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Thread: 30 miles a day

  1. #1
    Registered User hitman's Avatar
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    Default 30 miles a day

    Just wondering what my chances are for a 30 mile per day hike for 7 days from Bly gap to Hot Springs. Myself, my wife, and two of my brothers are planning this in early June. We will be slackpacking. We did Amicalola to Bly Gap plus a backtrack to Dick's creek last year in 4.5 days (approx. 100 miles). Just not sure how hard the trail is from Bly Gap out to Hot Springs despite the elevation maps we have (always deceiving).

  2. #2
    Registered User hitman's Avatar
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    Default we were carrying packs last year

    ...........

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hitman
    Just wondering what my chances are for a 30 mile per day hike for 7 days from Bly gap to Hot Springs. Myself, my wife, and two of my brothers are planning this in early June. We will be slackpacking. We did Amicalola to Bly Gap plus a backtrack to Dick's creek last year in 4.5 days (approx. 100 miles). Just not sure how hard the trail is from Bly Gap out to Hot Springs despite the elevation maps we have (always deceiving).
    There's a large difference between hiking 22-23-mile days and hiking 30-mile days. There's an even larger difference between keeping the slower pace for four and a half days and keeping the faster pace for seven.

    Personally, I can keep a 20-25 mile per day pace up for seven to 10 days if needed, but back-to-back 30s are tough -- regardless of packweight.

    It's also fair to note that Bly Gap to Hot Springs is more physically demanding than Amicalola to Bly Gap -- longer steeper climbs, taller mountains, etc.

    You're hiking in a group of four people who kept a fairly fast pace for 4.5 days last year. How did they feel (individually) upon finishing last year? Ask them to extrapolate how they felt to gauge what they think about this one -- make it three to four hours longer each day and 3 days longer, and don't forget to tell them that it will be rougher terrain.

    I'm certainly not against your plan, but unless you've done consecutive 30-mile days before, you may not know how difficult that can really be.

    Good luck with your hike!

    -Howie

  4. #4
    Geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitman
    Just wondering what my chances are for a 30 mile per day hike for 7 days from Bly gap to Hot Springs.
    I think asking if you can do seven consecutive 30-mile days is a bit like asking how much a yacht is: If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

    Frosty

  5. #5
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default Chances ...

    Depending on the shape you're in and how much weight you're carrying ...I would say slim to nil
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  6. #6
    Just Passin' Thru.... Kozmic Zian's Avatar
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    Yea......30 mile days. When you leave Bly Gap you'll know! The Nantahalas are alot different than N. Georgia. The Smoky Mts are tough. North of I-40 is tough into Hot Springs. You best be in Some Kind-0-Shape, and ready to run. [email protected]
    Kozmic [email protected] :cool: ' My father considered a walk in the woods as equivalent to churchgoing'. ALDOUS HUXLEY

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    Yes, I think this is very possible, but you'll need to come in very fit. I don't mean cardio wise. I mean having an already trail toughened body. 30 miles a day can break you down really fast, and knee, ankle, and back pain, along with blisters and other foot issues can make there presence felt very quickly. One 30 isn't super tough. A second one is a little challenging. From day 3 on, your body might start to rebel.

    I thought the land between Bly Gap and NOC was fairly easy, but I was only hiking like 14 miles a day, stopping around 2 or 3 at times. From NOC to Fontana is a bit of a nutbuster. Through the Smokys, 30 mile days will be fairly straightforward, but you must keep in mind that because of shelter spacing, you might not be able to do exactly 30. You might have the prospects of doing low 30s to make up for some high 20s previously. After you make the initial haul up Shuckstack, most of the Smokys is a ridgewalk. You go up and down alot, but no large climbs (maybe 1000 ft. in a single push). Through the Smokys, I did low 20s after the making the climb up Shuckstack and over to Spence.

    From the Smokys to Hot Springs is a little hard. You have to work a bit to get over Snowbird and Max Patch, along with some other assorted, smaller climbs.

    In terms of difficulty, I do think Bly to Hot Springs is more difficult that Springer to Bly. Note, however, that if you want to pull 30 mile days, you'll have to hike most of the day. 6 am to 8 pm, with some breaks and a dinner stop, is usually what I need to break 30 miles over the kind of terrain that you are looking at.

  8. #8

    Default Why not!

    Quote Originally Posted by hitman
    Just wondering what my chances are for a 30 mile per day hike for 7 days from Bly gap to Hot Springs. Myself, my wife, and two of my brothers are planning this in early June. We will be slackpacking. We did Amicalola to Bly Gap plus a backtrack to Dick's creek last year in 4.5 days (approx. 100 miles). Just not sure how hard the trail is from Bly Gap out to Hot Springs despite the elevation maps we have (always deceiving).

    If you can do 22.22... mi. per day with a pack, it should be possible for 30 without, if you're in the same shape. I start to break down at 17 or so with a pack, when in good trail condition, which hasn't been for a while. My feet go first. Go for it; if conditions change you could alter your plans.

    I used my Maptech AT guide to compare GA to NC along your route; I was curious to see how much harder NC was. The data for Springer to Bly Gap showed an average climb of 252 feet per mile. No predetermined profile data was available for the approach trail. The average for NC, Bly to Hot Springs, was 258 feet per mile; the Smokies alone average 261. I couldn't believe it so I rechecked my figures to make sure. The Maptech data could be in error or I could have copied wrong, but I was surprised at this.

  9. #9
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    Snowball's chance in hell.

  10. #10
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavageLlama
    Snowball's chance in hell.
    Perhaps, but didn't Flying Brian do something close to 30 miles per day? But, of course, he is an ultra marathoner who trained for a year before doing the triple crown.

  11. #11
    Registered User hitman's Avatar
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    well the four of us in my group are marathoners and are in top shape so I think we've got a shot I'll let you know when we get back.

  12. #12

    Default Go for it!

    30 mpd can be done with the proper psychological, logistical and physical preparation.
    Sam Swisher-McClure, in 1998, avaraged 55 mpd from Springer to Hot Springs.
    He still holds the record for the southern half of the AT (24 days to get to Pine Grove Furnace State Park).
    The chances of all four of you accomplishing this task aren't good though.
    Warren Doyle PhD
    34,000-miler (and counting)
    [email protected]
    www.warrendoyle.com

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