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  1. #1

    Cool Northern LT Mid NOV-??Weather/conditions

    Considering last minute SOLO plans to blow out top half of LT mid November 2007 (LT Inn to Canada) [leaving the end of this week!]

    Only have 6 maybe 7 full days, so would be big days, hiking in dark,etc.

    Had a blast thru hikin the AT this spring, so I'm proven for aggressive pace, aware upper part of LT is much harder, etc.; Last year earlier in fall I attempted same and managed only the first 85 miles in 5 days with much heavier gear and far less experience (as a prep hike for my AT attempt). Ran outta time. Avereraged 16.5/day I think. Honestly, this would be my most aggressive attempt, longer miles. If it were spring I wouldn't even be posting the question-I'd be doing it for sure.

    Have plenty of light warm gear, so I'm ok with all that. Aware almost nobody else out there.

    Just wondering what conditions I might expect. Mud? Ice on peaks? Trail Flooding? Snow?

    Need crampons? or just walk carefully on spots of ice?

    I'm assuming too early to need snowshoes, any snow would be minimal.

    I like a challenge, just don't wanna be stupid/uninformed.

    Thoughts?????

  2. #2
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    22 miles a day this time of year will be tough going. there's some rough-ass terrain on the north half. you will have freezing temps, wind, ice, snow, etc. good luck

  3. #3
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Doesn't sound real fun, but doable I guess. You'll have to be doing a couple hrs by headlamp in the morn and evening.

    Days over 15 miles got me pretty exhauated up in northern VT, even going very light. I was with a friend who had thru-hiked the AT in 4 months that same yr (06') and he was pretty worn too. Did a 21+ day to finish in Canada, including Jay Peak, and finished by about 5, but I had practically no food and water.

    The trail will probably be in fine shape most of the time, but things COULD get real hairy above treeline like on Camel's Hump, Mansfield, etc. Also the section near Appalachian Gap with the ladders could prove to be dicey if wet.

    Luckily the LT has lots of bail points. Have a great time and be sure to go up to the Belvidere fire tower. The views are great.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  4. #4
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I concur that the 9 hours of daylight available in late November will be a big limiting factor in how many miles you'll be able to crank out, even if you don't run into a lot of ice, snow, and mud. I'd feel pretty good about cranking out 18-20 miles, especially given the terrain.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  5. #5
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    This would be quite the endurance contest. Night temps at my place (el 900 ft) have over the past week been down in the low 20s and there has been lasting snow up on Camels Hump, Bolton, Mt Mansfield for well over a week now. Rte 108 through Smugglers' Notch has also now been closed for the winter. The main summits with the LT leading to and from are very rocky and now no doubt very icy. To attempt this stretch really make sure you have the right gear and clothing. There is snow forecast over the next few days for anything pretty much over 2000 feet which pretty much covers 80 percent of LT from Rte 4 to the border.

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    Hi Gary and welcome to whiteblaze,We met a few weeks ago on Ragged Mtn. in CT a few weeks back and I really enjoyed reading about your thru-hike on trailjournals (exept about the lazy state workers)-true just not my job.

    If any one can do it you can,At least the mud will be frozen,Good luck to you maybe someday we could hike together..

  7. #7

    Default undecided

    Thanks everyone for the "local" info. That's just what I wuz lookin for. Still undecided whether to go for it or not. WIll def complete the upper half, just not sure if now is the time. The short daylight was another big factor I considered since I only have limited number of days and would require big mile days.

    Last minute cancellation of my plans in the Shenny's iz making me scramble for a place to hike for 5 days starting Friday or Saturday. Maybe 6 or 7 if I really fudge it.

    If I do decide to try it, not sure if I'd start North and hike back to the LT Inn or NOBO. Iz there an advantage to one over the other? (Other than hiking the hardest stuff first if SOBO)

    Should I expect standing water across the trail or flooded areas? Or just in spring/fall.

    Yes, Adam, I remember meeting you guys on Ragged Mtn-thanks for the tips on the less traveled trails. Had a good hike out. Sure I'd be up for some hiking somewhere.

    Gary

  8. #8
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    If you're not in backpacking shape then I'd suggest a NOBO routing. That also starts you at lower elevation and latitude, so the weather conditions shouldn't be as much of a factor initially.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  9. #9

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    The forehead and chin on Mansfield would probably be pretty hairy (no pun intended) in snow and ice. If I knew such conditions existed and I didn't have someone with me to pick up the pieces, I probably wouldn't attempt it. Heck, on Camel's Hump in relatively dry fall weather, I slipped while stepping up onto a ledge and gave myself a golfball sized instant bruise, though I made it north to the next shelter and continued on for several days.

    Be careful. Don't be sorry.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  10. #10
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I was on Camel's Hump on veteran's day - plenty of snow, and the trail above 2500 feet was all ice and snow. Going from Rutland to Canada in a week would be serious days in the summer - I won't say it's impossible in the winter, but the LT isn't maintained for winter travel, and can be very hard to follow. Jeez, I just checked the book - it's 192 miles - that's 27 to 32 miles a day average.

    In many sections, you'll be the only footprints - the trail will not be clear at all, which will slow you down big time, no matter how strong you are. If someone has tracked the way, it's a whole different story.

    Bare minimum, you'll need some sort of traction device, i.e. crampons or stabilicers, because better than 50% of the trail will be ice. Personally, I'c carry light snowshoes, too. The Northern sections can pile it up real fast, even when the rest of the state is basking in sunshine.

    Good luck & have a ball

  11. #11
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    more like 160 miles fron inn at the long trail

  12. #12
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf View Post
    more like 160 miles fron inn at the long trail
    Yup, you're right, 168.8, I was on the wrong page.

    Ok, he can take a zero day in Jonesville!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Bare minimum, you'll need some sort of traction device, i.e. crampons or stabilicers, because better than 50% of the trail will be ice. Personally, I'c carry light snowshoes, too. The Northern sections can pile it up real fast, even when the rest of the state is basking in sunshine.
    Whoa! Parts of the northern trail were rough enough in August. I can't imagine doing it with ice on the rocks.

    That chute off the Mansfield Chin heading north comes to mind... Appalachia Gap

    That said, you sound fit and competent, so I will just say good luck and don't forget to write!
    "The Ordinary Adventurer"
    http://www.FunFreedom.com

  14. #14

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    In addition to Camels Hump & Mansfield, you have some other rough stretches where the footing and terrain, especially if icy, will slow you down no matter what shape you're in. Examples:
    • Descending into Appalachian Gap - a verticle wall straight down
    • Burnt Rock Mt - before Montclair Glen Shelter - some tricky footing and extensive use of hands
    • Descending north side of Whiteface Mt. - very dangerous when wet let alone icy
    • Devils Gulch - the LT version of Mahoosuc Notch but thankfully shorter
    Take care!

  15. #15

    Exclamation Regretably gonna postpone it

    Thanks all for the advice. Kinda what I was thinkin. This wasn't my plan for these days off, it was a last minute option I considered when original plans fell apart to hike in slightly warmer SNP.

    Not that a near Winter hike wouldnt be fun, but I just dont have enough time to do the 170 or so under these conditions. I either need more time for the trip or better conditions to make longer miles more realistic. Snow,ice and lots-o-dark doesnt lend itself to easy high mile days.

    It's not what one might be able to do, but what sounds like a FUN challenge. I dont "gotta go" now.

    Thanks for filling in the details-just like my intuition thought. It's frustrating to again have not quite enough time to hit the upper half. But perhaps in the Spring (MUD season-what the LT is known for!! How can I pass up the true experience?)

    Guess I'll just find somewhere in VT, NH, or ME to bomb up to Fri nite and hike around for 5 days. Know any good linked hikes for 60-100 miles? A little challenge is good. Thats what made the LT sound good-just a little too Long. (No punn intended)

  16. #16
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Why not go play in the Adironadacks? That's what I'd do. Lots of 4000 footers in the High Peaks to summit and mess around on. No long trail, but lots of networks of trails. Good loop opportunities. You'll have ice, snow, slop like on the LT, but won't have to do 20-30 mile days. Many of the trails have shelters too. One of my favorite areas
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyhebert View Post
    Guess I'll just find somewhere in VT, NH, or ME to bomb up to Fri nite and hike around for 5 days. Know any good linked hikes for 60-100 miles? A little challenge is good. Thats what made the LT sound good-just a little too Long. (No punn intended)
    Monadnock Sunapee trail is just under 60 counting getting up and down tothe terminii.

    The Northville Placid Trail is a bit over 100 miles, but it is very flat (follows valleys rather than ridges. Beautiful scenery. Water crossings could be tricky in cold weather before ice bridges form.

    There is also the MA mid-state trail, the Metacomet Monadnock Trail, RI North South Trail, a section of the Long Path, and a section of the AT in MA or CT or NY or NJ.

    If interested in the Monadnock Sunapee Trail and want company, PM me. I've done it a couple times and could do it again.
    Frosty

  18. #18
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Come on up! It's Thursday, November 15, last night's rain is turning to snow and they're calling for 9+ inches overnight.

  19. #19

    Default hmmmmm

    Screw it. I'm goin. You only live once!

    Hit the trail early Sat morning...we'll see how far I get by Wednesday. It'll be good practice anyway. But thanks for the much better picture of what to expect!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyhebert View Post
    Screw it. I'm goin. You only live once!

    Hit the trail early Sat morning...we'll see how far I get by Wednesday. It'll be good practice anyway. But thanks for the much better picture of what to expect!
    That's the spontaneous thru-hiker spirit!
    Happy hiking, and post pics.
    "The Ordinary Adventurer"
    http://www.FunFreedom.com

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