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Old 01-18-2022, 10:27 PM   #1
fatlazyless
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Default Jan 18, 2022: winter A.T. thru-hiking; Crawford Notch to (almost) Mt Lafayette

A solo winter hiker doing the Appalachian Trail, going south from Baxter State Park, Maine and all the trail down to Georgia, is hiking the White Mountain National Forest right now, Sunday and Monday - Jan 16-17, 2022, walking from Crawford Notch to (almost) Mt Lafayette except the cold and wind drove him off back just above treeline on Mt Lafayette and into town. MAYBE he has headed over to the nearby Town of Sugar Hill for Polly's hot pancake breakfast at Polly's Pancakes?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUAuD0ygcbY&t=174s ... White Mountains, New Hampshire .... Sun Jan 16-big sunny day & Mon Jan 17-big snow storm day ..... a selfie pole, hand-held video made while hiking the Guyot Shelter between Mt Guyot, Mt Bond, N&S Twin Mt, Mt Garfield, and up-up-up toward Mt Lafayette hiking thru wind, cold and snow on the Appalachian Trail .... 26:31 ... Scott Benerofe .... A.T. winter thru-hiker, hiking southbound.

Believe the second unnamed overnight log shelter after the Guyot shelter is the Garfield Ridge shelter. Both are on or very close to the Appalachian Trail.

Day #1 started at Baxter State Park, up north in Maine on December 6, 2021 so that's six weeks of winter hiking and overnight camping experience on the Appalachian Trail for living out in the C-O-L-D and hiking the A.T., alone. No mosquitos, no black flies, no crowded hiking trail, no crowded shelters, no crowded parking lot and no big heat and high humidity when hiking the A.T. in New Hampshire in January ....... weeeoooo! ....... ....... and shaazaam!

Cold cold temps are definitely here in New Hampshire this week, so's it could be a cold week for hiking and camping the A.T., solo, through the White Mountain National Forest. .... .... cold! ..... today is Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022.

Hey, here's an interview .... first item on the Google ...... with 'Scott Benerhofe on His Ongoing SOBO Winter AT Thru-Hike' ..... https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail...an-trail-hike/ ..... dated January 17, 2022 by Penina Satlow ..... with eight photos from his winter Appalachian Trail hike southbound thru relatively warm Maine in December and early January as he gets closer, step by step by snowy step to danged cold New Hampshire! My definition for danged c-o-l-d is +nine degrees, single digits, plus what wind and sunshine.
.........

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 ...... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tzptm4tspMc ...... 'Appalachian Trail - Climb Back Up And Face The Wind- Franconia Ridge' .... White Mountains, New Hampshire ... 15:20

February 10, 2022 ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6JR3hgCZfA .... 'Appalachian Trail - This is What It Takes - Rutland to Manchester Center' .... Green Mountains, Vermont ... 28:41

February 13, 2022 ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv2JTep73r8 ... 'Appalachian Trail - A Warm Day - Manchester Center to Bennington' ... Green Mountains, Vermont ....18:09

February 18, 2022 .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkOJvK-ycVY ..... 'Appalachian Trail - Vermont Recap' .... 7:03

Looks like Scott Benerofe ..... aka Aquaman .... made it into Massachusetts, hiking on the Appalachian Trail ..... and everyone in New Hampshire knows that Massachusetts is so totally full of hot air! With hiking and camping the A.T. when its danged cold out, is good to take a zero-mile day indoors with heat and facilities; eat, sleep, rest and recover, watch the weather and wait for the right day to hit the trail, again, before hitting the trail with a fresh roast beef sub to eat!
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Last edited by fatlazyless; 04-13-2022 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 01-18-2022, 10:52 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharingówe did the Bonds again last summer, but I've never done it, or the Ridge, in winter. The bluebird day looked amazing, but the storm not so much.

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Old 01-18-2022, 11:51 PM   #3
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Wow--can't imagine doing that in January. I did Monadnock with my adult son a few years ago--just once. One thing that becomes very clear during the winter above the tree line--a simple mistake or fall can kill you if you cannot get out of the cold. With virtually nobody else on the trail, I thought two people was not enough for safety.
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Old 01-19-2022, 12:24 AM   #4
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Three people are needed:

One to fall.

One to attend to the fallen.

One to seek help.

A registered personal locator beacon or similar device is a good idea.
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Old 01-19-2022, 05:26 AM   #5
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Interesting book on hiking in New Hampshire in winter. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whe...gne/1126967401
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Old 01-19-2022, 05:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Interesting book on hiking in New Hampshire in winter. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whe...gne/1126967401
For anyone interested in reading about the Whites in winter, this is a great one for sure. His newer book, The Last Traverse, is also good and about the Franconia Ridge (as opposed to the Presidentials).

I ran a book club for my students last year that included meeting the author, Ty Gagne, and the survivor, James Osborne. It was a pretty cool experience for the kiddos!

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Old 01-24-2022, 11:07 AM   #7
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I did a lot of overnight winter trips in my younger years, still hike day trips in winter, my wife and I were out a few weeks ago in 0 degrees but it wasn't windy so not so bad. Nothing huge, maybe 4 1/2 mile total, beautiful hike, didn't see a soul, we were the only car in the parking lot. I love the way things sound different, the crunch of the snow, on winter hikes.

I try to carry enough gear so if I had to sit down in the snow for an extended time I would be ok. Maybe not comfortable, but ok. You can't count on seeing anyone else unless you are on a well traveled trail, like Tecumseh on a weekend, so you need to be able to hunker down if you need to.

I've been on the various ridges, Franconia or Presidentials, in cold and wind and it demands full respect. What happened to the guys in The Last Traverse was sad but a huge error in judgement from start to finish by them, and put a ton of other people in extreme danger.
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Old 01-24-2022, 01:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LikeLakes View Post
I did a lot of overnight winter trips in my younger years, still hike day trips in winter, my wife and I were out a few weeks ago in 0 degrees but it wasn't windy so not so bad. Nothing huge, maybe 4 1/2 mile total, beautiful hike, didn't see a soul, we were the only car in the parking lot. I love the way things sound different, the crunch of the snow, on winter hikes.

I try to carry enough gear so if I had to sit down in the snow for an extended time I would be ok. Maybe not comfortable, but ok. You can't count on seeing anyone else unless you are on a well traveled trail, like Tecumseh on a weekend, so you need to be able to hunker down if you need to.

I've been on the various ridges, Franconia or Presidentials, in cold and wind and it demands full respect. What happened to the guys in The Last Traverse was sad but a huge error in judgement from start to finish by them, and put a ton of other people in extreme danger.
One thing I very much appreciate about Ty Gagne's writing is that he remains (mostly) objective and addresses tragedy through the lens of decision making and risk analysis. I'm honest enough to understand that many of my outdoor adventures could have gone poorly with only a slight shift in circumstances.

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Old 01-24-2022, 01:57 PM   #9
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I agree, well written and a good objective view of the events.

I know what you are saying, that outdoor adventures could have gone wrong, I'm in the same boat. But going wrong could be getting hurt, getting lost, gear breaking, something like that. In the case of these 2 hikers one was so inexperienced that he was going solely on the advice of his mentor, and the mentor was so experienced that it was inexplicable that he would make the mistake he did. Walking into a major, well predicted storm on the assumption you'd hike fast enough to beat it on a several mile exposed ridge in winter is madness.

The helicopter stuff was beyond amazing, that the pilot had the skill and the chopper had the capability to operate in those conditions.
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