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[at-l] NOBO Thruhike Start Dates

>I kinda like the idea of hiking in the snow.  There is certainly a 
>different perspective of the landscape during the different
>seasons.  Some people see the snow covered terrain with leafless 
>trees as stark and uninviting.  However, I think that it has a
>surreal beauty.  I love the play of dark against light. 
>I do have another question for you.  Had you done much hiking in 
>colder weather prior to that March 9th departure date?  Do you feel
>that you were adequately prepared for hiking in colder weather? 
>What would you have changed about the gear that you carried?
>Thanks for your response! 
>Tenacious Tanasi
>    (Shelly Hale)

I live in New Hampshire and spend most winter days out doors as a ski 
instructor so I too love winter.  But winter adds additional hardship 
to a long distance hike.  I brought exactly the same clothing and 
gear for my March 9th departure as April 4th except I had a hammock, 
alcohol stove and internal frame pack  in April.  I used a zero 
degree down bag for the start of both hikes.  My New Balance 805 
sneakers got very wet in snow on both hikes but they dryed faster 
than the leather boots others were wearing.  I learned not to wear my 
down vest while hiking because it would absorb sweat and loose its 
ability to keep me warm.  In the very cold weather (7 degrees F) in 
the Smokey's I wore every item of clothing I had to keep warm in 
camp.  On the April hike I started with the same clothing but sent 
home the thicker gloves and winter hat and exchanged my sleeping bag 
for a 20 degree bag when I reached VA.  Then got all of that back in 
Franconia Notch (September 13th).  I did have experience hiking in 
winter conditions in the White Mountains.  I would not change the 
gear I carried.  Generally I was prepared for all kinds of weather at 
all times on both hikes.  On the thru hike my packed weighed about 35 
lbs with food and water when I was leaving town.  Many people were 
lighter but most of them suffered a bit in bad weather conditions.


Life is Good!!!
Art Cloutman