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Thread: Snowpocalapse

  1. #1
    Registered User LordFouis's Avatar
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    Question Snowpocalapse

    Hey, my name is Louis Achilles, currently slated for heading NOBO the week of the 7th of March, but I'm a DC native, currently home to about 4 feet of snow.

    I'm considering pushing my starting time back a couple of weeks due to the fact that there would probably still be a good amount of snow on the mountaintops on the second week of march.

    Does anyone have any advice on whether to push my start time back? and by how much? Or do the paths end up being mostly snow-free by the 7th?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The nice thing about being in the south is that snow comes and goes pretty quickly. There may still be some snow that you would encounter at higher elevations, but it should not be sufficient to prevent you from hiking. In the Smokies, the snow over the past month has ranged from 2 inches to 12 inches, depending on whether it is immediately after a snowstorm or a couple days after. We have been getting a snowstorm (2-6 inches) about once a week since Jan 1. I was up in the mountains last week and there was only significant snow above 4000 ft. Even then, it wasnt more than 6 inches. They got 6 inches yesterday, but weather forecast says it will likely all be melted by Sunday.

    You can expect to get periodic snow through March and April in the mountains. If you are prepared for cold weather hiking, you wont have an issue.

    Have fun and hope to see you along the trail.

  3. #3

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    AKA "Snowverkill." There're a few threads on whiteblaze about pushing back start dates. Check 'em out.
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

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    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    If you have the option, I'd do it, esp this year. But there are chances it will snow in late March, April too (we had snow on Easter in April in '07). But like was said, it won't stick around long.







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    you'll have to deal with snow, melting snow, ice, mud, and slush all along the AT in March and April. I'm starting last week of March or first week April. Just don't see the attraction of starting now, unless you have a pressing schedule and need to finish by late July or August. Starting later enables you to avoid some extra winter clothing weight. good luck!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    you'll have to deal with snow, melting snow, ice, mud, and slush all along the AT in March and April. I'm starting last week of March or first week April. Just don't see the attraction of starting now, unless you have a pressing schedule and need to finish by late July or August. Starting later enables you to avoid some extra winter clothing weight. good luck!
    I started April 4th, 2008 and it was worth waiting. Never really had to deal with the cold until Maine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco Taco View Post
    I started April 4th, 2008 and it was worth waiting. Never really had to deal with the cold until Maine
    april 4th of 87 we had 2 feet of snow at standing indian shelter

  8. #8

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    The south didn't get as much snow as we did in the mid-Atlantic. Chances are, much of it will be gone by the time you start. There will probably be other snowstorms this spring - but you risk that every year if you start before May. Just carry cold weather gear and enjoy.

    OTOH - if I were thruhiking, I wouldn't start until April even on a normal year. Why? Spring. Starting in early March, you don't start getting spring flowers for a month or more. However, you do get nice views off the ridges that are usually hidden by leaves, so it's a tradeoff.

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    Dreamin of Katadin wudhipy's Avatar
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    Default sooner or later there comes a time.........

    Cold weather is my friend when it comes to hiking...I do it all winter so it isn't a big deal to deal with the extra gear. There is magic in being in the acousitc chamber of the woods during a snow event...but that's just me. Hike your hike and enjoy it...hope to see ya on the trail.

  10. #10

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    With all the storms tracking so far south this year maybe us '11 hikers will have a milder start....

    or not.
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    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Walker View Post
    The south didn't get as much snow as we did in the mid-Atlantic. Chances are, much of it will be gone by the time you start. There will probably be other snowstorms this spring - but you risk that every year if you start before May. Just carry cold weather gear and enjoy.

    OTOH - if I were thruhiking, I wouldn't start until April even on a normal year. Why? Spring. Starting in early March, you don't start getting spring flowers for a month or more. However, you do get nice views off the ridges that are usually hidden by leaves, so it's a tradeoff.
    The first flowers start blooming by early April. Serious leafing on the ridges doesn't begin until one is well into May on the ridges. So for a few weeks one can enjoy both flowers and views. I agree that early April is an ideal time to begin a northbound walk. It's the best of all times -- at least for those of us who have had enough of winter tramping during the three months of winter.

    Weary

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    Catskill 3500 #1575
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    There has definitely been an increase in Snowchotic behavior recently:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpxiC...eature=related

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    I'm just hoping that all this snow means plenty of active springs on the trail this year.
    "Katahdin barada nikto."

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    STEVEM, that is absolutely epic. my face hurts from laughing so hard

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    Registered User climber2377's Avatar
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    hike your own hike, but my flight is march 14th and im excited to get started on the 15th. rain, snow, freezing rain, melting snow, soggy ground, frozen tundra, black flies, hot sweltering sun, you name it, i m happy to have it. wouldnt you rather be hiking. its not the destination... its all about the journey!!! that being said, i ll see you on the trail.

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    Feet are beginning to itch and its only Feb!
    Start in March and pretend you're having a mild winter in Alaska!!
    There will still be bears, just black ones instead of grizzlies
    See you out there, early March...BRRRRR!

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    Registered User LordFouis's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice folks! Glad to hear the south got a lot less snow than the mid-Atlantic.

    Is there anything that can be done to prevent snow in boots other than gators/rain pants? I don't wanna have to wear those for like 3 weeks straight if I can help it lol

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordFouis View Post
    Thanks for all the advice folks! Glad to hear the south got a lot less snow than the mid-Atlantic.

    Is there anything that can be done to prevent snow in boots other than gators/rain pants? I don't wanna have to wear those for like 3 weeks straight if I can help it lol
    Gaiters are pretty much required in deep snow. Sorry. I wear my rain pants only when it's actually raining, or when I want to sit/kneel in the snow, or when it's a hard wet snow and I'll be out hiking all day.

    Get a good pair of waterproof/breathable gaiters. Make sure they can take some abuse -- you'll be climbing over and crawling under a lot of blowdowns this year.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordFouis View Post
    Thanks for all the advice folks! Glad to hear the south got a lot less snow than the mid-Atlantic.

    Is there anything that can be done to prevent snow in boots other than gators/rain pants? I don't wanna have to wear those for like 3 weeks straight if I can help it lol
    Not going out in the snow?
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