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  1. #21
    Registered User AlyontheAT2016's Avatar
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    I made it 13 miles into New York on my first thru attempt last year before finally deciding to call it quits. 100 degree temps at 10 in the morning plus exhaustion due to too much weight loss is what did it for me. I sort of regret it but I know I would have been miserable if I had kept pushing on. One day I'm going to hike the whole trail over again, and start earlier in the year so I don't feel like I have a time crunch--and so I don't get trapped in the mid-Atlantic states during an August heat wave.
    AT '16: 1,378 miles GA-NY

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  2. #22
    Registered User 1234's Avatar
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    I got off on account of injuries, 2weeks later I got back on trying to skip forward to stay with original group, they got faster an I got slower, then got sick, 3 weeks later started back. So I yellow blazed all the way up to the end hitting all the famous sections, doing 1 week to 10 day sections. I have great notes of all trips, now I am stringing all the missed pieces together. Having a blast, no I will not be a thru hiker, but I am intent on completing every step of the trail. Amazing how the trail provides wheather you are section hiking or thru hiking. It is all good now I am in no rush and take my time, no big mile days, if I decide to nap on a sunny viewpoint I do, an if I stay to long? Oh well I stay the night.

  3. #23
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    I've regretted the end of every vacation I ever took - whether it was hiking or sitting on a beach in the Caribbean. There are so many obstacles to successfully completing a thru-hike. Injury, boredom/blues, family issues, money, etc. Most people never even have the opportunity to try. You have to embrace and enjoy the experience regardless of the outcome.

  4. #24
    Lnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1234 View Post
    I got off on account of injuries, 2weeks later I got back on trying to skip forward to stay with original group, they got faster an I got slower, then got sick, 3 weeks later started back. So I yellow blazed all the way up to the end hitting all the famous sections, doing 1 week to 10 day sections. I have great notes of all trips, now I am stringing all the missed pieces together. Having a blast, no I will not be a thru hiker, but I am intent on completing every step of the trail. Amazing how the trail provides wheather you are section hiking or thru hiking. It is all good now I am in no rush and take my time, no big mile days, if I decide to nap on a sunny viewpoint I do, an if I stay to long? Oh well I stay the night.
    Sounds like bliss to me! The only way I could ever do a thru hike of the AT is if I started in January, because I am Soooo SSSlllloooowwww, partially because I just am but also because that is my hiking style. I like to go slow. See everything. Appreciate each every little thing that grabs my attention and take my sweet merry time. My every day life is a constant state of go, go, go. Always somewhere to be by a certain time. Hiking is the antithesis of that for me. It's what I love most about it.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  5. #25
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    This year will be my 3rd attempt. I've finally learned to listen to my body and take it slow as needed. It may turn out to be another section hike, or if it feels right it will turn into a thru. When I obsessed about the hike, it controlled my life and the outcome was not good. If I don't complete the thru, no regrets, just lots of amazing memories.
    Simple is good.

  6. #26
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    In 2000 I made it 1500 miles and had a foot injury so I got off. In 2001 I came back to that spot and went to Maine. In 2002 I thru-hiked GAME. Then I did a SOBO to HF and then at NOBO to HF. The point is just keep at until you are happy with what you've done. I've done a lot of other trails but I'll be on the AT SOBO this summer !
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  7. #27

    Default We, the AT section hikers, welcome all of you.

    Just keep hiking, whether near home, on vacation, or a few hours carver out of a business trip.

    Hiking doesn't have to be a single big event like a thru-hike.

  8. #28

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    I quit after 850 miles, but by that point I was ready and I knew it. I've never wished I had kept going. I still hike and still backpack. I do weekend trips with an occasional 3-4-5 day trip. I'd like to do some long sections, but not necessarily on the AT. I wouldn't want to attempt another through hike. Seems to me that many places have a 'best time of year' to do them and you're not going to hit that time frame in most cases doing a thruhike.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrickjd9 View Post
    Just keep hiking, whether near home, on vacation, or a few hours carver out of a business trip.

    Hiking doesn't have to be a single big event like a thru-hike.
    Amen, brother. And a backpacking trip doesn't have to be a single big event, either. Squeeze a dayhike into an overnighter.

  10. #30
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    I quit after 850 miles, but by that point I was ready and I knew it. I've never wished I had kept going. I still hike and still backpack. I do weekend trips with an occasional 3-4-5 day trip. I'd like to do some long sections, but not necessarily on the AT. I wouldn't want to attempt another through hike. Seems to me that many places have a 'best time of year' to do them and you're not going to hit that time frame in most cases doing a thruhike.
    You made it almost twice as far as I did. I quit in Damascus. Regarding the best time - you can't thru-hike the entire AT in September or October. But you can section it over multiple years in prime months.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    you can't thru-hike the entire AT in September or October. But you can section it over multiple years in prime months.
    i once mentioned this as a clear advantage to section hiking, and one of the moderators on here proceeded to tell me how great it could be to hike in unpleasant weather. to which i said, well if thats your thing section hiking still allows you to pick your preferred weather. that argument didnt resonate. i guess some people like random variables.

    i also wondered how many thrus who got to traverse the whites during a string of rainy days would feel about the suggestion.

  12. #32
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i once mentioned this as a clear advantage to section hiking, and one of the moderators on here proceeded to tell me how great it could be to hike in unpleasant weather. to which i said, well if thats your thing section hiking still allows you to pick your preferred weather. that argument didnt resonate. i guess some people like random variables.

    i also wondered how many thrus who got to traverse the whites during a string of rainy days would feel about the suggestion.
    Yeah, been up on the ridge in the Whites several times in 40/40/40 conditions: 40F, 40 mph winds, 40 ft visibility, PLUS sideways rain - memorable, but not really my idea of what I'd LIKE to plan for. Nor was the freezing fog on another trip. Perhaps it's good to have a few of those experiences just for comparison's sake, but it's nothing I'd intentionally seek out again. Spring hiking in May in GSMNP and VA would be good time albeit a bit wet, summer and early fall north of MA. I always liked the idea of the "cool breeze" and some of the other alternative itineraries for a thru-hike as a result. http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home...ng/alternative

  13. #33
    Lnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Amen, brother. And a backpacking trip doesn't have to be a single big event, either. Squeeze a dayhike into an overnighter.
    This is what my husband and I do. Partly because we are in terrible physical shape and partly because I am just naturally very very slow, but another really big part is because we just like to stroll all lazily through the woods and check out the funky tree formations and pretty flowers and funky looking spiders (that I HATE, but can still appreciate at a distance) and just sit and stare at a pretty view for a while. I go to walk in the woods to slow down. It will take us an overnight and 2 days just to do the approach from the top of the falls this weekend and we can't wait!!
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  14. #34
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash Berserker's Avatar
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    I'm gonna represent for the section hikers since I haven't attempted a thru. For us things are a little different because most section hikers can't take off 6 months, and therefore the hikes are usually run on a pretty tight schedule due to vacation time, travel, etc. So for us not finishing a section can feel like big failure.

    So anyway, I've had to rearrange a couple of long hikes, and I don't regret either one. At the time it sucked, but in hindsight things worked out just fine. First one was VT. I was gonna section all of VT in 10 days, and 3 days in I was definitely overdoing it. I pulled the mileage back and got off at Maine Junction. I had been playing with the mileage on my hikes for a few years before that, and that section showed me what was too much for my personal enjoyment so I've dialed things back since then...for the most part.

    The other one that got me was last year. Was gonna go from NH 25 on the North side of Moosiluake to Grafton Notch SP, and I only managed 74 of the 122 miles of that section. That was an absolute arse kicking if I've ever had one. I felt like I failed at the time, but limping into town multiple times where it was clear that I had wayyyyyyyyy overdone it changed my mind on how things went.

    So I guess mine are more stories of regret at the time, but feeling good about things later on.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
    JMT: 2013

  15. #35
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    4eyes makes some great points. I feel bad for thru hikers coming through the White Mountains in bad weather. I've never thru-hiked the White Mountains but have spent more time there than most WBers. The weather makes all the difference. But of course the same holds true for other parts of the trail. Eg., most thru-hikers go through the Smokies when the weather is very likely to less than perfect.

    I can think of many AT miles where views were nil, weather sucked, and I wondered what it might have been like on a better day.

    No two thru hikes are alike. Revisit the same mile in different seasons, on different days, or even different time of day, and it's a very different experience.

  16. #36
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    Recalc, I was happy to hear that you went back and finished your hike. DNo and I got off in Rangely Maine with an injury. We are planning on going back this August to finish up. My concern is starting in that section without "trail legs". Did you have a problem with that?

  17. #37
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i once mentioned this as a clear advantage to section hiking, and one of the moderators on here proceeded to tell me how great it could be to hike in unpleasant weather. to which i said, well if thats your thing section hiking still allows you to pick your preferred weather. that argument didnt resonate. i guess some people like random variables.

    i also wondered how many thrus who got to traverse the whites during a string of rainy days would feel about the suggestion.
    You can count me in the variable group. 130 days of sunshine would have been boring to me. As for a string of rainy days in the Whites, just because you're doing a thru doesn't mean you can't take a few days off in town to wait out the weather if you really want to see something. Actually doing a thru could be an advantage as you don't have the time crunch of a section hike where several rainy days in what's supposed to be the best time of year could be half your trip. In the Whites, I was happy I got to see a little of everything with a mix of walking in a cloud or rain for two days, sunshine along the ridge for two days and a couple of mixed days where the clouds were below the mountains.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by evyck da fleet View Post
    You can count me in the variable group. 130 days of sunshine would have been boring to me. As for a string of rainy days in the Whites, just because you're doing a thru doesn't mean you can't take a few days off in town to wait out the weather if you really want to see something. Actually doing a thru could be an advantage as you don't have the time crunch of a section hike where several rainy days in what's supposed to be the best time of year could be half your trip. In the Whites, I was happy I got to see a little of everything with a mix of walking in a cloud or rain for two days, sunshine along the ridge for two days and a couple of mixed days where the clouds were below the mountains.
    the argument still falls flat. if you dont want to hike in the same weather all the time, a section hike gives you a better chance of accomplishing that than a thru hike.

    for whats it worth, every thru i meet south of glencliff who will listen gets told by me to stop and wait for clear weather when they get there if its raining. i doubt many listen.

    x

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by C-shell View Post
    Recalc, I was happy to hear that you went back and finished your hike. DNo and I got off in Rangely Maine with an injury. We are planning on going back this August to finish up. My concern is starting in that section without "trail legs". Did you have a problem with that?
    C-Shell, I'm glad to see that you and DNo are going back! I tried to compensate for "starting cold" by 1) making sure my injury was healed, 2) walking through my neighborhood with a loaded backpack around 12 miles per week, and 3) going to the gym to do core exercises. Once on the trail, I kept my miles per day low due to the terrain and the fact that I didn't feel a time constraint. The unexpected benefit was my ability to actually enjoy Maine. (Excuse thread drift)

  20. #40
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    Having to get off in Maine...that would suck so bad....dang...

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