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SLOW hike up Old Rag Mountain. Later start time. Metro Access!

Are you new to hiking, out of shape from the winter, or just feel like you are always at the back of the pack? Then this hike is for YOU!

I will be posting MORE of these Old Rag Hikes, every week or so until it gets really hot. These will be cancelled in the event that the forecast calls for lightning.  I will be posting an occasional night-hike up old rag to watch the sunrise from the top.

The Park Service charges $8 per person, but I have an annual pass that can cover everyone in my car.  If anyone else has an annual pass, bring it and you can bring in 3 others with you at no cost.  Depending on how many passes we have in total, we may be able to avoid paying any entrance fees.  If not, we'll figure it out when we arrive. 

We will start early, and take our sweet time hiking up the ridge trail. We will eat lunch/snack on the summit, perhaps rest a bit, then head back down via the saddle trail. The plan is to meet at Vienna metro station, NORTH LOT at 8:00AM. I will be able to pick up anyone coming from Germantown or Rockville at about 7:15. 

I can take 3 passengers, and have room for packs. There will be other drivers willing to take passengers, so no limit on the number of hikers. It's always nice to offer your driver a couple of bucks for gas, if you are so inclined. It is not required, though, as everyone's finances are different.

I am not acting as an offical guide, but I have hiked Old Rag nearly 200 times, so I know the trail and the mountain very well.

I suggest packing these items in your pack: Gloves (for the hand over hand climbing in the rough granite,) at least 2 liters of water, snacks or lunch as you see fit.  You won't want to carry anything in your hands, so a back-pack, day-pack or large waist-pack is suggested.  A small camera would be great also.  I do not recommend carrying a DSLR, due to weight and the chance of damage.  There is a list of other suggested items further down this page.

Hiking Boots recommended, as well as thick hiking socks. Bringing an extra pair of shoes and socks to leave in the car is a GREAT idea also!

Even though it starts cool in the morning, you will get warmed up quickly. Perhaps bring a light jacket (in your pack) for the summit.

Sunscreen is a must!  Insect repellant is recommended.

I can pick up anyone in Germantown or Rockville at 7:00 or 7:15, contact me directly for this.

I'd like to hit the road at 8:00, so please arrive a few minutes prior to 8:00 at Vienna North Metro Lot.  If you will be a couple of minutes late, please call my cell, and we can wait a minute or two.  Please don't be late, but I know things happen sometimes.  My cell number is two four zero - two seven one - two zero zero zero.  Phones won't work too far past Warrenton, so any coordinating will need to be done before 8:45 or so. 

The Old Rag Parking lot is located: SR600/Nethers Rd. [masked], [masked], If you prefer to meet up there.

We should be arriving about 9:30 at the Old Rag Parking Lot. There are jiffy johns in the parking lot, generally clean, though no guarantees. 

See the site for more information:  http://www.hikingupward.com/snp/oldrag/

Leave a comment or message me with any questions.

There will be some hand over hand climbing, but there are always people around to help if you need a hand here or there.  As long as you are able to hike, we'll get you through the tough spots. It's not an easy hike, but we will be going slow. 

 ANY backcountry hike should prompt one to have at LEAST the following in their pack: 1. Navigation (map and compass) 2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen) 3. Insulation (extra clothing) 4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight) 5. First-aid supplies 6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles) 7. Repair kit and tools 9. Nutrition (extra food) 9. Hydration (extra water) 10. Emergency shelter (tarp, bivy bag, space blanket)  One never knows what emergency one will have or witness.  An emergency on Old Rag Mountian can easily mean a 4-6 hour wait for first responders to arrive, and an additional 2-24 hours for extraction for a non-ambulatory patient.  If you can make it out, that is always your best bet.  Thanks to Bob Look for the list.  See his advice for Old Rag climbers and back-country hikers at:   http://oldragpatrolsbyrsl-blook.blogspot.com/search/label/Advice 

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  • Wanderfrau aka M.

    Thank you for a great hike , Mark. The "slow" encouraged me to go. Wanderfrau aka Monika

    May 12, 2014

    • Danielle S.

      Me too! I really enjoyed it, though I got very sick later that day. A bad case of heat exhaustion! Thank you for organizing this.

      May 13, 2014

  • Aditya

    Really excited to be a part of this hike! I stay in Rockville/Gaithersburg area and need a ride. Are you still able to provide a pick up from the Rockville area?

    May 5, 2014

    • Aditya

      Great! Thanks a lot Mark..I will text you the details

      May 5, 2014

    • Aditya

      Mark, I am down with the flu and couldn't make it.. I posted the same on your profile page.

      May 11, 2014

  • Julia

    Guys, I just saw a video of folks hiking Old Rag. Are we really having to climb between and over huge boulders? I'm not that experienced. This looks like something for more advanced hikers. I may have to bow out:(.

    May 7, 2014

  • Lisa

    Can someone please tell me how to get to the North Lot from the District? I wasn't able to find it the last time I tried. I will be able to take hikers if I can find the Lot!

    May 7, 2014

    • Lisa

      Thank you!

      May 7, 2014

  • Antonio

    Is someone able to provide pick up for me at the Vienna metro? I could join if someone has room in the car.

    May 5, 2014

  • Julia

    Mark, thank you so much. You guys are the best. I'll see you then.

    1 · May 5, 2014

  • Julia

    Oops. Never mind. This hike isn't Metro accessible. I read it wrong. The only way I can join you is if someone has room in their car:(

    May 5, 2014

    • Kristen

      Julia - we are supposed to leave from the Vienna Metro north lot at 8:00. The Metro opens at 7:00 - - so, you should have time to get there. I also am only able to go if folks can provide a lift.

      May 5, 2014

  • Julia

    How long is the hike? What time are we expected to return?

    May 5, 2014

  • Cathy

    I'll meet you at the Old Rag lot NLT 9:30

    May 1, 2014

  • Kristen

    My boyfriend and I will need a ride from Vienna Metro. Happy to help with gas, of course.

    May 1, 2014

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