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  1. #21

    Default Thanks for the beautiful and instructive pic, fiddlehead...

    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Also keep in mind that the nights are getting longer and the days shorter.

    You should think about getting up before dawn and cooking so that you are out on the trail at first light. and hike until dark. This means maybe carrying a good headlamp with extra batteries as you will be cooking and eating in the dark.

    Here is what the whites looked like one day in 2001 when we started Oct 14 for our SOBO "supported" hike:

    This was the day we climbed Moosilauki (sp?) and our last day in the whites. We got lucky the day we went over Mt. Washington and only had flurries and great views.

    Have a good hike! (be prepared to bail sometimes and sit out some weather)
    What kind of daily mileage does someone expect to make in that in the Whites or southern Maine, especially when they get to the sustained 50+ degree inclines? Again, I just think there is an air of unreality based on very little information here. I suggest anyone inclined to leave SOBO in what is just about winter should get more info before committing to doing it.

    P.S. I will add that I was in Baxter Park from what, October 12-15, 2006 . Katahdin (little different elevation from some of the Presidentials, and lower than Mt. Washington by about a thousand feet) had already had at least one Class IV day before I got there. There was snow and ice in the shade that 2 sunny days in a row had not melted. I can only guess what it would have been like a month later. This is what southernpine is intending to go into. While not like the 3 guys that got themselves killed on Mt. Hood (?) last winter, the 4 Quebecers that started up the Huntingdon Ravine trail late afternoon in street clothes, etc., it still smacks to me of poor judgement/information for someone not already an expert on that activity to do.

    There are people on this site who could do this thing, albeit still with some challenges. I'm not yet inclined to think the original poster is one of them.

  2. #22
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    Default NPS's A.T. map

    There's an unequaled planning resource southernpine85 requested, but no one's linked. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader before clicking on the link provided. A link to this software can be located on ALDHA's website where you can also download the files which together comprise The Online Companion, another excellent planning resource.

  3. #23
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Also keep in mind that the nights are getting longer and the days shorter.

    You should think about getting up before dawn and cooking so that you are out on the trail at first light. and hike until dark. This means maybe carrying a good headlamp with extra batteries as you will be cooking and eating in the dark.

    Here is what the whites looked like one day in 2001 when we started Oct 14 for our SOBO "supported" hike:
    A photo is worth a thousand words. Don't take the Whites for granted and be prepared. But I think suggesting a late August start is good also. Enjoy a Enw England autumn if it works out for you.

    Also, the days get real short. You end up with short daylight for hiking. So be sure you either like to hike at night with a headlamp or can book it for the amt of daylight you have to hike in. Something to consider.







    Hiking Blog
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  4. #24
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    You've got two winters between now and then to prepare yourself. Enjoy!
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  5. #25
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    I'd rather be in Hanover on October 14 counting my blessings. GSMP might not be a picnic in winter either.

    The advice suggested earlier to pay attention to the weather and sit out the worst of it strikes me as good.

  6. #26
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Default Your right!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    You've got two winters between now and then to prepare yourself. Enjoy!
    He's got time to test gear and stamina, i would rather see them make this hike, then a ......... run the trail Sorry, my opinion!
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  7. #27

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    I hope to leave SOBO in Mid Aug or early September. If I cannot make it by then I will probably sit it out until Feb and go NOBO. I want to winter hike because I hate heat and really hate bugs. I also don't want to be around hundreds of people. Ahhh sweet, sweet, silence. Good fortune in your travels.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith View Post
    What kind of daily mileage does someone expect to make in that in the Whites or southern Maine, especially when they get to the sustained 50+ degree inclines?
    It's been done, albeit by stronger and younger hikers than myself. This photo is an example of the challenge you cite. It's near the summit of Mt. Hayes (on the AT, just north of Gorham.) The snow pictured was at least four feet deep. I had snowshoes on, and was struggling to make it up the short incline in the photo. At one point I removed the snowshoes, hoping that might help. Uh, no. I sank in down to my crotch. It then took another 10 minutes to put the snowshoes back on. Overall, the fifty yards in the photo took me at least 20-30 minutes to climb.



  9. #29

    Default Relevant...

    Does anyone know where there's a cached copy of Weathercarrot's backup average annual AT snowfall maps? His site's been down over a year, and those maps could be helpful to anyone planning this kind of venture.
    ============================================
    On another note, terrapin's useful post points out that that rate of movement, hiking during ALL of the time there is daylight, is less than a mile of progress per DAY.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith View Post
    On another note, terrapin's useful post points out that that rate of movement, hiking during ALL of the time there is daylight, is less than a mile of progress per DAY.
    Well, I wouldn't go that far, MS. Don't extrapolate too much from that story -- it was a worst-case scenario, at least for me, on that trip. I actually walked about a dozen miles that day, on snowshoes, with full pack, up & over Mt. Hayes. The last few miles were in the dark, along the north bank of the Androscoggin River.

    What it did teach me was that solo hiking in the Whites in winter might be a good way to die. I mean, if I had broken a leg at the summit... I'd have been as good as dead.

    The AT has been thru-hiked in the winter, many times over. There are at least one or two accounts in the 1975 Rodale Press anthology. Wolf_2300 has done the New England stretch, solo, in winter.

  11. #31
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    If I wasn't working for tha man I would go with you guys.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    If that picture isn't enough to get me to totally rethink my plans, I don't know what is. Good luck to you, man.

  13. #33
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    Ice Axe, Crampons, and snow shoes would be mandatory I suppose? Also wht kind of pants, gaiters, and boots would one need to stay dry in those conditions?

  14. #34
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnkngxt View Post
    Ice Axe, Crampons, and snow shoes would be mandatory I suppose? Also wht kind of pants, gaiters, and boots would one need to stay dry in those conditions?
    you dont need an axe on the AT, and I wouldnt carry crampons either (although some sections in the winter they may be beneficial).

    snowshoes...yes
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  15. #35
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    Default Re: winter mileage and weather

    IMO I typically avg. 1 mile per hour in winter in Maine and NH . Thats with a "full pack". For me I would have both snowshoes and crampons. I would also carry an axe as it can prove useful and they are not that heavy. I hiked Saddleback Mnt. to Sugarloaf in December. It took me two and a half full days. I consider myself to be a risktaker and my wife didnt want me to do it. But I love camping in the backcountry in the winter. However, to complete a winter thru hike would be a dream of mine too, best of luck and hope you suceed or atleast enjoy yourself!
    skinny d

  16. #36

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    Thought this thread was a great blast from the past. Wondering if Southernpine85 is still planning his trip for this October

  17. #37
    Iron Guts IronGutsTommy's Avatar
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    if youve got room for a fellow hiker in your party im your huckleberry. sent u a msg pines, get back to me

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DapperD View Post
    Thought this thread was a great blast from the past. Wondering if Southernpine85 is still planning his trip for this October
    Myself and Ron Burgundy are leaving from Katahdin Sept 24. I hope to be around Killington by the end of October.

  19. #39
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    Well, I've done a reasonable amount of winter hiking and it is more difficult and comes with increased risk and reduced forgiveness of mistakes. Keep this in mind as you prepare.

    Do not let others keep you from your attempt, but I would not say "pay no attention". Do pay attention to what others say, then figure out how you will deal with their objections or cautions.

    By all means, use your planning time to gain first-hand winter experience. MS made a great point, Winter day hiking is VERY different from Winter Backpacking.

    Plan, practice, keep a very open mind, and have a blast.

  20. #40
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    Last winter it took me 12 days (Dec.30-Jan.10) to get 87 miles on the Susquehannock Trail in central PA (less rugged than the AT). Two winters ago it took me 13 days to get 104 miles on the North Country Trail in NY-PA. Twice last winter I could only get 5 miles/day. It is slow going at times for me in the winter.
    As mentioned the hiking window is short – and for me it was very difficult to do anything before first light. It is just too darn cold – I only wanted to get hunkered down deeper into my sleeping bag until daylight. On average I started hiking about 8:30 AM. 5:30 PM darkness was time for me to stop.
    Two winters ago my Jetboil fuel froze and could not cook after day 5. Last winter I used Granite Gear’s aquasacks for my fuel container and that helped a lot. But my water bottles still froze if filled overnight (in the aquasack).
    I had a 0 bag and it had “cold spots” on occasion and I shivered. Temps went below 0 a couple of times.
    I used Nike ski pants and squeezed Outdoor Research crocodile gaiters over them as my top layers and my legs stayed dry. My boots leaked when fording streams and my day socks never did dry. Every morning I put garbage bag “socks” on my feet, then my wet socks, then my boots and then hiked like hell to get warm. It sucked.
    Tent pole segments freeze together and require a candle flame to separate and pack up.
    It was tough for me – but it was fun. I would say that you need to be real flexible. I’ll bet that ME/NH wind would be your worse enemy.
    You’re going to have a great hike. I wish I could join you. Get some winter experience and you’ll be on your way!

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