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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Section Hike--Division 12 Recommendations?

    Hey all.

    I'm just getting started with overnight backpacking, although I am a strong day-packer with many miles under my feet. My goal is to section hike the LT this year, but some trips will be limited to weekends only. Others I will have from 4-7 days time. Anyway...

    I'm thinking of starting my section hike near the top of the LT, Division 12, with a single overnight (Sat/Sun hike) ending at the Northern Terminus.

    Given my beginner status, and late June/early July timing, would you recommend I start at Hazen's Notch/VT 58 or where the LT crosses VT 242? And, accordingly, where do you think I would plan to hunker down for the night during your suggested stretch? (What's a good mid-way point?)

    Please feel free to also share any other suggestions you may have for shuttle services, parking, gear or whatever else crosses your mind.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCan View Post
    Hey all.

    I'm just getting started with overnight backpacking, although I am a strong day-packer with many miles under my feet. My goal is to section hike the LT this year, but some trips will be limited to weekends only. Others I will have from 4-7 days time. Anyway...

    I'm thinking of starting my section hike near the top of the LT, Division 12, with a single overnight (Sat/Sun hike) ending at the Northern Terminus.

    Given my beginner status, and late June/early July timing, would you recommend I start at Hazen's Notch/VT 58 or where the LT crosses VT 242? And, accordingly, where do you think I would plan to hunker down for the night during your suggested stretch? (What's a good mid-way point?)

    Please feel free to also share any other suggestions you may have for shuttle services, parking, gear or whatever else crosses your mind.

    Thanks!
    CanCan, welcome to WB and to the world of overnight backpacking.

    You didn't say whether you had the GMC Long Trail Guide. There are 2 shelters in the middle of your planned stretch - from Hazen's Notch, Jay Camp is about 7 miles and Laura Woodward Shelter is about 10. The answer to your question depends on your logistics i.e. what time on Saturday are you at the trailhead to start, how are you arranging for a shuttle (or are you hitchhiking?), and have you taken into account the additional 1.3 miles from the Canadian border to the nearest parking area? In other words, when are you leaving home and how late do you want to return?

    If you're at Hazen's Notch early on Saurday morning i.e. before 9, you might be able to make it to Woodward but keep in mind the 3 miles between shelters is over Jay Peak, the highest point on the LT north of Mansfield. You're in shape from your day-hiking and you'll only carry one night's worth of food. But even if you decide to leave the tent home, your pack will still be heavier than any of your day-hikes.

    A decision: do you bring a tent? Normally, I always recommend bringing a tent and not counting on shelter space but along the farthest north part of the LT, chances there you can stay in one of the shelters unless you're talking July 4th weekend. Of course perhaps you prefer not to stay in shelters; it all depends on how much weight you want to save. Bugwise, the blackflies may still be around but not as likely in late June. Mosquitos could be bad moreso at Woodward which is a 3-sided shelter (Jay Camp is a 4-walled cabin).

    The steepest parts I recall from my '07 hike were in the first 2 miles from Hazen's Notch and part of the Jay Peak ascent.

    Perhaps the best approach is start your hike, see how you feel when you reach Jay Camp, and decide then whether to push on to Woodward.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your timely and informative response!

    I do have the 2007 LT Guide, as well as the 2009 E2E's Guide. They are very helpful.

    I may go without a tent this first time, depending on the weather forecast. And, for that reason, Jay Camp seems a little more desirable in case of bad bugs or weather. However, knowing myself, I won't be ready to pack it in at that point and would rather get bigger miles in the first day (for when I'm feeling it the second).

    What kind of building/protection is at Journey's End Camp, in case it gets too late to shuttle out? The guide is a little unclear.

    I was thinking of called Apple Acres Farm for shuttle/parking. Any feedback on their services?

    Also, with good water purification methods in the pack, do you think I could skip a stove and fuel for this short trip?

    Thanks again! And, anyone else, please chime in.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCan View Post
    Thank you for your timely and informative response!

    I do have the 2007 LT Guide, as well as the 2009 E2E's Guide. They are very helpful.

    I may go without a tent this first time, depending on the weather forecast. And, for that reason, Jay Camp seems a little more desirable in case of bad bugs or weather. However, knowing myself, I won't be ready to pack it in at that point and would rather get bigger miles in the first day (for when I'm feeling it the second).

    What kind of building/protection is at Journey's End Camp, in case it gets too late to shuttle out? The guide is a little unclear.

    I was thinking of called Apple Acres Farm for shuttle/parking. Any feedback on their services?

    Also, with good water purification methods in the pack, do you think I could skip a stove and fuel for this short trip?

    Thanks again! And, anyone else, please chime in.
    I don't remember much about the Journey's End camp but I can't imagine your needing to stay there. Even if you only spend your night at Jay Camp, you face the Jay Peak ascent first thing in the morning. After that, the rest of the hike is pretty easy (by LT standards) with a few ups and downs but nothing like Jay or the ascent out of Hazen Notch. The only remote caveat is don't oversleep at Jay Camp. It's an enclosed cabin in a very dark setting. But hey, you're hiking around the solstice.

    I completely understand about wanting bigger miles the first day. OTOH speaking for myself, I'm stronger in the morning so I wouldn't mind ascending Jay early in the morning when it's cool. I guess it depends what time you're starting from Hazen's. Anytime in the morning should be sufficient to get you up Jay Peak and to Woodward Shelter.

    Skipping stove - sure - it's entirely up to you. Scores of hikers "go cold" for their food, even long-distance ones.

    Shuttles - call the Apple Orchard House. At one point they were suspending their shuttle & hiker services but I thought it was temporary. Hopefully some other WBers with more recent (and accurate) knowledge than me will weigh in.

  5. #5
    NE AT 733 of 733 miles & Long Trail End-to-End Tramper Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCan View Post
    What kind of building/protection is at Journey's End Camp, in case it gets too late to shuttle out? The guide is a little unclear.
    It is an enclosed cabin, very nice.

    Here is a pic:

    http://www.trailjournals.com/photos....=485575&back=1
    Last edited by Tramper Al; 06-15-2010 at 09:48.
    - Tramper Al

  6. #6
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    Nice photos, Tramper Al.

  7. #7
    NE AT 733 of 733 miles & Long Trail End-to-End Tramper Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanCan View Post
    Nice photos, Tramper Al.
    Though the photos are not mine, I do agree they are nice!
    - Tramper Al

  8. #8

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    On the final day of my thru hike, I made it from Hazen's Notch to Journey's End, breaking camp no later than 7 am, getting to the end by around 5ish. Granted that was the day I was probably the strongest, and it was a grueling ~18 miles, but I did it in a day. Hazen's notch was great, you should be fine making it to Laura Woodward shelter. It has a wonderful view of Jay Peak in the evening. Jay Camp was nice, and had a roof repair last year. But it is close to the road, so it might be more popular on the weekends. Journey's end is actually a very nice shelter, new, four sided, nice stream nearby for water and getting cleaned up if you want. Part of me wished I stayed there, but I was too anxious to meet up with friends.
    Spiderbite
    LT '09
    NP '10

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