Nice route. I imagine that, when not hiking in fog/clouds, the views along Great North Mountain are pretty great, making the whole thing even nicer.
Day 1 was warm, sunny, laid-back walking (except for the stretches of ice at the beginning). The campsite on Trout Run was great—plenty of water, lots of wood, space to spread out, and not much noise from the nearby road. Michael's margarita surprise was the pièce de résistance!
Day 2 was very atmospheric, with most of our time spent in the fog/clouds. Near-freezing rain isn't my favorite weather, but the wind stayed low, and my trusty umbrella/windshirt combo kept me warm and comfy. So many people treat rain like the ruination of all things good and pure, but not this group of DC ULers! Everyone took the weather in stride.
0 · April 1
This was a very enjoyable first backpacking trip for me. Saturday was sunny and clear, proving a number of good views. Everyone kept a good pace and we found a great spot to make camp Saturday night. While it rained moderately most of Sunday, everyone had appropriate clothing, so it wasn't a big deal. Spirits were not dampened and I would definitely do it again.
0 · April 1
Enjoyed the company and the relatively relaxed circuit through woods and rocks. The weather packed a lot of variety into a two-day outing-- I for one like misty, cool conditions-- but was kind enough not to rain till we started walking Sunday morning. That meant a nice fire Saturday night. So there wasn't much missing, as far as overnights go. And Steve and Brett did very well-- kudos.
0 · April 1
Just a few notes for what should be a pretty straightforward hike for us.
The reference map is PATC Map F. My copy is in the mail, but you can often get them at REI. The Mid-Atlantic Hikes trip map (link in the trip description) is fine, too. PATC also publishes a little book on the area: http://www.patc.net/PublicView/..., which I have.
Please bring 3-4L of water carrying capacity. The mountains will be wet, and I believe we'll be camping at water, but I might get a sudden urge to camp dry. You'll want to start walking with about 2L, depending on your needs.
We will be able to have a campfire Saturday night.
1 · March 27
@Doug, MikeVW, others who know this loop well ... Any reason not to camp at the Cherry Ridge campsite (essentially the northernmost point on this map ...http://mrhyker.tripod.com/siteb...)? ... There appears to be a campsite there and water. On a CW loop, my splits would be about even, which is what I'm aiming for (13.5-13.5). The PATC book confirms the campsite, but doesn't offer much information.
0 · March 27
First the Blue Ridge in SNP... then the eastern and western ridges of the northern Massanutten...now Great North Mountain...I'm finally catching on to Michael's secret plan to have the group hike on every north/south ridge in the U.S.A., going from east to west. Who knew we were zig-zagging our way across the continent? ;-)
0 · March 26
@Michael--you may want to consider going clockwise, since Big Schloss is the highlight of the trail IMO. Ryan and I pushed a 20 miler to go from Tibbet to Sandstone Spring, but there is (if I recall) a good campsite near water by Halfmoon. Keep an eye out for my car; Annie and I will be finishing up a shorter version of this hike Saturday morning!
0 · March 26
So, Booty-Less got some more trail information for us by speaking to a person at Spruce Knob:
"She told me that they received at least 8 inches of new snow on top of all the other snow they received this winter. There hasn't been much melting yet and the route will be continuously snow covered. She said to expect to walk through the recent powder and if you break through the crust underneath, it will likely be at least up to your knees. She also said that when it warms up on Saturday, we'd likely be slogging through mush up to our knees as we'd break through the melting ice crust with our packs...so slow going but not impossible. She also said it was still snowing up there today and they expected to get a few more inches in the next day or two."
And the adventure factor goes up! :)
0 · March 26
Guys, we're going to say, for now, that snow shoes are not required. If you have 'em, bring 'em. If you have spikes, bring 'em. I'll work to learn more about the conditions as the week goes on. We'll try to make the trip happen for as many people who want to be there as we can. If necessary, the people with snow shoes will walk in front and make the path. Hopefully, there will be some melting as the week goes on. MM
1 · March 25
With the low's expected to be in the teens on the mountain Saturday night, I think I'm going to have to skip this one... I will miss my warm and cozy bed too much! It's too bad spring hasn't sprung yet, I'm dying to get out on the trail before I get stuck inside all summer in Florida :(
0 · March 25
Hey, everyone, just letting you know that I'm back from this weekend's 71-miler. Good trip! I'll get caught up on this one in the next day or so. A little worried, I must confess, about the wintery conditions out in WV--we had wintery conditions in the Massnuttens at times. Will write more tomorrow--sleepy.
1 · March 24