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This Meetup is cancelled

Winter Backpacking Series - Otter Creek

  • Vienna Metro North Parking Lot

    Vienna Metro Station, Vienna, VA (map)

    38.901188 -77.264613

  • [masked]
  • Otter Creek winter backpack.

    In keeping with the wilderness character, the area is primitive and rugged. Trails are neither signed nor blazed, although rock cairns are occasionally provided in areas that may appear confusing. Deadfall trees are not removed from the trails unless going around them will cause unacceptable environmental impacts. And there are no bridges at creek crossings.

    The wilderness is also a haven for wildlife. While hiking through the Wilderness, one might encounter black bear, whitetail deer, wild turkey, grouse, snowshoe hare, cottontail rabbit, and a variety of squirrels. Mink and beaver inhabit the streams and creeks while blue crayfish can be found along the damp trails. There are many species of birds, and several of reptiles including two poisonous snakesthe timber rattlesnake and copperhead. Otter Creek is also home to a small population of brook trout and several amphibians such as the Cheat Mountain salamander and gray tree frog.

    Weather and Snow
    You should plan for rain or snow (in winter, spring, and fall). The area receives more than 55 inches of precipitation annually, usually quite evenly distributed through the year. The weather frequently changes suddenly, and 2 to 3 inches of rain, or 12 to 18 inches of snow in a single storm are not uncommon. Temperatures at high elevations are comparable to those several hundred miles to the north. Frost may occur during any month of the year. It is very important to have proper equipment and "clothing" to protect against insects, snakes, rain and extreme cold.

    The Otter Creek Trail along Otter Creek is the main feature of this area. The creek is quite large in its lower reaches and quite beautiful. In terms of scenic beauty, I prefer the upper reaches down to the Green Mountain Trail, which I consider exceptionally beautiful. There are three or four stream crossings which should be negotiated with extreme caution (or bypassed) during high water. The crossings are typically knee-deep during most of the year. Walks along the mountain trails are hardwood forests typical to West Virginia, with lots of rhododendron.



    Trail detail: Coming soon.
    Length: 15 mile
    Elevation Gain: Coming soon.
    Trail Type: Loop
    Skill Level: Advance, because weather/terrain/stream crossing.
    Duration: Jan[masked]
    Season gear: Cold winter + 2 pieces rain suite (Not poncho) Insulated shoes-boot if possible if not neo-prene socks as water proof protection.
    It will be limited to maximum of 10 persons.
    Extreme cold weather clothes-gear require.

    Check the winter gear list which will give you a better idea of what you need.

    CARPOOL: Don't forget if you want a ride or are willing to offer a ride – be a friend to the environment, save money, and make friends by just posting a message!!
    Have a ride: Post where you are coming from, what time, and how many spots you have.
    Need a ride: Post that you need a ride and contact any offers via e-mail for those that are offering rides.

Join or login to comment.

  • Darwin

    @ All - As I put it out yesterday I'm force to re-schedule this trip because flu just get me hard this time, canceling or rescheduling is not something that you will see me doing often, even if I have the seasonal cold I'm present on my trips.
    I still want to do this one as a winter trip so a free weekend on February may be the one.
    Again, sorry guy's if I let you down this time.

    January 23, 2013

  • Darwin

    @ All - I'm on my second day on bed because of flu.
    If I'm NOT feeling better by tomorrow I may will be force to postpone this trip, not that I want to so don't make planes just yet please give me 24hr. and will let you know if I feel like I will remain walking on the word of the living or the zombie apocalypse has come upon me.

    Won't be the first time that I do have a miracle recovery in special knowing that the top of the mountain will be 2 feet of fresh snow.

    January 22, 2013

    • Aileen

      Feel better, dear friend. Like Brett and Vince said, hay siempre un otro vez.

      January 22, 2013

    • KingsleyC

      hope u feel better soon!

      January 22, 2013

  • Darwin

    @ All - To make my heat counting easier please in the RSVP comment line add the word "IN" that way I'll know that is your update positive, thank you and sorry for all the trouble.

    January 20, 2013

  • Darwin

    @ ALL - Please UPDATE your status if you are NOT coming, if I don't see any message in 24hr. telling me that you still up I'll remove you from the attendance list to the bottom of the waiting list.
    This go for waiting list to, if you still want to join let me know and I'll move you up to the attendance list.

    January 20, 2013

  • Darwin

    @ ALL - SNOW alert for CHICAGO, IN, MI, OH , PA, WV, MD, NJ all of New England this Thursday / Friday.
    Plowable snows with northern branch low that moves from Midwest to NJ/NY/NE. DCA/MRB maybe too far south to see good snows. Western /central / NE PA to New England big winnners here.

    Hold all questions pls...gaining momentum here. music to my ears.

    January 20, 2013

  • Darwin

    @ ALL - Trip is now open, the ones on the waiting list "automatically" pass to join list, please update your status if you have change your mind.

    January 17, 2013

  • Peter

    What do I need for winter backpacking. Don't want to get freeze cold sleep outside

    January 12, 2013

    • Darwin

      You need a tent, it will give you protection again the elements, you always can "share" whit some one else.
      If you don't have a tent I always can loan 1 to you.

      January 14, 2013

    • Darwin

      I will recommend get some dehydrated food for you, don't bring heavy stuff since you will be carrying that wait over your shoulders and believe me is not fun at all, so limit your stuff to clothes and food-water for your self.

      January 14, 2013

  • Darwin

    @ Olga - I do have some extra gear that you can borrow if need, tent-brand new 20F sleeping bag-sleeping pad-backpack, let me know if you can use any /all of them.
    Bellow this comment is another one whit a "link" to a backpacking guide that you may found interesting.

    January 12, 2013

  • Darwin

    I'm moving everyone to the waiting list, when time comes if still want to attend you will be able to jump to the main list.

    Trip will remain close until Jan. [masked]

    December 27, 2012

  • Darwin

    I do suggest to take a look at this article for the ones considering doing multiple days winter trips:

    December 11, 2012


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