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[at-l] NOBO Thruhike Start Dates

My 2 cents worth on start dates:

The coldest day that I ever spent on the AT was in Georgia during the
second week of April a few years back...

Yesterday there were whiteout conditions (horizontal snow blizzard with
zero visibility) throughout Georgia along the AT (Swallowtail was out
in these conditions, so wait for her trip report).  The two previous
days were bitter cold and very windy.  Many, many, many hikers hunkered
down in shelters or in town for the duration...

The really big test, though, comes when you step into the GSMNP.  You
can expect really nasty weather well into April...

If this is your idea of a fun hike, then start your hike in February or
March.  If you wish some better conditions, plan a mid-April or later
start.  Katahdin will be there (honest), or plan a flip-flop...

It gets really bad for those hikers (and it is the majority) that have
improper gear or too much gear.  Bad weather compounds their misery...

Us angels here in Georgia try our best to help the uneducated newbies
get on the proper track, but soooooooo many of these people are
convinced that they are properly prepared that it can get comical. 
There is a fellow hiking with an 18-pound bicycle.  It was his method
of getting to Springer, it is his method of getting in and out of
towns, and it will be his method of getting home from katahdin, so it
is strapped on his back for the entire hike.  He made it through
Georgia some how...

Pittsia (the shuttler), Barb (the maker-of-cookies-for-the-hikers),
Ryan (the rotten bastard teenager who just got a mountain bike and is
trying to kill himself with it) and Wilson the Trail Dog

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