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New England ultralight weekend!
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Ben Egan

Locale: The Grid, Brooklyn
New England ultralight weekend! on 07/18/2011 01:03:32 MDT Print View

Year after year, it seems like the west coast--and namely California--has been outperforming the east coast ultralighters in regards to get-togethers. There might be reasons for this: a) I'm wrong, and being new to the east coast, ignorant of the trips; b) there's more of us on the west than on the east coast; c) pshaw! no more bull; there's no excuse, let's make this happen.

Hangers, groundlings, and John Muir impersonators unite (no sleeping bags, they just dance all night to stay warm). It's time for the 1st annual New England ultralight backpacker's weekend. I've organized permit stuff for groups related to scouts (got reservations, permits, checked on fire regulations, etc), but never an ultralighter's extravaganza. So I'm new to this, and the more community input the better. I think.

Those from the west coast (and Doug, you well travelled...gentleman) can testify to what makes one of these great: beer, lightweight kits a plenty to geek out about, wine, a competition (last time was woodburning stoves, other ideas?), and most importantly splendid wilderness.

I've some questions: WHO's interested? WHERE should we go? WHEN should we go? Is a place like NH's White Mountains (which I hear are spectacular) too far north? Should it be adults only? Or a family-friendly hub bub? Is the fall or late summer a good season? Or would it be best to wait until spring (maybe relative to weather/interest)? Maybe if we timed it right and got permits for the right place, we could put ourselves to the side of the AT (so that we aren't inundated why folks, but still close) and spread some lightweight love to some heavyweight thruhikers, perhaps expanding our community in the meantime.

Westcoasters, bump this thread with notes about how great the annual get-together has been. Help me spark encouragement. East coasters, bump if interested, for ideas, and when and where you might want to have it. As time goes on, we'll narrow things down: get a date, get a place, and an approximate list of folks. And if you think you can help me tag team organizing it, as Ken & Ken do so well in CA, PM me please. It's not much work, but it's nice to have a partner.

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
Things that go bump in the Alaskan night. on 07/18/2011 01:38:53 MDT Print View

I'll bump it by saying how cool I think it would be for one of these BPL get-togethers to happen in Alaska. I mean, we're just as far from the west coast meet-ups as the east-coasters are, right?

Maybe I'll get the gumption to try to organize one of these myself one day. =)

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: New England ultralight weekend! on 07/18/2011 06:32:12 MDT Print View

You all know you want to go to one. It is relativity easy to set up. Since Ken(the other one)started the first one, I have met some great people and gained some hiking partners. Very cool! Get together, talk kit, see gear that you never see anywhere else, have a great time.
Good on you Ben. You make me proud...

Edited by kthompson on 10/15/2011 08:26:51 MDT.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: New England ultralight weekend! on 07/18/2011 07:06:59 MDT Print View

If the dates work, I'd be interested in coming up (maybe even with a mid-Atlantic posse). What did you have in mind for details?

Angelo Radano

Locale: New England
I'm from Northwest CT on 07/18/2011 20:16:56 MDT Print View

I'm there. Just tell me when and where. I could probably bring a couple others too!

Edited by zalmen_mlotek on 07/18/2011 20:17:51 MDT.

Ben Egan

Locale: The Grid, Brooklyn
response! on 07/19/2011 18:10:06 MDT Print View

Cool! Checking back in.

Angelo, Northern CT? I might have said.. I'm in Boston. Evan, +1 on you bringing yourself and a gang of lightminded folk east to come backpacking. That's three-ish right there. Where do you guys want to go? I admit it, I want to do the White Mountains a lot. Because a lot of it is NF, would we not have to worry about permits or quotas there? Since most school starts in September, maybe going a couple weeks after the back-to-school rush is over and summer has wound down would be nice. It'd give mas and pops and college folk a better chance of making it. Are you guys good for mid-September?

And if that's (White Mountains) too far north... which, yeah, it probably is *sigh*, maybe another trip. Upstate New York? And I'm not super pro-"meet-AT-hikers-at-this-shindig", but I'm curious about when they'll be passing thru areas such as NY, or NH, or P...Pennsylvania. Who here knows?

Also, we should try to find a place where we can accomodate some groundlings (me... yup, totally self serving right here) because many folks haven't got the proper Appalachia hammock.

Ken, thanks for being the first to attest how great these are, and thanks to Ken and you for the inspiration. I hope more talk keeps trickling in from the rest of our western fellows... and Kat.

Edited by benjammin21 on 07/19/2011 18:14:37 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: response! on 07/19/2011 18:39:47 MDT Print View

PA has some great hiking areas. Of course, you'd want some place where the hike is actually rather short, or where we can stage, ummmmm, refreshments in vehicles mid way or something.

I'd vote September or, even better, October, after the biting flies and most mosquitos are gone for the year.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Choices on 07/19/2011 18:58:38 MDT Print View

If you want to do a New England UL weekend proper up in NH, that's awesome. I'd hope you could get a good crew just from your area. But if you wanted to include us Mid-Atlantic folks (I'm out of DC) you could do PA/NY.

After you get a feel in the forum, nothing beats a simple plan of attack and hope that it works with enough people's schedules. There's no choice that will work for everyone.

Angelo Radano

Locale: New England
NY on 07/19/2011 19:41:48 MDT Print View

If NY works for the Mid-Atlantic folks that works for me. So do the Whites. I'm flexible. Mid-September sounds perfect too.

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
New England ultralight weekend! on 07/23/2011 18:59:50 MDT Print View

Sounds like a great idea!

As another one from the mid-atlantic, I'd vote for PA/NY was well. Although someplace neat in Whites might make the drive less cumbersome...

I also like the September/October time frame. Let's get this thing moving!

Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
Re: New England ultralight weekend! on 07/23/2011 21:42:22 MDT Print View

Whites! Sept! Count me in!

Ben Egan

Locale: The Grid, Brooklyn
Response: New England ultralight weekend! on 07/25/2011 09:40:05 MDT Print View

In the interest of great community (and more "refreshments" to go round) I'm inclined to vote for the Penn/NY area. I don't have any experience with the areas there though, as I never got out to camp north of NYC.

What about the Catskills in NY? Just a shot in the dark. They seem fantastic. What is there in Pennsylvania?

What are places that can accomodate groups up to 20 people? For the sake of clarity, I think we should do car camping one night and an easy hike for a backpacking excursion the second night. By easy I mean something around 5 miles. Doug brought up a great point, we want refreshments to be easy to haul, and maybe have a place that a car can drive up to the second night, if possible. It could bring firewood and such things.

About competition... most functional Appalachian shelter in our opinion? Lightest kit (base weight) for the weekend? How about a cooking competition using our lightweight stoves? Dehydrated, not dehydrated, whatever floats your boat. Judged on levels of simplicity to prep and clean, time to prep, and deliciousness (10 pts each)? Who else has ideas? Too many competitions might get a little...well we might get distracted, do other folks have interest in this anyway?

The black flies are not something I've experienced. And the unknown frightens me. I'm inclined to concede an early October date. Or, those with experience, we could do two nights out if we did labor day weekend. Heres a list of weekends (fri,sat,sun):

Sep 30, 1, 2
Oct 7, 8, 9
14, 15, 16
21, 22, 23
28, 29, 30

I don't have any conflicts, simply need to know beforehand. Let's get this nailed down.

And I'll just leave this here.

edited for html formatting and to shorten

Edited by benjammin21 on 07/25/2011 09:42:50 MDT.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Alander Mountain and the Taconic Ridge Trail + Litchfield Hills and Housatonic River, CT on 07/25/2011 21:16:44 MDT Print View

Hi my Eastern brothers and sisters!

My wife and I did a lot of trips throughout New England before moving out to Silicon Valley. I would love to join you if the trip winds up being a time I can make during a family and business visit.

I just wanted to strongly suggest considering Alander Mountain and the Taconic Ridge Trail, only 1 hr 45 min North from New York City. If you are looking for some of the best hiking close to New York, this is it. Tucked away in the SW corner of MA, in the Southern Berkshires, just above the Litchfield Hills CT and right next to the NY border. The views from the ridge are magnificent, and the colors around the fall peak, from late September through mid-October are incredible.

You can find very nice sites along the Housatonic River in the Litchfield Hills in CT (about 10-15 min drive from Alander Mountain) if you just want an easy flat place to camp that will accommodate more people, and then do Alander as a short day hike.

I'd also suggest late September and early October for some of the best trail conditions - not too hot, not too cold, beautiful color.

Edited by mountainwalker on 07/25/2011 21:17:42 MDT.

Frederick Maxfield
(fredmax56) - M

Locale: New England
NE Ultralight weekend on 07/29/2011 07:31:23 MDT Print View

Count me also. Just not the last weekend in Sept, if possible. I will be just returning from Montana!

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
yes! on 08/01/2011 15:11:12 MDT Print View

Oooh! ooh!! I want in. I'll be back in the west coast until end of Sept/beginning of Oct, so there's a great chance I can attend a get together sometime in the first couple of weeks of Oct. I'm based out of Boston, and would be game for the white mountains or anywhere in NH. Awesome idea Ben!

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Possible on 08/01/2011 16:10:26 MDT Print View

My girlfriend and I might be interested if it's the right weekend. A few thoughts...

- Bugs tend to be pretty minimal after Labor Day. I don't think you need to wait until October just to avoid them.

- I'm a frequent AT hiker, and there are few things more annoying than getting to a shelter to find it and/or the surrounding campsites taken up by a large group. I'd suggest avoiding the AT unless the group is small or there's some sort of group campground available.

- The Taconic Crest/Alander Mountain area is terrific. Depending on where you start, there are options for loop hikes in this area.

- One other thought may be a stretch of the newly designated New England National Scenic Trail. The stretch from Rte. 2 in Farley to Mt. Grace is very nice, especially in leaf-peeping season.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
I'm in! (hopefully) on 08/03/2011 16:36:27 MDT Print View

If I'm able to attend...

I'm in Boston, and can drive if folks in the Boston area want to carpool.

I plan to bring my dog, I guarantee he will not be an issue with humans or others dogs (unless your allergic to dogs), and no, you can't take him home with you (yes, I've had multiple "threats" that people will follow me home and steal him from me).

I'm hoping to do the Long Trail starting sometime after Aug 15th but should be done by early Sept, afterwards I have no plans.

Eric Jahn-Clough
(ejcfree) - F

Locale: off grid
interested on 08/04/2011 15:31:37 MDT Print View

I'd love to get together with some others up in the North East. I'd vote White Mnts.(as I'm from Maine), but open to possibilities. When a time and place is picked then I can commit. If there is a big storm I'll be inspecting damaged homes for FEMA dawn till dark, but otherwise I should have flexibility. I look forward to some nice snow and skeeter free time in the wilds (with some like minded folks), both are still off the hook out here in Wyoming right now.
July 20, 2011 from Red Dirt PassJuly 20, 2011 from Red Dirt Pass
Best to all, Eric

Edited by ejcfree on 08/04/2011 15:33:44 MDT.

Aaron Lehoux

Locale: Southern Maine
You can count me in as well... on 08/04/2011 18:58:55 MDT Print View

so long as the dates work out. I'm in Southern Maine and am up in the Whites as much as possible. My girlfriend may also be interested in going. Midweek works best for me as with my job, weekends can be hard to come by. I agree with Scott if planning on AT shelters, they fill up very quickly during Summer. Midweek after Labor Day though they are fairly empty and I often have them to myself come mid-September.

Nice shot Eric :) Here's a shot on Madison yesterday morning on a quick over-nighter with my girlfriend. They did name them the Whites because of always being stuck in the clouds and not because of the snow, right?"Bubbles" on the summit of Madison 8/3/2011

Edited by aaronjayl on 08/04/2011 19:00:29 MDT.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
hit me up! on 08/08/2011 16:21:14 MDT Print View

i'm like a wagon wheel on a paved road.
i'm slow on the uptake, but i get there. :)
having just opened the back door, i serendipitously found this website
i'm not entirely sure what's up, but i want in.
enlighten me (so i can elighten you all).
i know the whites and western maine quite well.