North Fork Mountain Backpacking Trip

  • January 24, 2014 · 7:30 PM
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One of the best backpacking trips in the Mid-Atlantic!  You need to be in good shape and able to carry heavier than normal loads, but the rewards are amazing!  If you have not been backpacking with me before please send me an email after signing up as I must vet accordingly since this is not an easy trip.  Whether we are socked in by clouds and fog or enjoy a rare clear day, this place is always magical!  This is one of my "cook over the fire" trips and I usually prefer steak and baked potato, but grilled veggies or fish are always good too!  So put this one on the calendar early as the views and pictures are always some of the best!  We will drive to the trail head on Friday night, where we will camp to get an early start on Saturday morning.  If we have a seasoned group we may walk up the mountain on Friday night as well, so will see who chooses to come.  This trip will require a car shuttle, so route will be weather dependent and will make the final choice once we are sure of snow depth and weather close to the event, but it will occur unless the roads are treacherous.  So time to saddle up for one of our classic winter/fall trips as the pictures do not lie!  ;-)

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  • Katrina

    Great time as always, and nice to meet some new faces and see my old favorites!

    January 26, 2014

    • Steve M

      Who are you calling "old?"

      2 · January 28, 2014

    • Katrina

      Im glad you asked....well theres you, paul, figgis of course and I am right at yalls heels. :-)

      1 · January 28, 2014

  • Simon

    Although my trip was short, the company was great. I enjoyed every minute of it.

    3 · January 27, 2014

    • Jenny H.

      Simon, Thanks for inspiring me to stick to the trip instead of backing out immediately. Your spirit of making the best of every moment of life is indeed admireable. Take care.

      January 27, 2014

    • Simon

      You are welcome Jenny. Glad you made it through and enjoyed trip. Look forward backpacking soon. Take care

      January 27, 2014

  • pooja

    Thank you Steve, Larke, Steve for leading the pack, Simon for his poles - i could not have done this trip without them, Peter and Katrina for awesome fire and great tips on packing lite, Jenny and Hannah for good times. Thank you all again and happy week ahead!:)

    3 · January 26, 2014

    • Simon

      Glade the poles eased the hike for you Pooja.

      January 27, 2014

    • Jenny H.

      Pooja, it was fun to hike with you. BTW my cell phone was completely dead so I didn't capture your phone call. Since I don't have your number, please call me again, so that we can keep in touch. Take care.

      January 27, 2014

  • Jenny H.

    It's my 2nd winter backpacking trip to North Fork. The group is lovely, and leadership team awesome. Thanks to everyone (Steve, Larke, Simon, Paul, Pooja, Hannah, Katrina and Peter) for your friendship, help and fun company. I hope to see you again in another trip. PS. heed Jim's advice on gears seriously. When he suggests -20 bag, don't try to fool around with +15. Lessons learnt in hard and cold way. However, the trip is so great that you will definitely want to do it again and again any way.

    4 · January 26, 2014

  • pooja

    Awesome trip!! Loved everyone on the trails and had a great time.

    2 · January 26, 2014

  • pooja

    Awesome trip!! Loved everyone on the trails and had a great time.

    1 · January 26, 2014

  • pooja

    Awesome trip!! Loved everyone on the trails and had a great time.

    1 · January 26, 2014

  • Paul

    Another fantastic outing at Noth Fork . . Lots of snow on the ground and an awesome group. A big thanks to Peter and Katrina for having a great fire and wood chopped on our arrival, Steve for leading, the weather to allow me to play on my snowshoes and everyone else for the company. Till next time

    3 · January 26, 2014

  • david

    Dave and Frank won't be there tonight. One of us managed to leave critical kit at home; the other one is being violently sick ! Leave you to guess who is who! Have a great time. Were driving home again !

    1 · January 24, 2014

    • Katrina

      Missed you guys! Hope you are better frank!

      January 26, 2014

    • Frank

      Much better, thank you! Really disappointed, but happy I turned around. My throat was sore all of Saturday. Next time!

      1 · January 26, 2014

  • david

    Jim, is there a map / trail name for this one please? Thanks Dave

    January 23, 2014

    • Jenny H.

      Can I also get a copy of the map/trail? Thanks.

      January 24, 2014

    • Katrina

      Theres one on midatlantichikes.com

      January 24, 2014

  • upasana

    Ride for me as well

    November 28, 2013

    • Jim N.

      In a foot+ of snow you will not be able to cover that much ground in 2 days Upasana.

      January 24, 2014

    • Jenny H.

      Jim, how many miles are we supposed to cover? Thanks.

      January 24, 2014

  • pooja

    Good morning All! I recently joined the group so sorry for last minute clarifications.
    This is my first trip to NF and not sure whether we will pack up our tents and backpack on Saturday morning again and camp at a second location on Saturday night. One option would be to leave the tent and carry light backpack during Saturday and come back to the same location as on Friday night, but then we would miss on the whole idea of backpacking, I guess:). Kindly suggest.
    Thank you

    January 24, 2014

    • Jenny H.

      Pooja, I didn't see your question get posted from yahoo email. Maybe you should post the question specificly to the leaders so that they know you have a question.

      January 24, 2014

  • Hannah

    Would anyone be able to give me a lift on Friday? I live in the DC area, but I can meet you by a metro.

    January 8, 2014

    • Hannah

      Hi Pooja. Thank you for the ride offer, but Jim already coordinated one for me at the Vienna metro with Steve. I will see you this weekend!

      January 24, 2014

    • pooja

      Nice:)

      January 24, 2014

  • Jim N.

    Peter and Steve will be leading as my purchase of a replacement car has hit some unexpected snags. Please be prepared for the cold by having skin protection, but this is always one of my favorite trips and you will have great weather for a winter trip, so enjoy!

    January 24, 2014

  • Kathryn

    I'm sorry -- I am not going to be able to make it. Too much going on this weekend.

    January 23, 2014

  • Hannah

    May I snag a spot in someone's tent? I don't take up much space or snore!

    January 22, 2014

    • pooja

      Hi Hannah, I have room in my tent. You are welcome to join.

      1 · January 23, 2014

    • Hannah

      Thank you!

      January 23, 2014

  • Larke W.

    January 23, 2014

  • Jim N.

    Note you will need a -15 F bag on this trip to stay warm, or a very good friend or 3 in a warm tent!

    1 · January 22, 2014

  • Kathryn

    Jim, Sorry to bother you but I have a few questions. Are we doing the long loop or the shorter one like we did last October? Since you will be camping at the trail head on Friday night, would it be possible for me to arrive on Saturday morning at around 9:30 a.m.? Do you have any idea when you will be heading out on Saturday morning? Also, do you have any info about the conditions and if snow shoes are required? Thanks a lot.

    January 22, 2014

    • Jenny H.

      Two years ago, there was about 2-4 inches of snow. My feet didn't feel cold when walking, but did feel very cold in camp ground. Will insulated boots feel too warm when hiking? I am afraid foot sweat can make the boots wet from inside. Please provid your insights.

      January 22, 2014

    • Jim N.

      No, they don't feel too warm at all and are much warmer in camp. I use a liner with expedition weight socks in my winter boots.

      January 22, 2014

  • upasana

    I need a ride from medical center metro station to be able to go. Anyone?

    January 22, 2014

    • Jin, Z

      You can take metro to Vienna station and transfer bus FairFax Connector to Centreville Park & Ride at 7:30pm to join their car pooling. I did it once. It was a very convenient and smooth commute. Here is the bus schedule link: http://www.fairfaxcou...­

      January 22, 2014

    • Jin, Z

      Bus 640/642/644

      January 22, 2014

  • Jin, Z

    I have to work late on this week and on Friday night. So I do not have to work during the weekend. Have fun. See you all soon. Jenn

    January 22, 2014

  • Jenny H.

    Jim, is there any water supply along the trail, or we have to prepare all the water for 3 days? I understand snow can be cooked to make water, it just take too much fuel and time.

    January 21, 2014

    • Steve M

      No immediate water supplies. We'll camp near the cars the first night, but will need to carry water for both Saturday and Sunday (2 days).

      January 21, 2014

  • Hua D.

    Sorry guys, because I have signed M.T. Washington Winter President Traverse, and have been training for it, I am looking for more miles for this weekend backpack trip, and decided to join DC UL for a 27 miles backpack hike on the same area. Have FUN!!, and hope there is Sunny on Sunday for a great view of North Fork Mountain. See you all next hike.

    January 21, 2014

    • Steve M

      Hua, sometimes you just need to do laps to get some extra miles in! We'll miss you but look forward to seeing you next time.

      1 · January 21, 2014

  • Frank

    Is anyone stopping at the WalMart in Front Royal, exit 6 off 66? Or is leaving early Friday? I'd like to catch a ride as my car is getting old. I can meet in Centreville if need be too, but from Fredericksburg Front Royal would be closer and much easier. Thanks!

    January 20, 2014

    • david

      Frank - yes I could do Walmart, (also have an old car, so you may still have to push!) will be coming from McLean VA. I'm up for leaving earlier too just haven't planned exact times yet.

      January 20, 2014

    • Frank

      Thanks David! I'll send you a personal message with my contact info. I'm flexible Friday with leaving early and don't mind pushing for a bit!

      January 20, 2014

  • Hua D.

    Hi, all: Since there is not a major snow system from now to the next weekend, is there possible we could have 2 groups: one do half, and one do the full 28 miles??

    January 16, 2014

    • Jim N.

      Oh, and there is a major snow system coming in tomorrow and cold afterwards, which is why I waited until this week to start to work out details.

      1 · January 20, 2014

    • Jim N.

      Weather here: http://forecast.weath...­

      January 20, 2014

  • Simon

    Does any one have some available space? I need a ride for this trip. I could meet any where metro accessible and I live in DC.
    Thanks

    January 12, 2014

  • Bill

    Are we going to be able to RSVP? It looks like some people have dropped out. Thx.

    January 8, 2014

    • Jim N.

      Bill I am very judicial who I take in winter for the group's and person's safety, as it is not an easy trip. If you did not answer the questions I provided, please do so as that is part of my vetting process. If someone does not communicate with me, they will not go.

      January 8, 2014

  • Kerri

    Hey, if anyone needs one, I have a brand new (still sealed) extra bag for sale (had a mix up and ended up with 2). It's a Slumberjack Latitude 20 Degree Synthetic Sleeping Bag. Weight 3lbs 14oz.

    January 4, 2014

  • upasana

    Are we doing the whole thing? That will be great

    November 21, 2013

    • Brandon S.

      YOU TOO NEAL COME AT ME BRO

      2 · November 27, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Ok, so we will do at least half if there is at least a foot of snow up there. In addition if you tough people want we can do it the hard way and walk up from the end, lol!

      1 · November 29, 2013

  • Miles D.

    You are aware of the fire that closed the section north of the pipeline crossing?

    1 · November 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      For now Miles but if you look this is posted for over 2 months from now. I have the best contacts back there so no worries.

      1 · November 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Fire over now Miles: http://www.fs.usda.go...­

      1 · November 25, 2013

  • Mark L.

    Great, was hoping there'd be a winter trip to the area that we could join. Looking forward to it!

    1 · November 18, 2013

  • Brandon S.

    This should be a great trip, I am looking forward to it.

    1 · November 17, 2013

  • Bryan

    Hi, I would like to come, but need a ride. I can carpool from Baltimore or from Vienna Metro station if that is convenient for anyone. I will chip in money for gas expenses.

    November 17, 2013

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