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  1. #1
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Default Alternative thru hike

    I have been toying with the idea to do another thru hike in 4 years when I turn 70. I know I donít want to go NOBO again. What I have been thinking is starting in August from HF heading SOBO and getting to Springer in late Oct. I would then continue the next year starting in late April from HF heading north and finishing in July. This would essentially be two LASH and give me a chance to recover over winter between sections and still technically be considered a thru. I have never heard an alternative hike like this discussed. I would think that someone else has already done this.
    More walking, less talking.

  2. #2

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    This sounds like a variation of the flip-flop thru hike. I've heard of such things and seem to recall the ATC even encourages it.
    https://appalachiantrail.org/explore...ing/flip-flop/

    My alternative thru hike plan (I say plan; it is subject to change) is to hike 10-14 days of each month. This will allow me to take care of responsibilities at home and for my body to recover. Depending on how things go, it may stretch into two or three years. It's certainly not the least expensive way to thru hike.

  3. #3
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    It is a flip flop but it occurs over a period of two calendar years. It is completed in a 12 month period. I have not heard this discussed before. I imagine some people may be attempting this kind of hike this year because of COVID.
    More walking, less talking.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    I have been toying with the idea to do another thru hike in 4 years when I turn 70. I know I donít want to go NOBO again. What I have been thinking is starting in August from HF heading SOBO and getting to Springer in late Oct. I would then continue the next year starting in late April from HF heading north and finishing in July. This would essentially be two LASH and give me a chance to recover over winter between sections and still technically be considered a thru. I have never heard an alternative hike like this discussed. I would think that someone else has already done this.
    Interesting. Personally, I would prefer to do it the opposite way. SOBO from Katahdin to HF in August, SOBO from HF the following in late April

    Have a future thought about hiking as far as I can go SOBO from Katahdin with an August start to catch the golden months in the north-east. In my mind, hiking in the north-east is so much better in August/Sept/early Oct compared to May-July

  5. #5

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    I actually considered something similar. I was going to start north from Springer in the fall (end of September through when it starts to get really cold, maybe November), get as far as I can and then start from that spot in the spring and take my time heading north. I would think I could easily get at least to Damascus if not further before November.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right--Henry Ford; The Journey Is The Destination

  6. #6

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    You could start SOBO in July or August, and when you get to Harpers Ferry see how you are feeling. Keep going if you feel like, otherwise take the winter off to rest up and knock out the southern half in the Spring.
    Last edited by Astro; 08-15-2020 at 16:30.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
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  7. #7
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    Default

    Sounds reasonable to me.

  8. #8

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    Turk....have you put anymore thought in to this plan? I got on here today with the sole purpose of asking for opinions on this exact plan and ran across your post. Have you thought of any negatives to this type of hike? I came up with the idea because I wanted to avoid the large spring group at Springer, did not want to flip flop, and was not interested in southbound.

  9. #9
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    Default

    I am intrigued by the ideas about alternate hikes. I completed the AT as a section hiker in 10 of 14 summers. I am still working but have a goal to thru when I turn 70 in 3 1/2 years. I have a business I don't want to close so I am struggling with the timing.
    My comments about Soilman's idea: Trails in VT are closed due to mudseason between April 15 and Memorial Day. June is black fly season, and July is mosquito season. Hiking Jim's idea may work better for that reason.
    Question for Perrmk: Have you figured out the transportation logistics, closing of Baxter State Park between October and June, snow in the south? I like your idea in terms of keeping my business running.

  10. #10

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    Transportation is hiring private (not shared with strangers) shuttles. Not trying to be antisocial, just a little safer.

    If Iím lucky I can connect with a friend who was section hiking. I donít know what her plans are though. My thought is we could shuttle each other.

    I will go generally southbound mainly so each successive drive gets shorter. I may (probably will) go out of sequence occasionally to get better weather, deal with restrictions, etc
    Last edited by perrymk; 12-11-2020 at 18:04. Reason: Add

  11. #11

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    i dont really get the need to ask for permission or validation that your plan is OK, OK with who ? and where is this supreme god and overlord that is supposed to OK everything ? Its a hike,,, in the woods, on public land. No permission or validation of technique required.

  12. #12

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    Jeez, Dropdeadfred, go back to bed and get up on the right side next time. OP isn’t asking for validation if you read their post.

  13. #13
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dropdeadfred View Post
    i dont really get the need to ask for permission or validation that your plan is OK, OK with who ? and where is this supreme god and overlord that is supposed to OK everything ? Its a hike,,, in the woods, on public land. No permission or validation of technique required.
    Not asking anyone for permission. Heck, I don’t even ask my wife for permission when I go for a hike. I just had an idea for a different kind of thru hike that I never heard discussed before and wanted to share. I assume I have your permission to proceed.
    More walking, less talking.

  14. #14
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    Not asking anyone for permission. Heck, I donít even ask my wife for permission when I go for a hike. I just had an idea for a different kind of thru hike that I never heard discussed before and wanted to share. I assume I have your permission to proceed.
    Oh, Snap,Crackle, Pop !!

    Great response!!

    And a great idea, thinking outside the box.
    And the conversation will proceed without dropdeads permission!

    Heck since I live in the area pm me if ya need some shuttle.
    I'm not a shuttler, but offer occasionally here.
    Last edited by JNI64; 12-13-2020 at 17:25.

  15. #15

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    At 72, I'm close to the age that you're contemplating a start. Although I've section-hiked the entire AT, I've given some thought to a thru-hike. As I've stated on other threads, were I to thru-hike, here's what I would do.

    1. Start SOBO from Harpers Ferry around the Spring Equinox or St. Patrick's Day. This would entail about 5-6 weeks of winter conditions but not likely every day. The biggest weather risk, for which you must be prepared, is cold rain. Of course this is an issue on "traditional" NOBO hikes as well.
    2. Reach Springer in early June or even late May assuming you don't take a plethora of zeros.
    3. Take the rest of June and all of July off - go out to Colorado, set up a base around Leadville, get acclimated and hike up 14ers and portions of the Colorado Trail to stay in shape. Summer weather in the Rocky Mountains is delightful.
    4. Get yourself to Baxter in early August after making reservations at Katahdin Stream CG, hike up Katahdin.
    5. The next day start your SOBO to Harpers Ferry. Once you get through Maine and the White Mountains, the remainder will seem relatively easy. Your target date for Harpers Ferry is Thanksgiving but you can probably make it sooner.

    With this approach, you enjoy the Appalachian spring with views through the still-leafless trees for at least 6 weeks and the spring wildflowers. On the other end, you'll hike nearly the entirety of autumn, observing the progression of the coloration as you head from New England to the Mid-Atlantic. And you avoid or at least minimize the awful heat and humidity of summer.

    Think about it.

  16. #16

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    My biggest concern would be the second half, in mud season up north. Bad for the trails, and dangerous if it's still muddy in NH. I'd say who the hell cares about the calendar year thing, and just do the split hike when the conditions are best. Whatever you decide, have a blast!

  17. #17

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    I think Cooker has a pretty good plan.

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