WhiteBlaze Pages 2022
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$5 for printable PDF, AVAILABLE NOW. $9 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 45
  1. #1

    Default Southbound thru hike leaving in early October 2010

    I am in the early stages of planning a southbound thru hike with a departure goal of October 9, 2010. My goal is to complete the hike in seven months and therefore I am in no rush to break any daily mileage records. Most of my hiking up to this point has been day hiking during all seasons and I enjoy hiking in the winter the most out of all seasons. I have read several of the winter thru hike threads and I am aware of the brutal weather and conditions, especially in Maine/New Hampshire. My thoughts are that I have two years to research, plan, and fully prepare for this trip.

    As you can imagine, I have many questions that I wish to have answered. To start off here are two that I have had some trouble finding answers to.

    1)How many days worth of food should I carry in the pack? In the winter, I would expect there to be fewer supply points that are open for business in addition to the need for more calories in cold weather and the possible emergency factor.

    2)What is the best way to figure out mileage on the trail? I am looking for a good map or book that lists mileage between towns so that I can get a gauge for how far I would travel under various mileage rates.

    Thank You

  2. #2
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-12-2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Age
    39
    Posts
    3,027
    Images
    10

    Default

    1) You should look at Jack Tarlin's resupply write-up in the articles section where he lays out how many days between resupply. Your progress may be slower with bad weather, and there may be certain places that are closed for the winter. I'd read some trailjournals to start getting an idea of how long people take to clear each section.

    2) daily miles depends on fitness level, conditions, packweight and desire. Varies tremendously per individual. Check out the Companion, Thru-hikers Handbook or Appalachian Pages. Also, you can buy map sets from the ATC website. appalachiantrail.org

    You might want to check out Grizzly Adam's trailjournals on trailjournals.com I believe he left in October one year and was stopped early and often due to snow. Who knows, you may catch a mild winter, but be prepared for lots of snow, short days, cold and lots of loneliness.

    Good luck
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  3. #3
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2003
    Location
    Appalachian Ohio
    Posts
    4,402

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by southernpine85 View Post
    I am in the early stages of planning a southbound thru hike with a departure goal of October 9, 2010. My goal is to complete the hike in seven months and therefore I am in no rush to break any daily mileage records. Most of my hiking up to this point has been day hiking during all seasons and I enjoy hiking in the winter the most out of all seasons. I have read several of the winter thru hike threads and I am aware of the brutal weather and conditions, especially in Maine/New Hampshire. My thoughts are that I have two years to research, plan, and fully prepare for this trip.

    As you can imagine, I have many questions that I wish to have answered. To start off here are two that I have had some trouble finding answers to.

    1)How many days worth of food should I carry in the pack? In the winter, I would expect there to be fewer supply points that are open for business in addition to the need for more calories in cold weather and the possible emergency factor.

    2)What is the best way to figure out mileage on the trail? I am looking for a good map or book that lists mileage between towns so that I can get a gauge for how far I would travel under various mileage rates.

    Thank You
    1) This is personal preference in my opinion. For me, just because I can go into town for resupply is not necessarily a reason to do just that. For instance, on our thru we did not stop in some towns and carried food until the next one. But in all, I would say that in the winter it shouldnt be that much different than a 2-season thru-hike. Sure, some establishments may not be open, but most of these will more than likely be hostels, restaurants/waysides, and perhaps the occasional grocer, but honestly i wouldnt worry about it too much. If you have doubts, do a maildrop.

    2) www.aldha.org, whiteblaze pages, thruhikers handbook
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  4. #4

    Default

    You didn't ask for this but you're going to hear it eventually: the White Mountains are going to be in full winter mode. I'll assume you're very fit and can reach NH by Nov. 1. You're still likely to have deep snow and cold temps especially in the Presidentials. It's essential that you have the best cold weather gear and that you inform people of your plans and whereabouts.

  5. #5

    Default On second thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by southernpine85 View Post
    I am in the early stages of planning a southbound thru hike with a departure goal of October 9, 2010.
    I wouldn't do that if I were you. I suggest you leave Katahdin at least 6 weeks earlier.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    63
    Posts
    31,307

    Default

    if he wanted to leave 6 weeks earlier he would've said so.

  7. #7

    Default Yeah, LW, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    if he wanted to leave 6 weeks earlier he would've said so.
    1) He's all of 23.

    2) He has a grand total of 6 posts on WB, with no indication he's lurked (e.g. read much here on what winter in the Whites is like).

    3) Most of his hiking experience is dayhiking. You and I both know
    there is all the difference in the world between starting and ending a 3-hour walk at a warm house, and hiking while living out in the snow for days at a time.

    4) When he asked for how to tell mileage on the Trail, it was obvious he had no idea of the maps nor guidebooks that are out there. That sounds to me as if he had not the slightest bit of research behind him.

    5) If I were going to be hiking the AT predominantly in deep winter, starting on the harder end, I would be absolutely obsessed with optimizing gear issues, and physical fitness preparation. This guy may be in great shape, or just figures that BC he's young he can "bull through" most anything.

    I think all this adds up to him not having the slightest idea so far what the magnitude or nature is of what he's considering. While not quite at the level of the Wild Cowboy hoax, the impression he gives IMO is that it's still good odds he won't do a single state, given his departure point and date.

  8. #8

    Default

    Well based on MS's response, I guess two years isn't enough time to research and gain more experience for this trip. Maybe I'll try it when I'm 40+?

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    63
    Posts
    31,307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by southernpine85 View Post
    Well based on MS's response, I guess two years isn't enough time to research and gain more experience for this trip. Maybe I'll try it when I'm 40+?
    disregard his post. keep planning and ask questions but the majority of folks on here have not done what you want to do. go for it

  10. #10
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-12-2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Age
    39
    Posts
    3,027
    Images
    10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith View Post
    1) He's all of 23.

    2) He has a grand total of 6 posts on WB, with no indication he's lurked (e.g. read much here on what winter in the Whites is like).

    3) Most of his hiking experience is dayhiking. You and I both know
    there is all the difference in the world between starting and ending a 3-hour walk at a warm house, and hiking while living out in the snow for days at a time.

    4) When he asked for how to tell mileage on the Trail, it was obvious he had no idea of the maps nor guidebooks that are out there. That sounds to me as if he had not the slightest bit of research behind him.

    5) If I were going to be hiking the AT predominantly in deep winter, starting on the harder end, I would be absolutely obsessed with optimizing gear issues, and physical fitness preparation. This guy may be in great shape, or just figures that BC he's young he can "bull through" most anything.

    I think all this adds up to him not having the slightest idea so far what the magnitude or nature is of what he's considering. While not quite at the level of the Wild Cowboy hoax, the impression he gives IMO is that it's still good odds he won't do a single state, given his departure point and date.
    If we learned anything from YOUR hike, it would be that even the unlikeliest people can make it. I don't think it's so wise to be starting then, but he's doing his homework 2 years early.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  11. #11
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-27-2005
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Age
    44
    Posts
    2,079

    Default

    Enjoy your hike, don't listen to any bad stuff. If that is what you want to do and you are prepared then go for it.

    Something to keep in mind is the option of flipping. No reason you can't hike south until the snow or weather gets too bad, jump farther south or go to Springer and hike north, and finish your hike that way.

    One huge thing I learned southbound late last year, I finished January 20th, is to keep your options open and don't try to hike the way you pictured it in your head. Pack extra food, warmth, and entertainment and enjoy.

    Feel free to PM me if there is anything I can help or answer for you. Same for any other southbounders.

  12. #12

    Default

    Also keep in mind that the nights are getting longer and the days shorter.

    You should think about getting up before dawn and cooking so that you are out on the trail at first light. and hike until dark. This means maybe carrying a good headlamp with extra batteries as you will be cooking and eating in the dark.

    Here is what the whites looked like one day in 2001 when we started Oct 14 for our SOBO "supported" hike:

    This was the day we climbed Moosilauki (sp?) and our last day in the whites. We got lucky the day we went over Mt. Washington and only had flurries and great views.

    Have a good hike! (be prepared to bail sometimes and sit out some weather)

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-10-2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA
    Posts
    12,678

    Default

    Yep, you pretty much have almost everything working against you in winter. Shorter days, longer nights. Cold means extra weight in the pack. Jackets and warmer clothes. Extra fuel to heat water or melt snow. Extra batteries for flashlights, or candles. Extra fuel for yourself. The trail is harder in every respect -- harder to walk, harder to find. Off-trail services will be similarly sparse. Fewer hours in which to walk, and in those fewer hours, the walking's that much harder than it would be in summer.

    I'm sure it can be quite rewarding. I've done a few day hikes in the Whites in the winter, and they can be a blast. The views are great. You'll have lots of great stories to tell.

  14. #14
    Registered User Monkeywrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-03-2008
    Location
    Quincy, MA (Boston area)
    Age
    63
    Posts
    674

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by _terrapin_ View Post
    Yep, you pretty much have almost everything working against you in winter. Shorter days, longer nights. Cold means extra weight in the pack. Jackets and warmer clothes. Extra fuel to heat water or melt snow. Extra batteries for flashlights, or candles. Extra fuel for yourself. The trail is harder in every respect -- harder to walk, harder to find. Off-trail services will be similarly sparse. Fewer hours in which to walk, and in those fewer hours, the walking's that much harder than it would be in summer.
    Yeah, but there's no BUGS!
    Last edited by HikerRanky; 07-31-2008 at 09:18. Reason: closed the quote tag
    ~~
    Allen "Monkeywrench" Freeman
    NOBO 3-18-09 - 9-27-09
    blog.allenf.com
    [email protected]
    www.allenf.com

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-14-2006
    Location
    The wilds of Maine
    Posts
    2,983

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith View Post
    1) He's all of 23.

    2) He has a grand total of 6 posts on WB, with no indication he's lurked (e.g. read much here on what winter in the Whites is like).

    3) Most of his hiking experience is dayhiking. You and I both know
    there is all the difference in the world between starting and ending a 3-hour walk at a warm house, and hiking while living out in the snow for days at a time.

    4) When he asked for how to tell mileage on the Trail, it was obvious he had no idea of the maps nor guidebooks that are out there. That sounds to me as if he had not the slightest bit of research behind him.

    5) If I were going to be hiking the AT predominantly in deep winter, starting on the harder end, I would be absolutely obsessed with optimizing gear issues, and physical fitness preparation. This guy may be in great shape, or just figures that BC he's young he can "bull through" most anything.

    I think all this adds up to him not having the slightest idea so far what the magnitude or nature is of what he's considering. While not quite at the level of the Wild Cowboy hoax, the impression he gives IMO is that it's still good odds he won't do a single state, given his departure point and date.
    I'll second it to disregard this post.
    Be aware of some inflated egos here as the above post shows.
    Be advised, snow fell on the higher peaks in Maine mid October last year.
    No big deal, about mid November, snow was covering all the mountainous areas.
    WALK ON

  16. #16
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-27-2005
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Age
    44
    Posts
    2,079

    Default

    How could I forget about the short days. I remember spending so much time with my headlamp on. Getting up at 6am, eating, and packing up in the dark. Just to get going at first light. Then getting to camp in time to see where everything is at around 5pm before it got dark.

    Still possible to do the 20 mile days, you just need to get a good start and keep trucking. On thing we would do is try to get 10 or 12 miles in by lunch on the big days. Opens up the rest of the day.

    Really the pack weight wasn't too much more than my summer weight. Including all the differences maybe 5 lbs more. By that time in my hike I was eating so much anyways, the difference in the weather for more food wasn't much.

  17. #17
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2003
    Location
    Appalachian Ohio
    Posts
    4,402

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsy View Post
    I'll second it to disregard this post.
    Be aware of some inflated egos here as the above post shows.
    Be advised, snow fell on the higher peaks in Maine mid October last year.
    No big deal, about mid November, snow was covering all the mountainous areas.
    Agreed, and will add that I've been snowed on (2-inches) in October in the Smokies, so it comes to no surprise that Maine/NH/VT will be even heavier snowfall.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  18. #18
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2003
    Location
    Appalachian Ohio
    Posts
    4,402

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Solemates View Post
    Agreed, and will add that I've been snowed on (2-inches) in October in the Smokies, so it comes to no surprise that Maine/NH/VT will be even heavier snowfall.
    Actually now that I think about it, it flurried on us in September 2006 while doing Katahdin.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-10-2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA
    Posts
    12,678

    Default

    I had snow in the 100-mile wilderness mid-September. A half-inch on the shelter roof in the AM. Brief whiteout at mid-day. All melted and 60 degrees at 6 PM that evening.

  20. #20

    Default

    Back in the second week of October in '88, I section hiked the Wildcat-Carter-Moriah range where there was a snow base of a few inches on top. Across the valley the Presidentials were coverd. It began snowing as I approached Carter Hut and snowed all night and into the morning. Fortunately I had just bought a new winter sleeping bag. I hiked up Carter Dome but with the snow continuing, I decided to bail and took a side trail back to Rt. 16.

    The same system affected the entire Appalachian chain; I later heard there was an ice storm in Shenandoah NP.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
++ 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
  •