Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Default 2020 Through-hiking Strategy

    Any suggestions would be appreciated on how to better tweak this itinerary. Thanks!!
    I section hiked from Springer to Massey Gap this year with my service dog for sixty days (1 May-1 July)
    It was a solid hike, with a few tweaks to improve for next year.
    I live remarkably close to the AT and spitting distance to REI,...
    I really want to start in January.

    1. Would this through-hiking strategy make sense?
    2. Is there a specific area where I shouldn't take the service dog due to unusually harsh trail conditions?
    He maintained his 70# weight, foot health, etc. on the first 500 so I've got the basic dog care issues covered but despite my ancient history climbing experience I'm not sure I want to belay him up and down mountains.

    January-March (initially starting 3-4 days at a time, depending on weather AND that I live in the area)
    Harpers Ferry(HF) SoBo to Damascus
    April-May
    HF to NY
    June-August
    Katahdin SoBo to NY
    Sep-Oct
    Damascus SoBo to Springer

  2. #2

    Default

    Sounds more like Section Hiking...

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-15-2018
    Location
    Pilot, Virginia
    Age
    64
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Kudos to you for planning an unconventional hike. The first section will result in cold weather and I assume you are aware of that since you remarked you will be able to do short stints and tailor the hike to the forecast. The Roller Coaster and the descent off Three Ridges Mountain stand out in my mind as places that could give you trouble if snowy or icy. It will be bleak and I doubt you will meet many fellow hikers. None of the waysides in SNP will be open.

    The second section (HF to NY) will be rocky AND cold depending on when you begin in April. The rocks are the kind that rip your shoe soles to shreds. Watch your dog's feet closely. You should have shelters to yourself for the most part.

    Section 3 (K to NY)? Be aware that Katahdin did not open until June 15. I would consider doing this section NOBO with the hopes you might miss the brunt of black fly season and you won't have any worries about waiting for Baxter to open. NH and Maine are exponentially the toughest parts of the trail. I don't know how dogs handle it, but some do. You will be in the midst of the NOBO and SOBO bubbles, but it is nothing like the circus down south in mid spring.
    It is good you allowed more time for this part of the A.T.

    Section 4 should be lovely! Light hiker traffic. Plenty of camping options. A piece of cake compared with the northeast.

  4. #4

    Default

    Section 3, NoBo completely makes more sense now that I think about it from your perspective.
    I kind of laughed at doing section 4 last but since I had already done it this year, I figured that I might as well reward myself with a known entity. lol
    Thanks so much Slumgum for your insight!

  5. #5

    Default

    HF to NY in June/July is going to be hard on the dog due to the heat and lack of easily available water.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-15-2018
    Location
    Pilot, Virginia
    Age
    64
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    HF to NY in June/July is going to be hard on the dog due to the heat and lack of easily available water.
    I think his plan is HF to NY in April/May. But you are correct that HF to NY in June/July would be brutally hot and dry.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slumgum View Post
    I think his plan is HF to NY in April/May. But you are correct that HF to NY in June/July would be brutally hot and dry.
    Okay, that makes more sense. I had a bit of trouble figuring where and when the way he has it listed.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  8. #8

    Default

    Again, thanks for your insight and suggestions!!

    Yes, HF to NY was originally posted as April-May.

    Here's the tweaked itinerary from your cumulative suggestions:

    January-March: HF SoBo to Damascus
    April-August: HF NoBo to K
    September-October: Damascus SoBo Springer

    This gives me two months (November-December) to make up any lost time/distance.
    I'm not in any particular hurry though, I've just got my life to live.

++ 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
  •