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Thread: Into Winter

  1. #1

    :banana Into Winter

    How many hike in the Winter? In the Snow and Cold. Post your hike here.

  2. #2

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    Winter is my favorite season for being on trails, though over the past few years there has been precious little snow in Northwestern CT for snowshoeing. I don't have much preference for particular trails, though after a decent snow storm blazes, especially white blazes on the AT tend to blend into the snow sticking to trees compromising navigation, however that's what maps and compasses are for.

    Today is supposed to be down in single digits with the windchill and I'm looking forward to some winter conditions as the ground freezes and hopefully some snow in the next few weeks. Hoping for some snow this winters so we can use the snowshoes more than a day or two.

  3. #3

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    I am out weekly or more often in the winter. Snow has been a rare commodity this year but did get in a snowshoe last week. I prefer winter hiking as the leaves are down so it lot easier to go off trail in the hardwoods but makes it tougher in dense softwoods as they tend to hold snow. There are tricks to the learn like plan on extra space in the backpack in the AM as it will get filled during the day with layers being taken off. Its real easy not to drink enough on cold day and I usually have to do some electrolyte supplements when I get home. Once we get some real snow, the trails get packed down and I can consistently go faster than in the summer as all the rocks are hidden so the trail is like a sidewalk, add in some fresh snow on top of packed trails and butt sliding can really speed things up. No bugs!

  4. #4
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    I day hike all winter. Snow is a rarity down here in NC!

  5. #5
    Registered User Slugg's Avatar
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    I love hiking and backpacking in the winter for a lot of the same reasons as other folks..Leaves are down so you get expansive, constant views that aren’t normally there, and you generally get the trail to yourself.

    I also specifically save overgrown/abandoned trails, manways, overgrown logging roads, etc for the winter time because most of the brush is dead, grass is dead, thorns are less thorny, bugs are nonexistent, less sweat from climbing over blowdowns, etc…

    I do find it harder to find a partner to join me in winter, but that’s all good, I normally hike alone anyway. I’ve got a base-camping trip with a friend planned for mid-January in the Citico/Slickrock/Snowbird Wilderness areas. Base-camping isn’t normally my style but I’m excited for it and it made the trip a lot more appealing for my buddy.

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    The older I get the Winter "backpacking" is less appealing. I love Winter hiking but solo camping when the sunset @ 5pm, it's becoming more lonely and a struggle to stay up until 9. I don't like to stay in my tent for 10+ hours so it's truly a struggle.
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

  7. #7
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    This is the best time of the year to day hike in the Georgia mountains at places like the Cohutta Wilderness Area. And we're far enough south that the daylight hours are longer.

    For camping, this is the optimal time for awesome places like Cumberland Island National Seashore (many miles of interesting hiking trails there), the Okefenokee Swamp, and the swamps and springs in Florida.

    Probably all of the southern states are filled with great opportunities. And no bugs, no snakes, many days with low humidity.

  8. #8
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    I try to get at least one trip in somewhere in the Whites each winter, with a few good friends. Many of them are very proficient backcountry skiers, but I am not, so I stick to the snowshoes. I can keep up with them on the ascents, but no shot on the descents, lol.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    This is the best time of the year to day hike in the Georgia mountains at places like the Cohutta Wilderness Area. And we're far enough south that the daylight hours are longer.
    It's my favorite time of year to hike here in North Georgia.

  10. #10
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    Nothing like breaking fresh trail in some snow shoes, I go for the least popular spots to give better opportunity to break trail. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, conditions have not been ideal in CT in recent years.
    NoDoz
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    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  11. #11
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    My wife and I usually do at least a couple of multi-day, winter trips. We won't be this year as I'm getting over a broken leg.

  12. #12

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    I was up on Mt Moosilauke New years Eve. Not much snow in the whites yet this winter but it looked plenty winter on top. There was an undercast, a deck of solid clouds at around 4300 feet, so only the summits over 4300 feet would appear floating on top of the clouds. It was also quite cold and windy, the summit was not place to hang out for lunch. I went out yesterday about 20 miles east up Kearsage North and its restored fire tower, very icy getting up there, so micro spikes were required for half the trip, but 100 miles plus visibility and if I had a T shirt I probably could have worn it down. I could see a lot of the AT from the summit of Moosilauke all the way up to Mt Abraham in Maine. Its rare to get days with visibility like that, any other time of the year except winter. One of the few places year round in the whites where folks can camp at or above treeline with a 360 view. I met a group heading down from a night in the fire tower. No reservations just show up and it even has an outhouse, just bring a real good sleeping bag as its elevated and temps go way down on clear night.

  13. #13
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I was up on Mt Moosilauke New years Eve. Not much snow in the whites yet this winter but it looked plenty winter on top. There was an undercast, a deck of solid clouds at around 4300 feet, so only the summits over 4300 feet would appear floating on top of the clouds. It was also quite cold and windy, the summit was not place to hang out for lunch. I went out yesterday about 20 miles east up Kearsage North and its restored fire tower, very icy getting up there, so micro spikes were required for half the trip, but 100 miles plus visibility and if I had a T shirt I probably could have worn it down. I could see a lot of the AT from the summit of Moosilauke all the way up to Mt Abraham in Maine. Its rare to get days with visibility like that, any other time of the year except winter. One of the few places year round in the whites where folks can camp at or above treeline with a 360 view. I met a group heading down from a night in the fire tower. No reservations just show up and it even has an outhouse, just bring a real good sleeping bag as its elevated and temps go way down on clear night.
    That sounds like a super nice place to be on new years eve, that fire tower. What if it's full when you get up there? Are there camp spots below?

  14. #14

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    There are some flat areas nearby, if there was more snow on the ground, it would be easy to dig in. Its one of the old standard FS fire towers with a deck around all sides. The interior size is 14' by 14' so 10 people? The USFS restored it a few years ago.

  15. #15

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    I typically don't experience a lot of snow in the winter, and don't particularly like snow, but I do hike all the way thru winter here in the south, being Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and this year Alabama on the Pinhoti. I enjoy the quietness of the woods in winter time, I also enjoy the ease of night hiking in winter on a dry night, I have come to enjoy the solitude of the trail in winter, especially on these shorter trails I have been completing the last few years. I have wanted to try out a hot tent camping style this year but have not pursued that due to expense vs how much I think I would use it(not alot)
    Trail Miles: 4,980.5
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    Pinhoti Trail: Complete 2023-2024
    Foothills Trail: 47.9
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    BMT: 52.7
    CDT: 85.4

  16. #16

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    Winter dayhiking vs winter backpacking are two vastly different subjects---so the question could be---How many backpack in the winter?

    Around age 69 I started all my winter trips with a half dozen Hot Hands warmth packets, a compromise with a product I use to curse thruout my life (i.e. packets left as trash at every campsite etc). I've carried up to 9 packets on a long winter trip. In fact I popped one open last night for sleeping out on the porch. (One packet equals two pouches).

    My last long winter trip was in January to Big Frog wilderness---and then a 20 day trip this last November when temps hit 12F in the mountains of TN.

    Trip 222 (109)-XL.jpg
    I'm camped on top of Frog Mt and see some dayhikers come up to survey the area. They don't stay long on the top.


    A blizzard hits Frog Mt where I hunker in for 3 days.


    Tent atop olde Frog.


    Leaving Frog Mt after the blizzard and terrific windstorm.


    This pic is from a recent November trip during a sudden cold snap---on the last 4 days of a 20 day trip.

  17. #17
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    I'm impressed at the amount of stamina you have to do 20 days carrying such a large amount of weight. I turn 80 this year and limit myself to day hikes and car camping. Bought myself a rechargeble handwarmer for the day hikes.

  18. #18

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    Winter is the best time to hike on the Pinhoti Trail in AL/GA. More views, more water, less bugs and snakes.

    Charlotte

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by zelph View Post
    I'm impressed at the amount of stamina you have to do 20 days carrying such a large amount of weight. I turn 80 this year and limit myself to day hikes and car camping. Bought myself a rechargeble handwarmer for the day hikes.
    I've noticed how much more difficult it is to pull winter trips as I age out of usefulness. Old bodies are more vulnerable to cold I guess.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Winter dayhiking vs winter backpacking are two vastly different subjects---so the question could be---How many backpack in the winter?

    Around age 69 I started all my winter trips with a half dozen Hot Hands warmth packets, a compromise with a product I use to curse thruout my life (i.e. packets left as trash at every campsite etc). I've carried up to 9 packets on a long winter trip. In fact I popped one open last night for sleeping out on the porch. (One packet equals two pouches).

    My last long winter trip was in January to Big Frog wilderness---and then a 20 day trip this last November when temps hit 12F in the mountains of TN.

    Trip 222 (109)-XL.jpg
    I'm camped on top of Frog Mt and see some dayhikers come up to survey the area. They don't stay long on the top.


    A blizzard hits Frog Mt where I hunker in for 3 days.


    Tent atop olde Frog.


    Leaving Frog Mt after the blizzard and terrific windstorm.


    This pic is from a recent November trip during a sudden cold snap---on the last 4 days of a 20 day trip.
    often, blizzards result in snow deeper than boot welts. Thankfully the winds blew all the snow away overnight. It’s odd that it didn’t create snow drifts though?

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