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[at-l] NOBO Thruhike Start Dates

Hello everyone!


I've a question for you.  What do you think is the best starting date for a thruhike beginning from Springer and going NOBO?  


I talked to Baltimore Jack a few weekends ago at Miss Janet's.  It was really great to meet him-I've thought about changing his
trail name to Gentleman Jack, but he may not like that.  LOL Anyhow, when he heard I wanted to leave March 1st on my thru, he
started persuading me not to leave that early.  He had some very valid points about the weather and such.  And as a result, I've
started investigating it further.  However, I talked to several hikers at the NOC this past weekend that left around March 1st, and
many of them were of the opinion that it really doesn't matter when you start you're gonna be faced by bad weather.  As it is, most
folks go ahead and pack winter gear for the GSMNP from the beginning.


I think that this is another one of those HYOH kinda things where folks have to assess the history of weather patterns and decide
what they are comfortable and prepared to hike in.


So, if you've thruhiked before what was your start date?  If you could go back and change it, then when do you think the ideal time
would have been?


If you've not thruhike before but are planning to in the future, what do you think the optimal time would be to set out and why?



Tenacious Tanasi

   (Shelly Hale)