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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.  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.

>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?

I hiked from Springer to Davenport Gap just north of SMNP starting on 
March 9th in 2003 and I did a thru hike in 2004 starting at Springer 
on April 4th.  I was much more comfortable in 2004.  I ran into snow 
on both hikes but in 2004 the snow melted more quickly and it was not 
as cold.  A lot of people start in March to avoid the crowds but I 
think it is now more crowded in March than in April.


Life is Good!!!
Art Cloutman