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How many miles / day would you average in these conditions...
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
How many miles / day would you average in these conditions... on 12/15/2011 14:18:59 MST Print View

This newb is trying to gauge difficulty for the NE BPL Winter gathering:

- Average high during day of 27F
- Average low during night of 5F
- Mellow trail/route:

Friday night is a 2mi hike in to Melville-Nauheim Shelter
Saturday is an 8 mile hike to the Goddard Shelter
Sunday is a 10mi hike out to the trailhead.

Start elevation is around 1400', a quick steep climb to 2000' and then a easy mile to the Melville-Nauheim Shelter at around 2400' little pond mountains summit is 3331', the trail drops to a col at about 2900' and then a climb back up to 3748' for Glastenbury Mountain summit 9.2mi after the Goddard Shelter).

Snowshoes will be the traction device of choice. Most like will break trail on way out to the summit and track back.

How much water do you burn through? (trying to calculate the time and fuel for boiling snow)



Bryce <- Thus far a Winter car camper with no Winter backpacking experience.

Edited by bster13 on 12/15/2011 14:37:09 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: How many miles / day would you average in these conditions... on 12/16/2011 07:24:33 MST Print View

Well for me I move around this fast when out in the snow. Keep in mind I'm using 30" snowshoes and have trekking poles with snow baskets on them.

Breaking trail through snow deeper than mid thigh: 0.75 mph max

Breaking trail through calf to knee high snow: 1.0 mph max

Breaking trail through calf high or less: 1.5 to 2.0 mph

Not breaking trail but still wearing snowshoes: 2.0 to 2.5 mph

As for water I plan drinking two liters per day and using another 1/2 liter for cooking and hot drinks. For stove fuel I like to bring around 6-8 ounces of fuel per person per day.

I hope this was helpful.

Have a fun trip!

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: Re: How many miles / day would you average in these conditions... on 12/20/2011 12:26:14 MST Print View

I just want to chime in here as a Vermonter and echo Chad's post. I think his estimates are pretty much right on for the average backpacker.

The only things I would add are that people (including myself) tend to get slowed down when they stop to adjust layers. Typically, this seems to happen when we overdress to start the hike. If you start a winter hike, knowing you'll heat up in 10 to 15 minutes, you can avoid some of the stops.

Also, I find that I go a good deal faster on the way downhill during the winter. Sometimes it's because we sled down the hilly portions and sometimes it's just sliding downhill. I use trekking poles with winter snow baskets and MSR Ascent 25s.

The distances that you're planning on covering sound pretty reasonable to me. Also, it sounds like a fun event. I wish I could join all of you, but I have another trip planned for that weekend already. Enjoy!

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: Re: Re: How many miles / day would you average in these conditions... on 12/20/2011 12:32:20 MST Print View

it's ok Tommy, we'll have another in Feb!

Matt Dickstein
(mirabela) - F
Glastenbury area on 12/21/2011 18:30:15 MST Print View

It's going to depend *entirely* on whether the trail is broken out. The AT/LT in that area could be quite difficult to even *find* if the snows are deep and it hasn't been traveled.

Assuming you are able to follow it reliably, if you have to break more than a foot or so of fresh, that day from Melville/Nauheim to Goddard could be a long one. It's certainly doable, but it'll be plenty.

The trip out, of course, will go faster -- but most of that descent is not nearly steep enough for butt-sliding or sledding, so it will still be a long trudge.

Edited to add -- if it were me, I think I'd want to do some kind of a shakedown winter backpack, closer to the car, before heading this deep in. That's a *really* remote area. If something runs off the rails, help is a long way off.

Edited by mirabela on 12/21/2011 18:32:52 MST.