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W1 VMO: Women's Winter Backpack -- Maryland AT and Catoctin Mountain Trail

Our second women's only trip! If you're looking to test out hiking longer days, this is a perfect set of trails to explore. Splits will be[masked] but along relatively easy trails. You'll get back-to-back long days.

The plan is to mirror the trip DC UL did last year on MLK Weekend. We'll set up a quick shuttle on Saturday morning before tackling the 13 miles of the AT on Saturday. To join up with the Catoctin Trail, we'll have to road walk for roughly two miles but our reward will be a nice night near these  shelters

Sunday morning, we'll wake up early for our big day that will take us into the Catoctin and Cunningham Falls area. We'll hop off the Catoctin Trail for a bit so we hit all the hot spots -- Hog Rock, Blue Ridge Vista, Thurmont Vista, Wolf Rock, Chimney Rock, Cat Rock -- and then rejoin the Catoctin Trail at Bob's Hill. We'll find a spot to camp on Sunday around the 20 mile mark. Fair warning -- we may not be able to have a campfire this night.

Monday will find us wrapping up the Catoctin Trail as it meanders through some lovely spots in the Gambrills Forest. We'll arrive at our cars, pick up the cars at the other end of the shuttle, and then enjoy some beer and food at Brewers Alley in Frederick.

Snow and ice may change the routing a bit, but either way plan on having good and reliable cold weather gear for this trip. Our winter rankings system provides a good overview of what you'll need to bring (no Camelbacks!), but feel free to post below or message me with any questions you may have. 



(Note: The shelter is not located near the Island of Misfit Toys.)

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  • Aileen

    For those who appreciate the finer things in life, 'Dark Chocolate Dreams' is the name of the peanut butter blended with rich dark chocolate concoction I was eating this WE, au natural.

    January 21, 2014

  • Maile

    Ditto! Thanks for organizing a great trip, Jen! And thanks, all, for the fun trek and the excellent company!

    1 · January 21, 2014

  • Denise

    Great weekend on the trail--thanks Jen for your stellar organization!

    January 21, 2014

  • Jen

    What a wonderful weekend! Here's to the next one!

    1 · January 20, 2014

  • Mignote

    Awesome trip and people!! I had a lot of fun and a lot of lesson learnt. Thanks Jen for organizing. Thanks all for the support, help and fun time. I promise I will keep quiet at night next time :)

    1 · January 20, 2014

  • Aileen

    Awesome weekend!! Thanks to everyone for making it happen.

    1 · January 20, 2014

  • Aileen

    Metro is a more-than-usual mess this weekend. My station (Greenbelt is closed) requiring a shuttle or bike ride to College Park AND another shuttle is required to complete the circuitous route. Is anyone in a position to pick me up anywhere along the way? Thanks :).

    January 17, 2014

    • Jen

      We're set. Mimi is coming to the rescue!

      January 17, 2014

    • Aileen

      Thank you Mimi and Jen!!

      January 17, 2014

  • Jen

    Next tidbit of information: water sources. Both of our campsites will be dry so we'll have to tank up for the night and morning. At the start, we'll have water at Annapolis Rocks and the Pogo Memorial site, but you should already have enough to skip those. The next potential water spot is at Wolfsville Road, but the creek can run dry. If there isn't water there and you're getting desperate, Cowall Shelter has a spring. The next reliable water is at Warner Gap. That's where we'll want to tank up for Saturday night and Sunday morning (~3L). Sunday morning, we'll have water at Owen Creek on the CT. For our Sunday night campsite, we'll tank up as we cross Hunting Creek.

    January 16, 2014

    • Aileen

      Oops, I meant, Sun/Mon AM

      January 16, 2014

    • Jen

      I'd like to get us moving by sunrise on Sunday since we have a long day -- and that will give us some time to enjoy the views. Monday, we have another long day but could give ourselves a bit of time in the morning. So I'd say moving by 7:30 on Sunday morning, and then by 8 on Monday.

      January 16, 2014

  • Jen

    Maps, maps. None of them perfect, but if you need them, here we go.

    January 15, 2014

  • Sharon G

    Questions for you all. I have a couple pieces of gear that don't work well in colder weather: my stove and my steripen. If I leave my stove behind, might one of you let me use yours when you're done with it? I'd be happy to carry a fuel bottle in exchange. My steripen is also not so great in cold weather, so I was going to use bleach instead, but I'm not very experienced with it. Any reason why that would be a bad idea? Lastly, I am bringing a bear bag cord and am happy to share, if others don't want to have to pack one.

    January 15, 2014

    • Denise

      p.s. I don't think bleach is a bad idea--I'm inclined to start using it myself, just haven't figured out the logistics of it yet.

      January 16, 2014

    • Jen

      Sharon - you can share my stove. I'll bring an extra fuel bottle for you. As for bleach, that's what I use, and it's worked fine for me.

      January 16, 2014

  • Denise M.

    Jen, I will have to back out of this one. My son will be here all weekend because of an appointment in Baltimore on Friday that I just located the dates for while unpacking a box...unfortunate as I literally live a half hour away! :(

    January 15, 2014

    • Jen

      Thanks for letting me know, Denise. We'll miss you!

      1 · January 15, 2014

    • Denise M.

      Not happy. It seems that there is always something in the way anymore... :) I'll be thinking about you all! Have fun!

      January 15, 2014

  • Jen

    Hey everyone! Hope you are enjoying your holidays! As we approach the trip, please make sure to pick up PATC Maps 5 & 6: Appalachian Trail across Maryland and the entire Catoctin Trail. (Unfortunately, I can't get a good quality scan for us to use.) It will give you a chance to start familiarizing yourself with the route. The map is available at most REI stores in the area.

    December 30, 2013

    • Jen

      Okay... it may not be perfect but let me see what I can scan.

      January 14, 2014

    • Sharon G

      Yes Denise. I set my old one in the pile to bring this weekend. You are welcome to it.

      1 · January 14, 2014

    • Mignote

      I can drive

      January 14, 2014

    • Jen

      Thanks, Mimi -- and Maile. Appreciate it!

      January 14, 2014

  • Maile

    Hi Jen -- I can drive -- I have a 2-door, but should be able to fit three others (who are not too tall) with packs fairly comfortably.

    January 14, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Just a friendly reminder that, if you're a member, your $10 dues for 2014 should be paid!!

    January 14, 2014

  • stephanie

    Just found out I have to be in CA this weekend for work. I was really, really looking forward to joining you gals for a long winter trip. Sorry to back out :(

    January 3, 2014

    • Jen

      Sorry to hear that. We'll miss you!

      January 4, 2014

    • Michael M.

      Yes, Hawkeye, that merits a /boo and a /hiss! I hope you're feeling better.

      January 6, 2014

  • Trisha

    I didn't get my vacation request approved in time so I can't go. Yaaaa!

    January 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live very close, in Smithsburg. So I would happily help with shuttle or emergency needs. Just give a shout...

    December 4, 2013

  • Jen

    Our crew is a mighty one! Welcome Sharon and Upasana.

    December 2, 2013

  • Jin, Z

    Sorry. I already scheduled a day hike trip with another group. Another time.

    December 2, 2013

    • Jen

      No problem. Hope to see you on another trip soon.

      December 2, 2013

  • stephanie

    This looks perfect. Thanks for setting this up!

    December 2, 2013

    • Jen

      Thanks! Great to have you on board!

      December 2, 2013

  • Jen

    Hooray! Welcome Mimi and Denise!

    1 · December 2, 2013

6 went

  • Jen
    Veteran Plus Member (3!) (B-I) (Shuttle) (WFA) ('17), Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Sharon G
    Veteran Plus Member (4@) (MacGyver) ('17), Assistant Organizer
  • Maile
    Veteran Member
  • Denise
    Veteran Plus Member (2) (Haley's Mom) (15), Assistant Organizer
  • Mignote
    Veteran Plus Member (3-2!-@) (Mimi) (Pringle) ('16), Assistant Organizer
  • Aileen
    Veteran Member ('16), Assistant Organizer

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