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  1. #1
    Registered User KnotHere's Avatar
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    Question 5 Days through the SNP

    Hey all,
    I am planning on continuing my section hikes in VA with knocking out the SNP SOBO in 5 days. I was averaging about 13-16 miles per day through the roller coaster so I am hoping that my needed average of 19 through the SNP is viable. I'm packing light and caching food near the Elkton pass. From what I have heard I was hoping to hit the trail at the end of march while the weather is still cool and the tourists are not out.
    I'll be hanging at night so I don't mind being off the path or away from the shelters (although catching a good fire and stories is always a plus!)

    My other option is to break it up into 2 trips, each taking some time to hit the blue blazes.

    Any advice from those who have been through recently? Any must-see's? Any water supply issues? Any hammock issues? And does anyone know the AT mile marker for Compton Gap and the South Entrance?

    Thanks!!
    -I'm not a hiker, but I will walk for days for the right campsite!

  2. #2

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    Not exactly sure what you mean by "mile marker" but it's 101.5 miles from Compton Gap to Rockfish Gap which means your 5 day average is 20 mpd. If you did the Roller Coaster - a one day hike - at a 13-16 mile pace, you can do a 20 in SNP but only you know if you can do 5 consecutive 20 mile days. SNP isn't real difficult but it's not "flat" and there are a few areas of rough i.e. rocky footing.

    I agree late March is a good time in that you have more daylight than now for instance, but be prepared for cold temps at night. Snow is a possibility but IMO the worse-case scenario is cold rain - a very realistic possibility. So keep a dry set of clothes in your pack and keep them dry. If you have a cold rain your first night and you're not staying in a shelter but hammocking to make your schedule, it strikes me as an uncomfortable night.

  3. #3
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    What do you mean by caching food? This is a national park, you can't and shouldn't do that. What about the container? Maybe forget the whole lightness and carry the food. Or hitch for food, there's a wally world in Ruckersville at Swift Run Gap. Big Meadows should be open by late March, check the schedule. If so buy there.
    There won't be any water issues in March. And you might get chilly hammocking unless you're used to it, after all it will likely be low 20s.

    Side Trails some do - (some are very short right off the AT)

    Mary's Rock
    Stony Man
    Whiteoak Canyon waterfalls
    Old Rag (need another day and food)
    Dark Hollow Falls
    Bearfence
    South River Falls
    Last edited by Blissful; 02-13-2012 at 21:36.







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  4. #4
    Registered User bulldog49's Avatar
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    You can leave a food cache, just make sure it's critter proof. I'm going next week and caching in a Garcia bear proof canister.
    "If you don't know where you're going...any road will get you there."
    "He who's not busy living is busy dying"

  5. #5

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    When are you doing this. I might be able to join if you want company! I am also section hiking the AT but it is going slowly. let me know if you are interested in a ultralight partner for this trip.

    Restlesss

  6. #6
    Registered User KnotHere's Avatar
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    Hey all, thanks for the input so far. I live very near Swift Run Gap at 33 so I can just park a car near there. I am sure there is parking on Skyline drive somewhere thus my idea of Caching some food. Another option is to have someone run up and meet us along the road. Blissfull, you seem to live in the same area as I do and may provide some insight - I just moved to the area

    I am a bit worried about the cold nights. I have been able to get comfortable to about 35-40* in the hammock. I will continue to experiment with pads and so forth.
    -I'm not a hiker, but I will walk for days for the right campsite!

  7. #7

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    I know you wanted to avoid crowds but if you start around April 20, you still won't meet too many people and conditions will be warmer - you'll even catch some early Spring flowers. You'll still have views as SNP doesn't leaf out along the ridge until early May.

    Seems to me with hammocking, the issue as I said earlier isn't low temperatures per se but cold rain, a very distinct possibility for a 5 day stretch in late March.

    Hope it goes well!

  8. #8
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    I hike that park frequently. Hammocking is no problem and water is easy to come by. Like other have said, count on cold rain.

  9. #9
    Registered User KnotHere's Avatar
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    Default 5 Days through the SNP

    Looks like I am going to regret not getting the XL hex tarp. Time to hit the workshop and DIY a solution.
    -I'm not a hiker, but I will walk for days for the right campsite!

  10. #10
    Registered User Visionmonger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    I know you wanted to avoid crowds but if you start around April 20, you still won't meet too many people and conditions will be warmer - you'll even catch some early Spring flowers. You'll still have views as SNP doesn't leaf out along the ridge until early May.

    Seems to me with hammocking, the issue as I said earlier isn't low temperatures per se but cold rain, a very distinct possibility for a 5 day stretch in late March.

    Hope it goes well!

    I agree, I am hitting the park on the 25th end to end and can't wait to get out. Hopefully, the weather will be better. Good to know that water shouldn't be a problem. Let us know how it goes for you!
    "If you push something hard enough it will fall over."
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  11. #11
    Registered User KnotHere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visionmonger View Post
    I agree, I am hitting the park on the 25th end to end and can't wait to get out. Hopefully, the weather will be better. Good to know that water shouldn't be a problem. Let us know how it goes for you!
    Are you going SOBO or NOBO?
    -I'm not a hiker, but I will walk for days for the right campsite!

  12. #12
    Registered User Visionmonger's Avatar
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    Right now, the plan is to head south. Plan to rent a car drive to Front Royal, then get a ride to the trailhead. Hike out in about 10 days and get picked up for the ride home.
    "If you push something hard enough it will fall over."
    -Fudd's first law of opposition.

    My BLOG Site

  13. #13
    Registered User KnotHere's Avatar
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    Visionmonger: if you are taking 10 days to get through I'd imagine we'll be "playing through" towards the end of the week. Keep an eye out for a couple hangers with black and red tarps. Will you have Internet access with you?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    -I'm not a hiker, but I will walk for days for the right campsite!

  14. #14
    Registered User Visionmonger's Avatar
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    No, I don't have anything against internet in the woods if that's your thing, not for me though, I like to leave as much of that part of my life behind as I can when I am out. I will keep an eye out for you though, however I might have to bump my schedule up a bit and leave around the 19th.
    "If you push something hard enough it will fall over."
    -Fudd's first law of opposition.

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