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Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Need Advice on Possible Vermont Long Trail Thru on 08/07/2012 09:29:51 MDT Print View

Hey all you Long Trail Hikers -- I need to pick your brain ! Any advice or input from anyone who has experience hiking this area would be much appreciated ! Cheers

Don't yet know if I can get 14 days off around the mid 2 weeks of September to do this, but I'd like to get some advice just in case I can.

Info: Somewhat experienced thru hiker, having done both the A.T and the New England Trail and have all the gear that I will need to have a base weight for cool weather (don't know what to expect for the "lows") around 8 lbs. Fast hiker, and used to >20 miles every day on mixed rocky terrain in CT and MA. 6'1" and 170 lb guy sleeping in 6"6' bags or long quilts.


QUESTION 1: Logistically would it make more sense to try and bus up and then get a ride to the Northern trail end and hike SOBO? (I live in CT and would thus end up only about 2 hrs from home) Drawbacks ? Reasons to do it NOBO vs. SOBO ?

QUESTION 2: What would I expect the evening lows to be for mid-September ?

QUESTION 3 : I know the Northern portion is harder than the southern portion (hiked the A.T portion of the Long Trail last year during my A.T hike) but how much harder ?? Is trying to do >20 miles a day EVERY DAY unreasonable for a light weight hiker in shape ?


QUESTION 4 : BUGS in Sept ? I have a Hexamid Tent, and a Duomid --> go with more windproof (Duo) or more bugproof (Hex) ?

QUESTION 5: I have a WM Alpinlite, and hope to get my WM Summerlite in from the company before the trip. I also have a 2.5 Apex Quilt and Montbell Thermawrap set (or Patagonia Down Sweater) that would weigh the same as the sleeping bags. Thoughts on what people have brought ? I SLEEP ABOUT 5* -10* ON THE WARM SIDE for my WM ratings Without base layers !

QUESTION 6: Assuming I get an amazing discount on freezedried food -- would stocking up for 5-6 days worth of food be better logistically ? ie. Easy access to resupply along the Northern part of the trail or not ?

Edited by Whistler on 08/07/2012 09:32:13 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Need Advice on Possible Vermont Long Trail Thru on 08/07/2012 12:49:39 MDT Print View

Seth,
Contact Earlylite at sectionhiker.com. He will know having just done that hike within the last couple years, I think.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
I'll try that on 08/10/2012 06:12:23 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll check out Earlylight and try to get a bit more info. I do have the end-to-enders book and map on its way in the mail, so hopefully that will help also.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Need Advice on Possible Vermont Long Trail Thru on 08/11/2012 06:59:22 MDT Print View

Seth I just finished it NOBO in 18 days + 1 rest day. (though about 4 of those days were half days that were 10-13mi due to town stops)

if you are in trail shape already I don't think it matters a whole lot which way you go. The difficulty i found w/ the northern end is more the trail surface than the actual terrain if that makes sense. you get a few bigger mountains but i found the roots, rocks, crappier bog bridges, less blazed trail slowed me down more than the inclines. you will definitely move faster in the southern end.

i resupplied in Manchester center, Rutland, Richmond and Stowe. be aware that the post office in Jonesville right on LT will probably be closed by sept.

whiteblaze has a whole sub forum on the Long Trail with good information.

I would not bring the whole End to ender guide with you. copy/print the shelter to shelter distances and the few town maps you will probably use. the "mile by mile" is NOT like AWOL's guide at all. it has the shelters and road crossings only and it is useless. The map is pretty good.

I was cold twice in my 2.5 apex quilt that i'd rate at 50F for me with long sleeve merino on, 45 w/ merino and smartwool sweater, i would suggest going warmer than that for september.

tent wise, bring whatever is lightest. i used my tarptent three times and never actually needed it. AT's will be gone down south.. there aren't that many LT's. bugs will be probably non existent in Sept.

Edited by JakeDatc on 08/11/2012 07:10:57 MDT.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Need Advice on Possible Vermont Long Trail Thru on 08/11/2012 07:11:56 MDT Print View

Hey Seth,

I also just finished a thru about a week ago. I went SOBO, resupplied only twice, sixteen hiking days and one zero day. I agree with Jake-- the north isn't actually super hard. Going over Camel's Hump and Mansfield are probably the toughest. I started out doing mostly 20 mile days from Canada all the way to Mansfield, and found it to be pretty nice. I know you're a fast hiker, so I think you'd be fine.

Bugs in September? No. Just worry about ticks, but black flies and skeeters won't be an issue.

Temps? My guess is it could drop into the 30s at night. Generally, the first snow in the mountains is in early October (a good reason for going SOBO in the fall).

I resupplied at Jonesville and Inn @ LT (both right on the trail, if you take the old LT route to the Inn), but getting into Johnson and Manchester Center for resupply also wouldn't be too difficult, and they're good towns. I heard Johnson was particularly friendly to hikers.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Thanks for the input ! on 08/11/2012 07:36:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Ryan and Jake for the info ! Just the stuff I'm looking for.

Another Question : How did you guys end up getting a ride to/from the Northern terminus ? I'm trying to figure out logistics of bussing from Hartford, CT up to a town that has a reasonable bus or shuttle service... it's $50 to bus to Burlington, but the taxi to the trail is about $200.....any thoughts ?

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Thanks for the input ! on 08/11/2012 08:48:22 MDT Print View

I took a peter pan bus to Williamstown. then got picked up by my GF at the northern end. There is a shuttle person listed in the E-E guide for the northern end, it doesn't say how much but that you need to give him 1 week notice.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Thanks for the input ! on 08/11/2012 09:58:03 MDT Print View

I parked at the northern end, then hitchhiked back to my car at the end. Took a while, but it worked. I've heard there's a decent bus to Montpelier and someone who will shuttle you from there. You can email the Green Mountain Club for a list of people who provide shuttles.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Thanks for the input ! on 08/12/2012 17:07:06 MDT Print View

Thanks Ryan and Jake for the info ! Just the stuff I'm looking for.

Another Question : How did you guys end up getting a ride to/from the Northern terminus ? I'm trying to figure out logistics of bussing from Hartford, CT up to a town that has a reasonable bus or shuttle service... it's $50 to bus to Burlington, but the taxi to the trail is about $200.....any thoughts ?

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Thanks for all the tips ! on 08/12/2012 17:08:46 MDT Print View

Gotcha - I'll check out the info