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  1. #21
    Registered User
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    On the trail


    Easy answer. Go SoBo. When you hit hot springs then decide if you want to be an AT completer or a thru hiker. I wouldn't stress either way.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  2. #22
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Upper Darby, PA
    Journal Entries

    Question My question to you

    You clearly feel the need to be a thru-hiker -- as defined by the ATC -- and not "just" somebody who did the entire AT in two, completely separate journeys.

    My simple question is, "Why? What difference does it make?"

    Other than yourself, who's going to really CARE if you do the latter but not the former? Your friends? Your family? A bunch of strangers on the Internet?

    My friends & family are almost in awe that I've completed 1450 miles of The Trail, despite my taking about twelve years to do so. NOBODY has said, "Doing it in small section hikes? You must be an inferior backpacker!"
    I have no doubt but that SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE will communicate -- perhaps implicitly, perhaps explicitly -- the idea, "I'm a thru-hiker, and that makes my experience -- or even myself -- superior."
    If you actually meet such a person, feel free to feel superior to her or him. After all, you're not a putz who cares about that fact.

  3. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by Last Call View Post
    For all intents and purposes, it is the beginning of the Southern terminus of the A.T, why, even the very first A.T. shelter is right behind the visitor center, Max Epperson shelter..... even the ranger at Amicalola told me it was the starting point.
    People can say whatever they want but it doesnít make it true. Amicalola is not the starting point of the AT, Max Epperson shelter is NOT the first shelter on the AT, and for all intents and purposes, Springer Mountain is the start of the southern terminus....because thatís where the southern terminus begins. One does not have to start at Amicalola to get on the AT.

    Please donít perpetuate this idea that one has to hike the approach trail in order to be a Thru hiker. Thatís opinion, not fact.
    Last edited by capehiker; 10-27-2017 at 11:01.

  4. #24


    If it were me I'd probably start in Hot Springs...though it might be tempting to start at Fontana Dam and begin the hike with the Smokies and Max Patch. But I personally wouldn't worry about whether my hike was a thru hike or a section hike. The beginning and the end are really pretty arbitrary anyway. Its your journey, you decide where to begin and where to end.

  5. #25


    Not to beat a dead horse, but Springer Mtn is the southern terminus and Baxter Peak is the northern terminus. Lots of things about the AT are subject to debate and opinion, but this one is not in question.

  6. #26


    Quote Originally Posted by DownEaster View Post
    I suggest starting at Hot Springs and doing the rest of the AT. Long trails take a lot out of your body, and you'll increase your chances of becoming a 2000 miler if you don't start by repeating that section. If you get to Katahdin and you're still healthy and motivated, you can go back to Hot Springs and head south as a flip-flopper. By going in the opposite direction on that section you'll also get a different perspective compared to hiking it northbound again.

    Excellent advice.

  7. #27


    Do what you want. IF you are going hiking to try to impress other people by attaining some arbitrary "standard" or rule or title, you will be sadly disappointed because others really don't care.

  8. #28


    Since we covered most of the options, were you attempting a thruhike previously? Care to share why you left the trail if you were?
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan User Agreement.

  9. #29
    Registered User Mulungu's Avatar
    Join Date
    STELLENBOSCH south Africa


    My perspective:
    we have walked springer mountain to harpers ferry in 2013 and Delewarewater gap to Monson in 2015. Both sections were fun and we enjoyed every minute. But for us we need the accomplishment of the springer to Kathadin in one year to be able to say we thru hiked the AT. We start on again on the 4 April 2018 for our thru hike. Perhaps then we can start dreaming of walking the other trials.
    The At leaves you breathless and gives you stories to tell. Scatterlings of Africa on a long walk to freedom

  10. #30


    Quote Originally Posted by capehiker View Post
    According to the ATC, a thru hike is completing the trail in one calendar year. If that is important to you, youíll need to start at Springer again and head north (or vice versa). If completing the trail is the driving factor, start at Hot Springs and head north. You would be a section hiker or LASHíer (long a** section hiker) and at the end of your hike you would be a 2000 miler. Interestingly, the ATC does not distinguish between a thru hiker and a section hiker who completes the entire trail. They are both 2,000 milers to the conservancy.

    Aside from that, Iím unsure of why you would be at a loss of what to do? Are you more concerned about the title or completing the trail?
    Not true, the ATC considers a thru hike completed within a 12 month period, not calendar year. From their site:

    How does the ATC define thru-hiking?

    We define a thru-hike as a hike of the entire A.T. in 12 months or less.

  11. #31


    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson Bigills View Post
    Not to beat a dead horse, but Springer Mtn is the southern terminus and Baxter Peak is the northern terminus. Lots of things about the AT are subject to debate and opinion, but this one is not in question.
    true enough.
    I would only debate that whoever it was that established these points, IMHO, was an idiot. A trail can't start where a person can't get to it. The end of a trail should be AT a trailhead, in my opinion..... and of course, it doesn't matter.

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