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  1. #1
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Default Long Trail wrapup report

    Well, I got home from Vermont yesterday about 5:30 PM, tired and spent from the hike and the long drive.

    On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being perfect I'd rate the hike a strong 8. The Long Trail north of Lincoln Gap is a total beast and is basically 1 obstacle after another, all day - every day. It's grueling and I quickly had to readjust my approach to hold a pace I could maintain and endure each day rather than look at the map and decide how far I was going on any particular day. The Long Trail is an endurance contest, not a race track.

    I would rate the trail north of Lincoln Gap at least on par with the AT between Glencliff and Gorham any day of the week except The Long Trail is a hard hike for at least 125 solid miles. Actually, the climb out of Appalachian Gap, south of Theorn Dean shelter is where the trail makes it's last, brutal gasp. After that it gets much easier.

    After The Long Trail rejoins the AT at Maine Junction it was back to the Vermont I know and love - roots and rocks, but no major obstacles.

    Would I hike it again? Probably not, just because I'm really not a big fan of that kind of hiking - but I honor the beauty and ruggedness of the trail and the state. It was awesome.

    Trivia:

    I resupplied 3 times - Jonesville, Waitsfield, and Manchester Center. I was going to resupply in Rutland while I was at The Inn at Long Trail but didn't want to waste half a day futzing around on a bus so I made the dash for Manchester Center without resupplying. When I got to Manchester Center all I had left in my food bag was a handful of Fritos and a Ramen.

    The hike took 15 days total - from the time I got out of my truck at the beginning to the time I got back in my truck at the end.

    Out of 15 hiking days, 1 day was only 3 miles and another was 8 miles so I averaged over 20 mpd.

    Longest day: 30 miles (also had a 27 and a 29 I believe)

    Dumbest thing I did: Climb Jay Peak twice because I went north again when I should have went south.

    Almost quit 1 time: About 1/3 up Mansfield I decided that I'd had enough crappy rock trail and was going to go home. I took one step downhill to hitch into Stowe, stopped and thought for a minute and decided I'd quit tomorrow if I still felt the same way. When I got to the top of Mt. Mansfield on such a beautiful, perfect day I knew I was going to finish. (I would have finished anyway....)

    Best shelter: Tillotson Camp (had it to myself too)

    Worst shelter: Cooley Glen. Shared it with a mouse that had ADHD and ran around ALL night.

    Hardest climb: Camel's Hump.

    Suckiest climb: Whiteface

    Worst decent: Smuggler's Notch

    Most overrated climb: Mt. Mansfield (but it was dry, and the rocks were warm making for good traction on my summit day)

    Longest time to hitch a ride: 20 minutes, into Richmond

    Most useful piece of needless gear: GPS - came in handy several times.

    Firetowers climbed: 2 (Stratton and Glastenbury)

    Friendliest person: The little old lady who turned around in Waitsfield and took me back to The Hydeaway Inn even though she was going in the opposite direction. She said, "You look tired, need a ride?"

    Cool thing: Meeting so many White Blaze members

  2. #2
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip, 10-K. When I did a SOBO thru-hike in August 1979 I had not hiked any of the southern trails, so while the northern section was very tough, it was a lot prettier than the Mid-Atlantic sections of the AT I had hiked up to that point. Once we hit Maine Junction our daily mileage increased by 70%. I still fondly remember that hike. I hope you put together a good trip report that you can refer to over the years.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  3. #3

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    Nice 10K i was glad I got to say hi to you on the way by. It is funny how different the trail is going north or south. it seems like the long side of the hills are on the north side so SOBO's have to climb further but the north side is steep but shorter. Someone posted that it took them 7 hr to do Banforth to Montclair over camel's hump. I stayed at Montclair and was over, down and got picked up at the powerlines trailhead in that time frame.

    I like the distance of the LT but I too wouldn't do it again. I prefer the openness of the Whites and the JMT has some appeal too.

  4. #4

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    Good report. Based on the Jay Peak comment, you must be the person that came in late to buchanan after doing Mansfield (we were chatting around the fire)

  5. #5
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    Good report. Based on the Jay Peak comment, you must be the person that came in late to buchanan after doing Mansfield (we were chatting around the fire)
    That's me...

    I really enjoyed sitting around the fire. At that point I had been alone pretty much the entire hike and it was good to be around some people.
    Last edited by 10-K; 08-20-2012 at 13:29.

  6. #6
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
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    You did a 30-mile, 27-mile and 29-mile day on the LT? That's hard core. My hat's off to you.

  7. #7
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StubbleJumper View Post
    You did a 30-mile, 27-mile and 29-mile day on the LT? That's hard core. My hat's off to you.
    Basically the section where the AT and LT run together. That's pretty easy hiking. North of Lincoln Gap I only had one 20+ mile day (24 actually).

  8. #8
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    Good work 10k - glad you stuck it out.

  9. #9
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    Excellent report. Congrat's on another notch in your hipbelt.

  10. #10
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    about 3 years ago on my sobo, I went up Jay Peak and then missed the trail cut-off and continued down the ski slope for a while until a maintenance worker informed me of my mistake. I met a guy a while later on Bolton Mt. who did the same thing.

  11. #11

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    Mark, i got screwed up at those 2 points too but going northbound. Bolton isn't as bad southbound as the trail is a bit more obvious where you go but Jay peak we went passed the opening in the fence after the top. I'm ok with fewer "comfort" blazes but turn and junction areas could definitely use improvement.

  12. #12

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    Whats the diff between a hard climb and a sucky climb?

  13. #13
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    A hard climb is just difficult. A sucky climb is both difficult and annoying...

    Kind of like the difference between hiking up the Priest in VA and scrambling up a mountain of similar elevation in the Whites. One is just hard. The other sucks.

  14. #14

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    Impressive hike, and nice account of it.

    Hey, I think we might have passed each other Wednesday morning, just South of the Douglas Shelter. I was NOBO doing an AT section. You (or the person I passed) asked me if I was Deacon. Said I wasn't, and that was that.
    Formerly uhfox

    Springer to Bear Mountain Inn, NY
    N Adams, MA to Clarendon VT
    Franconia Notch to Crawford Notch

  15. #15
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UHFox View Post
    Impressive hike, and nice account of it.

    Hey, I think we might have passed each other Wednesday morning, just South of the Douglas Shelter. I was NOBO doing an AT section. You (or the person I passed) asked me if I was Deacon. Said I wasn't, and that was that.
    That was me.

  16. #16
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Congrats on a hike well done, 10-K, and thanks for your informative report. I intend to see more of the LT in coming months. Am keen to take on the Hump, Mansfield and Killington. I found Stratton easy my second time this past May - am sure, from you and from others, that getting up further north will change that story. Personally, I enjoy the challenge of the harder climbs, but it helps for me to get the accompanying reward of long views, so I likely will bag the 4K-footers and maybe hike the whole AT/LT section for the more enjoyable trail, skipping most of the rest excepts for maybe the Jays for their extreme northern views. Thanks again for reporting in so helpfully.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  17. #17
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    re: GPS

    Surprised to hear you say how you used it. Not being snarky, but have the trail conditions deteriorated in terms of maintenance? It was my first long hike way-back-when and I found navigation to be straight forward. Honestly curious.

    Congrats on the hike BTW.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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  18. #18
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    re: GPS

    Surprised to hear you say how you used it. Not being snarky, but have the trail conditions deteriorated in terms of maintenance? It was my first long hike way-back-when and I found navigation to be straight forward. Honestly curious.

    Congrats on the hike BTW.
    You did note that I called it my "most useful piece of needless gear" - meaning I did not need it but found it useful.

    It was handy when I'd pop out on a ski slope and being able to quickly ascertain where the trail went instead of exploring all the various side trails doing the process of elimination thing.

    There was one time that it did come in very handy and that's when I suddenly found myself on a red blazed trail, walking downhill of course... Without the GPS I would have kept walking further and further downhill looking for a white blaze because I honestly thought I had been paying attention. I turned on my GPS and found that the trail took a hard right that I missed. Turned around on the spot and quickly got back on track.

    Required? hell no. Useful? Very.

    I took the SPOT at the request of my wife as well...

  19. #19
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    I took the SPOT at the request of my wife as well...
    As an uncle of mine once told me "Buddy, if mamma bear is not happy neither is pappa bear"



    I'd love to do the Long (and Hard ) Trail again in the Fall...

    Hmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post

    I enjoyed my stay in the ski lift hut and am glad I went the extra mile past Sterling Pond... It did have electricity as the caretaker said but it also had lights and a stereo and was bigger than she had indicated. I had all kinds of room and awesome views of Stowe.
    The amenities have changed!
    Last edited by Mags; 08-21-2012 at 09:33.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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  20. #20

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    hey old boy, it was great to say 'Hi" shoulda stayed with me at Sterling pond, we had popcorn that night. I couldn't catch you , stayed a shelter back for a quite a while. I got off at Rte 4, great, tough hike. The Hyde away was a good stop for me as well

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