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Thread: Leave earlier?

  1. #1
    Punchline RWheeler's Avatar
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    Default Leave earlier?

    I was originally planning on leaving April 25th (Approach on the 24th), due to a wedding planned for the 20th. Well, it seems that that wedding will not be happening (this year, at least), so I'm curious - should I head out earlier? Maybe the 11th (Wednesday), or the 16th (Monday)?

    I'm not as geared for cold weather as other people starting early, which is probably the only apprehension I'd have for starting early. The extra couple of weeks would probably help out a lot getting through the Smokies.

    Ideas?

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    I'd start on the 11th.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    I once found that April 4th is the first date the the average temperature remains above 40 degrees, so that's when I started in 2002. I have no idea where I heard that or if its true. This year I'm starting March 24 to meet some friends. Otherwise I would wait two weeks. The important thing is to start early enough to get to Maine in time . They close the Mountain October 15th but anytime after September 15th can be cold and snow so my goal was that and I summited on September 7.
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    Punchline RWheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    I once found that April 4th is the first date the the average temperature remains above 40 degrees, so that's when I started in 2002. I have no idea where I heard that or if its true. This year I'm starting March 24 to meet some friends. Otherwise I would wait two weeks. The important thing is to start early enough to get to Maine in time . They close the Mountain October 15th but anytime after September 15th can be cold and snow so my goal was that and I summited on September 7.
    If you remember where you got that info from, please, do share. I'd be very curious in finding that out.

    Either way, a week later on the 11th would seem like a solid bet, then. Maybe I'll switch to around then.

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    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    The earlier you leave the more you will be able to avoid the shelter overcrowding and jockeying for tent space but the colder (on average) weather you'll have to dodge / deal with - balance this as you see fit. When I do my next thru, it'll probably be NOBO and I'll leave in February.

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    Registered User DeerPath's Avatar
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    The Weather Chanel has past stats for temps. I looked up Amicaloca Falls State Park for March 19, my start date this year. Looks like average high 62F, average low 41F. I lived on top of a mountain in Virginia and Temperatures at the top of mountain were usuall 8 - 10 degrees lower than at the bottom.
    http://www.weather.com/outlook/healt...3?climoMonth=3
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    April 11th is the day that blue and I plan to hit the trail. We'll see you there!

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    You must realize that this is just the sort of thread that has an excellent chance of lasting well past the completion of your thru-hike. My hat is off to you sir, and might I suggest starting from Springer Mountain on the Vernal Equinox, or the first or second new moon thereafter.

    March 20th, 5:14am GMT, which I believe would be 1:14am EDT, as you will be into Daylight Savings Time.
    March 22nd for New Moon, not sure of time of the local moon rise, but that would be the time to start.
    April 21st would be the next New Moon, if you wanted to wait for that.

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