decrease.

    Moderate pace but long hrs(steady) while going UL is my typical style.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-26-2015
    Location
    Northern Va
    Age
    35
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    April 13 start moderate pace. It was in the high 70's and hot. At Tray Mt shelter about 5 days 60 miles later by several accts it got to 4* as a night time low. Waking up nearly everyone's water bottles were frozen solid. Next day it got to low 70*'s. In GSMNP by several accounts( ABC watches and separate thermometers) the night time lows were 38*, 26*, 12*, 14*. Snow to a 3-4 depth one day. All the rest freezing rain or nearly so. Absolutely no view the entire AT GSMNP


    Oh man Tray mountain shelter, I remember that being an unending climb and friggin freezing at that shelter. Still, awesome sunset and town the next day!

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-10-2017
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Age
    44
    Posts
    175

    Default

    I started March 11 this year from Springer, and it was pretty freaking cold. We hit snow before even hitting the Smokies. Embrace the suck, and look forward to some extremely crowded shelters haha

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •