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Re: Hello

>>O.k., I guess I should introduce myself. My name is George and I am fairly
>>new to backpacking. I am planning on doing a thru-hike in 97 (hopefully that
>>will give me enough time to make several more hikes, and learn a bit more
>>about what I am doing) and was wondering what is a good time to start. I am
>>thinking about setting off on March 1 so as to avoid some of the crowds, but
>>I am concerned about the weather. Any advice on this, or any other aspect of
>>doing a thru-hike would be greatly appreciated.
>March is basically when most through-hikers start the trail, so if you're
>hoping to avoid crowds, this aint the time to leave.  However, it is the
>most logical time to start the trip......

Actually, March 1st won't be _too_ bad. The real swarms don't descent on
Springer until later in the month and into April. Weather, though, will
happen. You'll probably start off in fairly nice weather (at least we did
at that time of the year, in '92), but you'll definately see snow before
the Smokies, and it'll be downright _cold_ for quite some time.

Or course, I find that hiking in the snow was significantly easier on the
feet & knees, but, your mileage may vary...

-- Dennis