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VMO: North/South Massanutten Combined 112-miler Sufferfest

All right, some of us are just chafing at the bit to link up the N. Massanutten 71-mile classic with the 30-odd miles in the S. Massanutten. So, what we're going to do is combine this never-before walked (by DC UL, anyway) loop with our classic 71-mile event.

Here's how this will work. The 100-milers will start out on Wednesday night, and will thus need Thursday and Friday off work. They'll hike Wednesday night, all day Thursday, and then reach Waterfall Mountain from the south on Friday evening. Yes, to do this, Thursday and Friday may need to be very long days indeed.

On Friday night, the two groups will combine forces on top of Waterfall, and hike together the remainder of the trip, finishing on Sunday.

This *should* work. I will have to work out the splits and what-not over the coming weeks.

Anyone contemplating this extended romp needs to have an established record of backpacking multiple back-to-back 20 mile days, and needs to be psychologically prepared for the misery likely to come along with such a scheme. There will be no stopping at a nice campsite. Instead, we will walk into the twilight and collapse in a bramble patch. ;)

This stupid idea takes the place of the other stupid idea of the CCW variant.  Priority for this event is for people currently signed up for the Death March and who, you know, really want to do this.

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  • Joffrey P.

    Good suffering at the beginning and end. We'll have to improve the suffering of the middle part next year!

    March 31, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      Mmmm.. And here I was just thinking of actually completing the South Massanutten loop! :)

      April 1, 2014

    • Will

      Too easy! Lol - I am looking forward to completing the 112 loop as planned someday.

      April 1, 2014

  • Daniel

    Jeez...this thing slayed me. First time I've been unable to finish a trip. I am duly humbled. Ending things with Will and Alison salvaged the experience, however. Thanks to both of you for making the latter part of yesterday and earlier today less bad and good, respectively. 'Bailing' was the right decision. I only wish everyone else out on the trail tonight-- from both Massanutten trips-- the best of luck. Completing the North Loop is cause for pride, and completing both loops...well, I don't even know where to begin. It's a lotta walkin'.

    1 · March 28, 2014

    • Jen

      Dan! I missed seeing you this weekend. 25 miles nearly slayed me -- I can't imagine 35. I have no doubt you'll conquer Sufferfest 2015.

      2 · April 1, 2014

    • Daniel

      Yeah, missed seeing you, too, and all the others. Congrats on conquering the North Loop. Mother Nature just had to stick it to you with that surprise snow storm. At least you ended on a wild note.

      April 1, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Thanks, everyone for making this rather insane variant (101 miles) happen. I'm sorry about how it worked out for Covergirl, Heavy D, and Savage ... I figured you guys would peel off and rejoin the main group. You really should have been with us out there--you were each missed. Thanks to Beast Mode and Hang Glider for going the distance. And thanks to the Red Rocket for the most impressive DC UL debut EVAH! We four made it around, and only fell short of 112 miles due to my conservatism.

    March 31, 2014

    • Will

      Seriously! Slackers! What's another 11 miles? :)

      1 · April 1, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      inorite?!

      April 1, 2014

  • Jason

    Great meeting everyone, I'm looking forward to more hikes with DC UL!

    1 · March 31, 2014

  • Will

    Crazy hike! Looking forward (sorta!) to completing the loop.

    March 31, 2014

  • Matt S.

    The rain has turned to snow here in DC; hoping all of you brave, sick SOBs make it off the mountain safe today.

    March 30, 2014

    • MikeVW

      Yeah, we had our own mini-Matterhorn descending from Signal Knob…not much accumulation, but the wind and snow were not a fun way to end the hike.

      March 30, 2014

  • Will

    While I was tempted to continue despite my failing hip - hot breakfast at Uncle Ben's with Dan and Alison proved too tempting! Carry on the rest of you tough mothers.

    2 · March 28, 2014

    • Will

      Yeah, if we had continued and reunited I would have easily been inclined to suck it up and carry on. I nearly got back in my car this morning to drive back out there! Many lessons were learned after a 30 mile day with a heavy pack - I'm already preparing for a re-match.

      March 29, 2014

    • Alison

      Definitely! A good day to have under the belt but the loop must be completed some time. Count me in ;)

      March 29, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Gentlemen (and lady), I look forward to suffering in your company!

    I'll be wrapping up my work shortly and start heading out there (I have an errand or two).

    @ Covergirl ... See you at Vienna, 3:30pm.

    @ Jason ... See you at the TH, about 5pm.

    @ Beastmode, Heavy D, Savage, and Hang Glider ... See you at Little Crease tonight!

    U-Turn [masked]

    March 26, 2014

    • Will

      Somehow I am actually ahead of schedule (yeah I had to say that outloud). Finishing up my job in Winchester then grabbing a bite. At the trail head 4ish.

      March 26, 2014

    • Michael M.

      You'll be first, I reckon.

      March 26, 2014

  • Carolyn G.

    Have fun. I REALLY wish I were there for this! In Louisiana now - flat, flat, flat.

    1 · March 26, 2014

  • Will

    Forecast for Wed night is down to 15! Fun stuff!

    http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Fort+Valley+VA+22652

    March 25, 2014

    • Will

      Until the weekend anyway! Would really love to leave behind the tarp or heavy raincoat. Something tells me we will be poured on at some point, especially once we reunite with MikeVW ;)

      March 26, 2014

    • Michael M.

      You can actually track MikeVW's position by the rain clouds over his head.

      March 26, 2014

  • Michael M.

    The consumables for 112 miles weigh a shit-ton. Somehow, I always forget that.

    March 26, 2014

    • Dave M.

      I'd love to be out there but my daughters big stage play is this weekend. I'm eyeing the calendar for a redux in early May before it gets hot. I like the consecutive 30 mile days idea.

      March 26, 2014

    • Will

      I have about 9 pounds of food! Already hungry...

      March 26, 2014

  • Michael M.

    If people are interested in tracking our progress, here is my SPOT beacon page ... http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0cWQpS3Bo405xZWhlonFf4t3jN7WQdvac

    1 · March 26, 2014

  • Joffrey P.

    Alright - Dan requested Vienna pickup at 5pm Wed. I can do that, and Will said 4pm would work for him. Any preference, Dan? Andrew, what's your plan? And Michael - you're going out much earlier in the day, right?

    March 24, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      Sure, Dan. We'll make it happen!

      March 25, 2014

    • Daniel

      Thanks, Joffrey.

      March 26, 2014

  • Will

    Was really hoping the weather would warm up slightly for Wednesday night. A few wintery items might have to go back into the bag. So much for the 8lb base weight!

    March 24, 2014

    • Michael M.

      I love that summary. We will have great weather when it's not raining / snowing / blowing at us.

      1 · March 25, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      *We will have great weather.

      March 25, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Covergirl ... One word ... Cojones! Who switches over with the weather like this? You're crazy!

    1 · March 25, 2014

    • Michael M.

      Friday evening, as you carry 4L of water up Waterfall as the last mile of perhaps 80 miles ... you'll hate yourself ... and me! ;)

      March 25, 2014

    • Alison

      I always carry about that much water, ha. But yeah. I already want to die.

      March 25, 2014

  • Michael M.

    To state the obvious ... the weather looks quite variable. Everyone should bring the gear one needs for conditions like these. Veach Gap will be a cold place to sleep Wednesday night, and we will be exposed on the ridgelines for many miles. While I have yet to make final decisions on my gear, I am sure I'll be taking my 10* Versa-Lite, and my foul weather gear (pants, jacket, rain mitts). I'll stick with my runners, MLD pack, and cuben tarp ... But which tarp? ;) Anyway, I won't be SUL ... But one does need to play it safe.

    1 · March 25, 2014

    • Michael M.

      I think I can sneak in under 10lbs base. What do you mean by serious stuff?

      March 25, 2014

    • Will

      Mitts, rain pants and such. Seems like I never end up using them, but maybe this time!

      March 25, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Although I am hopeful that the weather won't be *that* bad, we will certainly get rained on with temps in a rather iffy range. Now might be a good time for everyone to review the symptoms and treatments for hypothermia (http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m3240076_WildernessRemoteFirstAidReferenceGuide.pdf, page 62). We need to take care of each other out there!

    1 · March 25, 2014

  • Cesar

    Godspeed!!

    1 · March 25, 2014

  • Joffrey P.

    Welcome Jason!

    March 25, 2014

  • Michael M.

    @ Jason ... We need to see you out on a shorter trail before something like this. Can you make the Gear Swap or one of the April trips?

    March 24, 2014

    • Michael M.

      (Sorry ... Even for a thru-hiker, I need to stick to our system ... E-mail me ([masked]) if you want to chat about it.

      March 24, 2014

  • Joffrey P.

    Welcome, Will!

    I think we should re-dub this the Massanutten Massacre. There will be no survivors.

    2 · March 20, 2014

    • Will

      Very likely! My feet are already cursing me.

      March 20, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Just so you guys know, we are a mere 16 days away from this. I'll be handling the "organization" of it early next week, but there won't be much. Somebody needs to give Dan a ride, but otherwise, it will be every man for himself. ;)

    March 10, 2014

    • Michael M.

      All depends on your idea of fun!

      March 13, 2014

    • Darwin

      I do still debating abut this one or 71 but my knee still telling me very very gently..I will F%$# you up.

      March 14, 2014

  • Michael M.

    If the averages hold, we should have perfect weather ...

    http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/USVA0298 ...

    ;)

    March 10, 2014

  • Evan K. M.

    Damn. It almost makes me want to buy a plane ticket back just to join in on the misery. You guys rock.

    March 10, 2014

    • Michael M.

      Yes, it would be perfect to have you here. I admit, I am a little ... wary ... of what I've signed on to do here. Struggling through the slush on Saturday, I felt rather old and fat and slow. ;)

      March 10, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      Yeah, I did that both Sat. and Sun. and feel like I'm going to suffer indeed...

      March 10, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Hmmm ... Just loaded up the gear I'm thinking of taking for this trip and set the pack on the scale. Base weight under 7lbs! Can you guys tell I'm happy for 3-season conditions?

    Of course, I'll need to carry a lot of food for this ...

    February 21, 2014

    • Darwin

      Total packet weight, well, not counting what I am wearing.

      February 22, 2014

    • Michael M.

      18 lbs total pack weight is good. I was saying just under 7lbs *base weight.* For a weekend trip, add maybe 3-4lbs of food, a little fuel, 1L of water ... Total packed weight would come to 13lbs pounds. I know I often start weekends in the Mid-Atlantic, 3-season conditions, with 13-16lbs total packed weight. For 112 miles, I'm going to have to have more consumables.

      February 24, 2014

  • Darwin

    29 miles a day X 4 days....Just to think about it my legs star shaking and cramping but I'm more tempted to be there than in a gentleman club.

    February 20, 2014

    • Michael M.

      Ha ... All depends on the gentlemen's club! ;) Sunshine was telling me about a special one out in WV. ;) Just kidding. Note that we're front-loading the miles so that we can meet up with the rest of the group at Waterfall!

      February 21, 2014

    • Darwin

      Even in the effect that I will love to join this trek I know that I'm not in my best shape to try it...maybe the next one.

      February 22, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Just so everyone knows what they're signing up for, I'm getting splits like this ... 9 / 32.2 / 34.1 / 23 / 14, or about 112.3, when all is said and done. Some adjustments may be made.

    1 · February 5, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      Sick! Back to back 30+! This will be a suffer fest indeed.

      1 · February 5, 2014

    • Darwin

      We may still have some snow in the ground for this one.

      February 20, 2014

  • Karan

    So tempted to join this. But just can't take an extra day off :(

    February 5, 2014

    • MikeVW

      You'll be thankful for missing out when you reach the cars Sunday and are still able to walk :)

      1 · February 11, 2014

  • Travis

    well of course.

    1 · February 5, 2014

  • Will

    This is tempting! Topping my longest hike by more than 40 miles....I'll have to give it due consideration :)

    February 5, 2014

  • Dave M.

    Oh! I'm bummed I can't make this one. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

    February 5, 2014

7 went

  • Michael M.
    Veteran Plus Member (3-2!@ - 46er) (B-VI) (WFA) (U-Turn) ('16), Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Andrew
    Veteran Plus Member (2!) (Hang Glider) ('16), Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Joffrey P.
    Veteran Plus Member (Beast Mode) (4-2!@) (B-VI) ('16), Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Alison
    Veteran Plus Member (3) (Pretty Good Cover Girl) ('16), Assistant Organizer
  • Daniel
    Veteran Plus Member (3!) (Heavy D) (16), Assistant Organizer
  • Will
    Veteran Plus Member (4!@) (Savage) (WFA) ('16), Co-Organizer
  • Jason
    Veteran Plus Member (3!) (Red Rocket) ('15)

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