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  1. #1
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    Question Long Trail in September

    I have been planning on starting the Long Trail on Sept 4. I had originally planned on going S>N because of weather, thinking that it would be better to be heading South as the weather got colder, but I am also a big chicken and don't want to be by myself if nobody is going South at that time. Now I am beginning to worry that at that late date their will be very few people going either directions. Comments, please , on direction of travel and weather and people at that time of year.
    Camel John

  2. #2
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    Yep, I'm going but a couple of weeks earlier. I'm going nobo some time in late Aug. Nobo because the north is tough and I want to walk a while before I get there to get my legs under me (out of shape and still going). I may even turn around in Canada and walk back to see the leaves turn, depends on whether my ass freezes or not. I'm trying out my new Hennessy Hammock and a Jacksrbetter under quilt. I did walk from Mass. to Middlebury a couple of years ago and only saw one night in the 30s the first week of Sept. Warmed right up in the morning though. I'm a slow grey beard but if you would like to walk together I would enjoy the company. Dave

  3. #3
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    Smile

    Hello,


    I am planning on a Aug 2nd start date if all goes well. I will be going N->S I wish you were heading out a little earler.

    --Jesse

  4. #4

    Default north to south

    When I did the Long Trail I had my wife drop me off at at the last road crossing (RT-105 ?) 2.5 miles south of the border, stached my pack, went to the northern end for the photo op, and headed south. I found that much easier than my old guidebook description of driving in toward the end, and it saves time. The section from the border to RT-17 (Appalachian Gap) was pretty rough but after that it was more interesting and much easier. I liked the idea of heading toward civilization. If you arrange for a ride to the northern end to start there you can always get a ride once you hit the North Adams, MA, area, 4 miles south of the southern end. I found heading SOBO was easier for me.

  5. #5

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    I'd say your as likely to have other hikers around either way you hike the trail. If you hike northbound, you'll probably have more people hiking along with you, hiking southbound you'll probably pass more people going the other way. The northern end of the LT, with the exception of Camel's Hump and Mansfield, isn't really heavily traveled any time of year, so I think the direction you choose will be mainly on whether you want to start with the easier, more well-worn sections and travel toward the more rugged areas, or get the hard stuff (and less civilized) done first.

    Unlike the AT, neither end of the LT really provides more of a climax than the other.

    BTW, I would absolutely love to hike the LT during Autumn...I wish I could come too.

    -Howie

  6. #6
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    Every year I hear about people planning to hike the LT end to end (or long sections) in September. The mountains in Vermont are generally tamer in September than the bigger mountains in NH. The weather tends to be more cool and comfortable with fewer cold snaps. Check out this page of average temps:

    http://www.thru-hiker.com/temporal.a...t+the+graph%21

    I think you'll see plenty of hikers no matter which direction you hike. I hiked from Appalachian Gap to Massachusetts in October 2002 (www.trailjournals.com/celt) not expecting to see many people outside the popular sections but was pleasantly surprised to find a half dozen southbounder and some northbounders too.

  7. #7

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    In mid-October last year, my brother and I did North Adams, MA to Stratton Mtn., VT (or the road just below the Mtn. where we start our 50 miles this year at the end of Sept.). The nights were cool, but our water bottles did not freeze. We did have a slight dusting of snow to greet us one morning on Glastenbury Mtn., but the days were very comfortable for hiking.

    We did meet hikers doing the entire LT. Two were recent college grads, both girls, and were finishing up in 28 days. Two were a mother/daughter combo, where the mother was 70 and the daughter 40ish. They were taking in the towns as well as the trail and planned to finish within a 2 month window. They carried a Sat. phone that they rented and called in to the daughter's husband every day - no doubt to see how the honey do list was coming. (Sorry ladies.)

    Even this late, past leaf season, there were quite a few section hikers. One guy was keeping pace with us for 3 days and complained about our snoring in the shelters. He was a little chagrined when we told him that he was keeping up!

    On our last day, we ran into some guy named Crash who started in Canada at the starting point of the International AT, heading to Springer, and hoping to hike to Key West! He said he was a AT thruhiker in 1999 (I think). He looked and talked like he was going to make it. I certainly hope he did! Crash gave us an inspiring compliment when he said he admired section hikers, because by the time we were getting our trail legs, we had to get off the trail each time.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the input. I am back to thinking N>S. Can anyone tell me if I really need drop boxes for the LT? I will be using isobutane. Can I find that and most normal food supplies in the main resupply towns? Also, does anyone have advice on whether a Western Mountaineering HighLite (rated at 40 degrees) would be ok in Sept with alightweight bivy sack and a silk liner? I sure like the idea of a 1 lb bag!
    Camel John

  9. #9
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    I hiked the LT last year from Sept. 18 to Oct 2 from Canada to Lincoln Gap. There were definitely more NOBOs than SOBOs at that time. Was told that later in the fall there would be more SOBOs.

  10. #10
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    Is going SOBO on the LT as hard as they say?

  11. #11
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    I haven't tried NOBO. But the NOBOs didn't seem to be having any easier a time with the northern LT than we were. Strengthening knees is what you need in preparation for the northern LT and that probably takes longer than the 1 week of the southern LT. I hear that people who start in Georgia don't have any trouble BTW, the first 1-2 days SOBO aren't really too hard.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by horse with no name
    Is going SOBO on the LT as hard as they say?
    No. The northern section is tough no matter how far you've hiked. A southbounder with green legs might want to plan to take is slow is all.

  13. #13
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=slatchley]Can anyone tell me if I really need drop boxes for the LT? I will be using isobutane. Can I find that and most normal food supplies in the main resupply towns?[\QUOTE]You shouldn't really need drop boxes, although if you can arrange them it will save you some time to re-supply.
    Quote Originally Posted by slatchley
    Also, does anyone have advice on whether a Western Mountaineering HighLite (rated at 40 degrees) would be ok in Sept with a lightweight bivy sack and a silk liner?
    I would seriously consider a 20-degree bag with a liner for this time of year. There is a good chance that you would get a freeze at some point during the month. I thru-hiked (SOBO) in the month of August with daytime temperatures ranging from the 90's down into the 30's and one hard freeze.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  14. #14
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    Ok, Ive got a WM Apache so Ill just stick with it, I guess. Always looking to drop weight.
    Camel John

  15. #15

    Default Peeps

    I was with DebW on that "wrongway" hike!! (private joke)
    We definitely saw plenty of northbounders, and there were some sobos, although you never know how many are behind until they catch you!

    I think whoever posted they hiked in October last year may have met those same two young girls that caught Deb and I @ Cooley Glen minutes before we were heading back north to Lincoln Gap to bail.

    I'm headed out in the morning to finish up those 40+ miles from Killington to Cooley Glen/Lincoln Gap. But this time I'm going the "right way".

    I don't think it will be that empty in early September at all. Those first two weeks last year would have been the time to hike it, not the drenching we got the last two weeks!!

  16. #16
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    I hiked north bound in september before and will do it again this september. Probably starting close to the 4th. Id sure like to end with the softer south part, but I dont want to start with the harder north part. And I like the idea of walking north. So perhaps well see eachother.

  17. #17
    Section hiker 733 AT miles poison_ivy's Avatar
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    Probably not since you've revived a thread from 2004!

    - Ivy

  18. #18

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    I've got a End to Enders guide still in the envelope if you're interested. Ten bucks. Just finished a section of LT from Smugglers notch to Rt 103 (?) Manchester Center. Going SB without trail legs is harder took all day to hike over Mts Ethan-Ira Allen and Burt Mtn. a whopping 6.1 miles from 8 am to 4pm. Thru hiked the LT in 03' with Sly, Pa and BearBag and don't even remember that section we went NB. Seen very few hikers until Rt 4 .
    E-Z---"from sea to shining sea''

  19. #19
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    but I was there in 2004 september

  20. #20
    Registered User Nightwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenge
    Hello,


    I am planning on a Aug 2nd start date if all goes well. I will be going N->S I wish you were heading out a little earler.

    --Jesse
    What are the highs and lows that time of year? I'm guessing that rain in August probably isn't that much of an issue.

    Thanks

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