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  1. #1

    Question The white mountains in 2.5 weeks

    hello AT enthusiasts,

    I am coming from Israel to new york for september, and plan to hike the whites for 2 and a half weeks.
    maybe you could help me a bit:

    1) what part do you recomend? is it possible to cover all this part in 2.5 weeks?

    2) where should i start? and how do i get there by public transportaion from manhatan (how long does it take?)?

    3) is it possible to open a tent wherever i want, or only on specific areas?

    4) is it ok to make fire a night in the park?

    5) how is the weather in NH on september?

    6) do i need special clothing for the whites?

    7) lime desease - in september are there שמט ticks?

    8) can i find the Databook in regular bookstores?


    thanks!

  2. #2

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    1) what part do you recomend? is it possible to cover all this part in 2.5 weeks?

    Start in Pinkham notch and follow the AT to the Vermont border. As you walk along the way you will learn of places to which you may consider doing a side hike.

    2) where should i start? and how do i get there by public transportaion from manhatan (how long does it take?)?

    Start (see above)...
    Take a plane or train or bus to Boston and then a bus to North Conway. Go to Mountain Coop, resupply and inquire of shuttle to Pinkham Notch. Buy your maps there.

    3) is it possible to open a tent wherever i want, or only on specific areas?

    Not above the tree line. Other places along the way have various rules. Read map signs for camping areas and plan the hike this way.

    4) is it ok to make fire a night in the park?
    Not above the tree line but at campsites ... usually yes.
    5) how is the weather in NH on september?
    Weather is the best.
    6) do i need special clothing for the whites?
    Have wool longjohns and wool longsleeve shirt, a hat and a pair of wool gloves, wind jacket and wind pants. The rest just regular summer hiking clothes.
    7) lime desease - in september are there שמט ticks?
    Observe body every evening for ticks and you will be fine.
    8) can i find the Databook in regular bookstores?
    Mountain coop, AMC store in Pinkham or many others.


    thanks!

    Have fun



    sent from samsonite using tapioca 2
    Let me go

  3. #3

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    thank you very much kobzol! you really helped me.

    about the starting point - i was thinking to start from south to north - maybe from lincoln.
    i havent hiked for a long time, and thought even to start at hanuver (to start more easily). what do you think?

    ticks - aren't they more dangerous at spring time?

    thanks again

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by danieldok View Post
    hello AT enthusiasts,

    I am coming from Israel to new york for september, and plan to hike the whites for 2 and a half weeks.
    maybe you could help me a bit:

    1) what part do you recomend? is it possible to cover all this part in 2.5 weeks?

    2) where should i start? and how do i get there by public transportaion from manhatan (how long does it take?)?

    3) is it possible to open a tent wherever i want, or only on specific areas?

    4) is it ok to make fire a night in the park?

    5) how is the weather in NH on september?

    6) do i need special clothing for the whites?

    7) lime desease - in september are there שמט ticks?

    8) can i find the Databook in regular bookstores?


    thanks!
    Hanover to Gorham is a bit shy of 145 miles on the AT. If you have 17 days that's about 8.5 miles / day, which is feasible. The advantage to starting in Hanover is that you will start with some of the easiest terrain before you get to the ascent of Moosilauke. Be aware that the Whites are very rugged, and depending upon your conditioning, some of those 8.5 mile days maybe challenging.

    You can take a Dartmouth Coach bus from NYC to Hanover. It takes about 5 hours. http://www.dartmouthcoach.com/index.php/schedules.html

    The rules regarding tenting and fires vary by location. http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5363715.pdf The biggest challenge is between Crawford Notch and Pinkham Notch (northbound), which is mostly above tree line. There is no camping up there (and it can be very dangerous even if it were allowed, given the weather). You either need to make reservations at one of the AMC huts, make it from Mizpah Hut or Nauman Tent Site all the way to the Randolph Mountain club facilities or Valley Way in the north in one day, or come down about a mile on the trail to find a flat enough area below tree line to camp.

    The weather can be anywhere from hot and humid at the lower elevations (although normally pretty cool and comfortable) to winter at the higher elevations, particularly as you get toward the end of September. http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/normals.php Mount Washington is the extreme, but that is what you may encounter up there. Overall, it is a great time to hike if you are prepared for the worst.

    Given the weather scenarios, you need warm wool or synthetic layers, rain gear, a sleeping bag or quilt rated for 20F or better, a good sleeping pad for insulation, warm hat and gloves. Personally, I prefer a down quilt so that I can use all of my clothing under it if necessary without compressing any insulation. You probably won't need traction, but check the forecasts and conditions when you are there, and perhaps purchase microspikes if there are some icy conditions. It is not likely that you would get enough snow to require snowshoes, and if it is snowing hard on a given day you can always take a zero day. Also, you should be prudent about your choice of stove. An alcohol stove is light and will work, but you may want to carry the fuel on your person and sleep with it to keep it warm if it gets below freezing. If you need to melt snow (unlikely), you will need an isobutane or even a white gas stove.

    Ticks are still out at the lower elevations in September, but they are not particularly bad relative to areas further south. That said, treating clothing with Permethrin is a very good idea.

    You may be able to find the AMC White Mountain Guide in a bookstore or outdoor shop. http://amcstore.outdoors.org/amcstor...COADAHOCGFBHKJ That's very comprehensive, so you may want to just read the sections that you will be hiking in the guidebook (or photocopy and take them), and take the relevant maps. They also have an online version of the Guide, but you cannot necessary count on having connectivity out on the trail. This guide does not have the resupply info like The A.T. Guide, which does not have the maps. Maps are critical in this section, as you may be forced off the ridge by weather, and it is important to know the potential points of egress, and the trails not on the AT. If it were up to me, I would do some pre-trip planning with the AMC guide, and take the relevant maps. There are some other trail maps for the Whites, but I have not used them so I cannot comment.

    Have a great trip. L'Chaim.

  5. #5

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    Sure you can start from Hanover or from Lincoln. I gave you North Conway as it is the main hub for information and last minute gear. If you aren't used to hiking in rugged mountains then starting in the south going north is probably a better idea as starting in Pinkham will take you over the most rugged environment from day 1.

    Ticks, usually take several hours traveling on your body to finally make the 'bite' - examine your self at the end of the day and you'll be fine. From personal observation I have never had any issues with ticks in the Whites but the panic threshold is very personal.
    Let me go

  6. #6

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    last word: you say: "i havent hiked for a long time," ...

    I am not sure what it means in terms of metrics ;-) but please do not take the White Mountains lightly. You can encounter a treacherous weather above the tree line. The wind alone could be an eye opening experience. Have your gear ready to stay safe and do not hesitate to take a 0 day if the weather is a complete gongshow. After all you are flying thousands of miles to experience the views - ... don't miss the views. lol
    Let me go

  7. #7

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    Ticks aren't much of a concern along the AT in NH, not quite the right enviorment for them. The concern is the weather. There is quite a bit of difference between early September and late September. Fall colors will be coming out in late September, but the weather can get quite nasty too.

    Mt Washington boasts "The worst weather in the world" and that is no exaggeration. And that goes for the whole Presidental range. Three weather fronts clash over these hills and when they do, all you can do is hunker down until one or the other pushes through. Winds above tree line can often hit 100 mph when a front pushes through. This is more common later in the winter, but can also happen in the fall.

    It's not likey you will encounter any snow in September, that usually starts to happen in late October. However, cold rain is very likely and even worse. Most storms push through in 24 hours, but on occasion they can linger for days. 40 degree (4 C) rain for a couple of days can really suck the heat right out of you. Add some wind chill to that and we call that a "raw New England day". You just want to stay inside, eat some soup and sit next to the wood stove reading a book on a day like that.

    The terrain is also quite rugged with many very steep and rocky climbs or worse, decents. Camping is restricted or simply not practical along much of the route, so you need to use designated (and typically with a fee) sites. While there are a few places one can "just open a tent", there are not many.

    Okay, all the above is worse case scenarios, but you have to be prepared for them. Anyone in decent physical condition can do this trek, but having good and proper equipment is imperative. With out it, at best you will be uncomfortabe, at worse you could die.

    An alturnative hike which isn't quite so extrem is to do the AT through Vermont. It's still a rugged hike in places but not nearly as exposed, yet still offers an occasional nice view. One can easily access the start and finish ends of Vermont by bus from Boston. Logistically, it is a little easier to do resupply along the way then NH is. Starting this hike in early September will reward you with some nice fall colors by the end of the month. I would strongly recommend hiking Vermont rather then the Whites in your situation.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Ticks aren't much of a concern along the AT in NH, not quite the right enviorment for them. The concern is the weather. There is quite a bit of difference between early September and late September. Fall colors will be coming out in late September, but the weather can get quite nasty too.

    Mt Washington boasts "The worst weather in the world" and that is no exaggeration. And that goes for the whole Presidental range. Three weather fronts clash over these hills and when they do, all you can do is hunker down until one or the other pushes through. Winds above tree line can often hit 100 mph when a front pushes through. This is more common later in the winter, but can also happen in the fall.

    It's not likey you will encounter any snow in September, that usually starts to happen in late October. However, cold rain is very likely and even worse. Most storms push through in 24 hours, but on occasion they can linger for days. 40 degree (4 C) rain for a couple of days can really suck the heat right out of you. Add some wind chill to that and we call that a "raw New England day". You just want to stay inside, eat some soup and sit next to the wood stove reading a book on a day like that.

    The terrain is also quite rugged with many very steep and rocky climbs or worse, decents. Camping is restricted or simply not practical along much of the route, so you need to use designated (and typically with a fee) sites. While there are a few places one can "just open a tent", there are not many.

    Okay, all the above is worse case scenarios, but you have to be prepared for them. Anyone in decent physical condition can do this trek, but having good and proper equipment is imperative. With out it, at best you will be uncomfortabe, at worse you could die.

    An alturnative hike which isn't quite so extrem is to do the AT through Vermont. It's still a rugged hike in places but not nearly as exposed, yet still offers an occasional nice view. One can easily access the start and finish ends of Vermont by bus from Boston. Logistically, it is a little easier to do resupply along the way then NH is. Starting this hike in early September will reward you with some nice fall colors by the end of the month. I would strongly recommend hiking Vermont rather then the Whites in your situation.

    thank you all for your very usefull information!

    actually you scared me a bit - I know the weather could be bad, and I prepair to bring my best equipment. I did some extreme condition's hiking (on the israel national trail, and in the army), and I hope I could manage to deal with it.

    but what's disturbing me more - is that you said there is no place to open a tent. is it true? I heard you dont have to spend too much money on this trek.

    from looking on the maps, I would really like to hike the Whites, and if I will begin in Hanuver I believe I could do it. but if it requires sleeping with a fee, I should reconsider it...

    are you sure about it?

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    I remember readwing a sign on top of Mt Washington listing the people and the dates they died up there. A surprising amount died in June and the other summer months.
    I'm not really a hiker, I just play one on White Blaze.

  10. #10

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    Franconia Notch- Rangeley Maine 4, 150 miles. You have plenty of bail out options, tons of views and you can avoid the Huts if you play your cards right.
    Fly into Boston and take the Concord Coach. It is easy to get to Franconia Notch from Lincoln or where ever the bus stops. Bout a 3 hour bus ride from Boston.
    Get a map and guidebooks http://www.outdoors.org/publications/books/index.cfm

    September is a great time to be here. It can get cold at night and above treeline. Always watch the weather. Lyme is not something I would worry about. There are signs in the Whites that indicate where you can and cant camp. Some places it just isnt feasible with the terrain. Camp low, 2500 feet or lower and close to streams. Follow the rules and you will have a great trip.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by danieldok View Post
    thank you all for your very usefull information!

    actually you scared me a bit - I know the weather could be bad, and I prepair to bring my best equipment. I did some extreme condition's hiking (on the israel national trail, and in the army), and I hope I could manage to deal with it.

    but what's disturbing me more - is that you said there is no place to open a tent. is it true? I heard you dont have to spend too much money on this trek.

    from looking on the maps, I would really like to hike the Whites, and if I will begin in Hanuver I believe I could do it. but if it requires sleeping with a fee, I should reconsider it...

    are you sure about it?
    There are places to open a tent but they are not necessarily easy to come by. In other words, you need to plan carefully and, if you don't want to pay to stay at an AMC managed campsite, very carefully. The cost to stay at an AMC caretaker maintained campsite is $8. Otherwise, in order to camp legally within the park you need to descend below treeline and observe any posted signs for forest protection areas. This CAN be done but it requires planning. The hard part comes in to play when you're on top of the ridge and a storm suddenly blows in. You know you won't make it to your planned destination and you've got to get off the ridge quick and hunker down. Where do you go? Knowing where you can make camp beyond just where you want to make camp can save your life or at least make your trip a lot more enjoyable.

    As for the cost, the hut system is expensive as compared to free camping, generally around $110 per night including dinner and breakfast. Campsites as I mentioned earlier are $8 and are just a place to pitch your tent. This only applies to certain campsites/shelters and all huts within the White Mountains and one or two in northern Vermont/southern New Hampshire. It's easy to avoid the ones outside the Whites but some of those sites are also the best.

    Also, be prepared that the campsites typically feature wooden tent pads. If you have a free standing tent or tarp that requires staking, be prepared to find alternate ways (like bringing cup hooks) to secure your shelter. I use a tarp and had no problem at all with what they provided.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by danieldok View Post
    but what's disturbing me more - is that you said there is no place to open a tent. is it true? I heard you dont have to spend too much money on this trek.

    are you sure about it?
    I am sure about it? Yes, very sure. If you are unable or unwilling to pay for camping at the designated sites, you should not come here. There are places to camp in the White Mountains which do not require a fee, but these are in the more remote and lesser used areas.

    It is difficult for people to understand why the camping is so restricted in the Whites along the AT. That is until you get here and see what you have to deal with in person. The mountains are very steep, the forest is very dense and the ground is covered in large rocks and boulders.

    Here's a picture of a section of trail in the Whites I was just on recently.
    SAM_0537.jpg
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    This is awesome information. All I can input, as someone from the tri state area (NY/NJ/PA) is if you need equipment for the hike. Being in Manhattan you can easily go over the bridge to Campmor on rt 17. I go there just to be among all the awesomeness; and get fitted next door at the REI. See you out there. I'll be leaving very soon....
    I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains...

    ~ John Muir ~

  14. #14

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    If you have army training, you are more than fine. Just don't underestimate the potential hazards. There are a couple of long stretches (2mi up to 7mi I think) that are above treeline. Here are a few pictures I took last year, so you can see how weather can blow in quick. The first picture was taken about 30 min after the 2nd and 3rd ones.
    http://i.imgur.com/Tx2PzI2.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/czqSY9k.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/k89QAUN.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/ioL9kz8.jpg -Mt Kinsman
    http://i.imgur.com/bHmPt2i.jpg -Franconia Ridge

  15. #15

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    indeed its an awsome information.

    so as you say, there are AMC campsites who charge 8$? well I can live with that... the only thing is that I don't want to be forced to pay 110$ because there aren't any places to put my tent.

    if I will have the Databook or a similiar one - could I manage to plan my days in a way which I can find a descent and cheap\free places?

    I just want to understand how to prepair with money and planning.

    a bus from new york to hanuver - do I need to reserve seats a long time in advance or can I buy it a day before?

    and to get to Campmor - how do I get there from manhatan?

    thanks y'all

  16. #16

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    Keep in mind, if you have lived in Israel you entire life, you are like to encounter temperatures considerably colder than you have ever experienced. Decent chance you will encounter snow.
    Love people and use things; never the reverse.

    Mt. Katahdin would be a lot quicker to climb if its darn access trail didn't start all the way down in Georgia.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by danieldok View Post
    indeed its an awsome information.

    so as you say, there are AMC campsites who charge 8$? well I can live with that... the only thing is that I don't want to be forced to pay 110$ because there aren't any places to put my tent.

    if I will have the Databook or a similiar one - could I manage to plan my days in a way which I can find a descent and cheap\free places?

    I just want to understand how to prepair with money and planning.

    a bus from new york to hanuver - do I need to reserve seats a long time in advance or can I buy it a day before?

    and to get to Campmor - how do I get there from manhatan?

    thanks y'all
    the databook wont cut it. Folks that have never been here, come here with a guidebook or some sort of datebook, then go home and complain about not being able to find their way because of the incredible amount of trail intersections. Do yourself a favor and carry a map as well as whatever guidebook.

    Bus seats, you should be fine day of, but its always best to purchase before IMO to guarantee you get a seat.

    When you decide where you want to hike, post it here and many folsk can give you all of the info you need about where to camp and side trails to other camping spots

  18. #18

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    off trail lodging can get expensive up here if you get into a stretch of rainy days. You have plenty of options along the trail of hostels and campgrounds depending on where you go. With a map, you can come down off the mountains and walk or hitch to hostels if you need to get off the trail.

  19. #19

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    I found this list of cabins on the whites - and I see it costs 8$ for a night:
    http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/camp...nderForPrint=1

    can I count on it?

    and I also found this restrictions:
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5363715.pdf

    so, if I have a map - is it possible to manage the hike there without the fear of being stuck somewhere (of course - with some planing before)?

    this is my plan:
    start from Hanover and head north. the first days I'll walk until franconia notch, to warm up a bit before the presidentials.
    then I'll walk the prasidentials, heading Gorham. from there I will go back to NY.
    for this trek I have 2 weeks and 4 days. is it possible in terms of time?

    and I would be glad to here some tips for this segment.

    thank you

  20. #20

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    and another (big) question - do you think I should go and hike a different section of the AT?
    a one which is beutiful but less difficult?

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