Planning Backpacking Trips is both an art and a science, but I know more about the science. When I plan a backpacking trip, I always start out by making a chart. I include as many campsites, road crossings, and other useful way-points as possible. I then list the cumulative mileage and elevation gain from the beginning to each way-point. Then I calculate cumulative hiking hours to each of these way-points. I use this chart to decide the ideal starting and ending point for each day of the trip.Continue reading Planning Backpacking Trips
In late January 2020, I lead a group of six Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers to tackle the Vermont Winter for a weekend of backpacking. We traversed Kilington Mountain Southbound along the Appalachian Trail, and then descended into the wilderness lying to the south, finishing at VT Rt 103. Temperatures were consistently about 30 degrees F with some strong winds Saturday and occasionally snow flurries during the day and moderate freezing rain over night.Continue reading Vermont Appalachian Trail: US 4 to VT 103. Snow!
Continuing in the theme of “misunderestimating” snow, we take a look back at March of 2019. We had planned a 23 mile hike from Dalton to North Adams in Massachusetts. Snow maps were sketchy, but from what we could tell there would be no more than 2 inches on the ground. The weather had different plans. Four to eight inches of fresh snow on this relatively unused section of the Appalachian Trail made route finding and forward progress difficult. Imagine trying to spot white blazes when every tree is covered with white snow!Continue reading Massachusetts Appalachian Trail: Dalton to North Adams – A Snowy Slog!
In November of 2019, I took a group of Hudson Valley Hikers on a backpacking trip from Bennington, VT to North Adams, MA. We covered only 18.7 miles, but bridged a gap between two longer sections. Weather in November can be tricky. We call it shoulder season. Fall is over, but winter hasn’t quite started yet. You can get an odd combination of conditions. Over the last couple of years, we’ve learned to expect snow when hiking in Vermont or Massachusetts between November and March.Continue reading Appalachian Trail: Bennington to North Adams
Labor Day Weekend of 2019, the Argonauts contingent of Hudson Valley Hikers spent 3 days backpacking the Wildcat-Carter-Moriah range in the White Mountains. This range is full of challenges, but we broke it into three very manageable days. This was my last section of Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire, completing a continuous section from Shenandoah National Park to Grafton Notch. Everyone on the hike earned 6 New Hampshire 4000 footers.Continue reading Appalachian Trail / White Mountains: Wildcat, Carter, Moriah Traverse
In July of 2019, I lead a team from Hudson Valley Hikers across the Pemigewasset Wilderness in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. We backpacked 22.4 miles, climbed 5,828 feet, and bagged 6 New Hampshire 4000 Footers: Galehead, North and South Twin, West Bond, Bond, and Bondcliff. We camped at Guyot Shelter about halfway through. The Bonds are a spectacular range set in the middle of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Because its at least a 6 mile hike into the woods to get to them, they are like a more private version of Franconia Ridge.Continue reading White Mountain Bonds Traverse: Gale River to Lincoln Woods
In July 2019, I spent a week in Maine with a group of Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers. We spent the first half of the week exploring Baxter State Park, home of the famous Katahdin. Day 1 was very rainy, so we did the easy 10 mile section of Appalachian Trail from Abol Bridge to Katahdin Stream (separate post.) On Day 2 we launched a 2-prong assault on the buttressed fortress of Katahdin itself. A portion of my group went up the Helon Taylor trail and crossed the Knife Edge. Tree Whisperer and I chose to go up the newly opened Abol Trail. We would all come back down the Appalachian (Hunt) Trail.Continue reading Katahdin: Up the Abol Trail, down the Appalachian (Hunt) Trail
In July of 2019, I took a small group of Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers up to Maine for a week. This was a real multi-adventure. We spent the first few days in Baxter State Park hiking the Appalachian Trail and climbing Katahdin. Then we took a day off hiking to raft down the Penobscot River. This post discusses the last leg of our trip: a 4 day backpack from Flagstaff Lake to Monson.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Flagstaff Lake to Monson
In September of 2019, I went on a solo hike of the Appalachian Trail from Rangely Flagstaff Lake. You can read about my the trip in detail in my multi-part trip report. This post serves as a summary for those who may want to hike this section themselves.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Rangeley to Flagstaff Lake
I woke up a little sad on the last day of my trip. From my camp at Bigelow Col, there was just an 8 mile hike down to Maine Rt 27 and then I would be done. I spent a lot of this day hiking with The Mayor. The Mayor finished the AT a month or so ago, but he missed a good 50 mile section. He sat at home for a month feeling guilty and then decided to come back out and finish it. He just wasn’t feeling it though, and needed a lot of encouragement. I talked with him most of the day, then dropped him off in town.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Bigelow Col to Stratton