- LM: Trout Run Valley (27 miles)
Kylie and I can't believe we haven't done the Trout Run Navigation trail yet. Obviously, its time to change that. We will leave Saturday morning and make the ~2 hr drive to our trailhead. For now, I am debating where exactly to start, but expect splits to be ~13 and ~13 miles. Highlights of the trip will include Tibbett Knob, Halfmoon Mountain, and Big Schloss. It is a good intro to backpacking - Applicants are welcome to join the trip. Of course, if you are an applicant, I will need your gear list. As of now, weather looks nice: https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/us/wv/wardensville?cm_ven=localwx_10day It is mandatory to bring maps on DCUL trips. Here are a few resources: PATC Map F ( https://www.rei.com/product/608805/patc-map-f-trails-in-great-north-mountain-north-half-of-george-washington-national-forest ) http://midatlantichikes.com/troutrunvalley.htm Questions? Let us know! We've missed DCUL backpacking and are excited to be back! By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's liability waiver (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).
- IO: Utah desert + canyons
Last years trip to the Escalante region of Utah was awesome, so we're planning on heading back again in 2019. We'll fly out on 4/27 and fly back on 5/6 to give us eight days in Utah plus two travel days. Based on last year, expect to hike around 130mi or so. Budget $1,200-$1,500 for airfare, share of expenses like car rentals, food, etc. There is no charge for the trip itself, it's just what we individually wound up spending last year. Last year, we only stayed at a hotel on the last night. I expect this year to be similar. I've set this trip as "Invite Only" so that I can screen everyone before approval. If you're interested in going, email or message me, (Andrew L. (Camel)). I intend to close RVSPs about six weeks out, so that we can book rental cars, hotel for the last night, etc. Roughly March 16th or so for closing RSVPs. The exact trails that we'll cover are still TBD. We're looking at some options for Paria Canyon, other canyons in Escalante or a segment of the Hayduke trail: http://www.hayduketrail.org/ Expect some 3-4 day backpacking trips with some overnight or day hikes at the end as time allows. The final decision will be weather dependent if we're dealing with narrow canyons. There will be route finding and significant off trail hiking. While there will be class 3 scrambling, we currently plan on avoiding doing trails where we need to bring ropes and harnesses. Paria has a short section of class 4 scrambling though. Depending on the weather and the final trail, at least neoprene socks will be prudent. A wetsuit might be needed if we obtain permits for Buckskin gulch. We're flying into Las Vegas. Currently, we're all on the non-stop morning SWA flight out of BWI. And on the morning flight back too. Party size limit will depend on the exact trails picked, so is TBD. In the event that we get an oversize group, we'll split into two and key swap. By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's liability waiver. http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/
- LM: White Oak Canyon, Stony Man, and Old Rag (21 miles)
Let's hold an LM in the (hopefully) warmer weather and hit some of the classic trails in Central Shenandoah! I've set the trip cap low to make sure there's room for applicants; join the waitlist and I'll add RSVPs from there, for a total of 8-10 people. ----THE PLAN------------------------------------------- We'll meet up Saturday at the Vienna North Parking Lot at 8am and drive to the Whiteoak Canyon Parking Lot (https://goo.gl/maps/JHnqVdUTgSu), aiming to get on trail by 10am. This lot fills up fast. From there, it's 6 miles uphill on Whiteoak Canyon to Stony Man Mtn (with the option for a pit stop at Skyland), and then 6 miles back down Nicholson Hollow trail, camping just past the intersection with Hot Short. No campfires in Shenandoah, but we'll be right along Hughes River so there's plenty of water for camp. Sunday, we'll get up bright and early to hit Old Rag before the crowds arrive. It's about 5 miles to the summit, so sunrise at the top is probably a bit ambitious (sunrise at 6:15am on April 28). After a break at the summit, we'll descend the far side, take a left on the fire road and reach the cars. From there, we'll head back to DC, stopping for lunch along the way. Suggestions welcome for favorite DCUL post-hike spots near Sperryville! ----WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW------------------------------------------- Splits around 12.5/9 miles with big climbs both days (Saturday +3200; Sunday +2500). If you're considering signing up for this trip but aren't sure about the elevation change, send me a message and we can chat. If you haven't done Old Rag before, it's popular for a reason - it's a very fun scramble! We will be taking our overnight packs with us on the hike, so please make sure you're comfortable with the size + weight of your pack for this scramble. Again, if you're unsure - send me a message. Everyone should have a map for this trip: - NatGeo Shenandoah or PATC Map 10 - CalTopo overview here: https://caltopo.com/m/J0EH - Old Rag area map: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/upload/old_rag_area.pdf - Whiteoak Canyon area map: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/upload/whiteoak_canyon_area.pdf ----THE FINE PRINT------------------------------------------- Applicants: Please message me your gear list and any questions, comments, or concerns by April 20. Round trip drive is ~160 miles, so plan to reimburse drivers $15-16. Also plan to chip in for parking/permitting. If you're a member and haven't paid dues this year, please do that too. *** By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's liability waiver (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).
- Social: DC UL Happy Hour
Guess who's back from traveling the big wide world for the past year! Come out and welcome them home and hang out with the rest of the DC UL crowd. It's always good to catch up with folks you haven't been able to get out on a trip with for a while, and for those of you new to the group it's a great chance to meet the folks you'll be heading out into the woods with sometime soon. Official start time is 6, but some of us will probably get there a bit earlier. We'll shoot for finding some space in the bigger room in the back.
- Super LM Trip: Women’s Only, White Rocks
Caveat: this is a very short trip by DC UL standards but I need to do this hike for the book… and I want to try to get some sunrise photos at the overlook ... and I thought some company would be nice. So let’s do an easy low mileage trip to White Rocks, and make it one for the women of DC UL. The plan: we’ll meet at Vienna at 9:30 a.m. and then head out to the trailhead, with a goal of starting our hike by noon. We’ll start along the Old Mail Path, pick up the Racer Hollow Trail, and follow that to the Tuscarora Trail. From there, we’ll take the White Rocks Lookout Trail and aim for the campsite just before the lookout. This will be a dry camp so you’ll need to carry your water. Sunday, we’ll wake up early and head to the lookout for sunrise views and breakfast. (Sunrise should be ~6 a.m. so this will be an early morning!) Once we’ve had our fill of views and breakfast, we’ll pack up and complete the loop by following the Tuscarora Trail to the Old Mail Path and back to our cars. I'll scope out a nearby place for us to enjoy some post-hike cheer. DCULers have maps! The map for this route is PATC Map F. Group size is limited to 10. Applicants should send me a gear list by April 10. The fine print: - If you are a member, don't forget to pay your annual $10 dues. You can check to see if you need to pay dues by seeing if there is a (’19) next to your name. Applicants do not need to pay dues for their first trip with the group. To pay your dues via PayPal, you can use this link: https://www.paypal.me/DCUL/10. If you need to pay your dues via an alternate way (check, Venmo, etc.), email organizer[at]dculbackpacking.com. - By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/liability-waiver/). - As per our carpool policy, riders should pay drivers $0.10/mile.
- Disaster+Travel+Wilderness First Aid Course
Hands-on learn how to save life & limb, when mired in the wilderness of an urban disaster zone, travel or rural area far from hospital, or natural area miles from an access point, during the critical minutes or hours before ambulance arrival. Blend of classroom instruction and hands-on problem-solving rescue scenario practice. Come away with actual do-it-yourself care-giving skill and confidence, and 2-year SOLO certification. Counts as WFR Recertification, too. No prerequisites. REGISTER: www.solowfa.com or[masked]*** YOUR SPOT IS NOT RESERVED UNTIL YOU'VE COMPLETELY REGISTERED AT WWW.SOLOWFA.COM ***Spaces are limited. WHO: Open to the general public, adults & teens with solid attention spans. Know your loved ones are safe wherever they are. WHY: Mired in a disaster zone, travel or rural area far from a hospital, or natural area miles from an access point ... accidents, destructive weather, and terrorism happen, and all-too-often members of a group are not capable of dealing with the emergency. This leads to improper care of the patient, and endangers the entire group. Many recreational accidents are preventable, and improper care of trauma can compound even simple injuries. Very few first aid programs actually address the issues of providing emergency care in a setting where 911 is overwhelmed or not immediately reachable. In this course, classroom instruction and Q&A are interwoven with practical work and problem-solving exercises. Hands-on experience - a most powerful learning tool - during scenarios comprise ~50% of class. TIMING: This is a 2-day class, Saturday and Sunday November 3-4th, 8:30am - 6:30pm or 7pm each day. Fee: $195 (note: another organization in the region charges $265! You save $70!
- Skills: Private Wilderness First Aid Certification Course for DCUL Members
DCUL is pleased to offer a private Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course for our members. This course will provide hands-on learning experiences on how to save life and limb during the critical minutes or hours before ambulance arrival, when mired in the wilderness of an urban disaster zone, travel or rural area far from a hospital, or in a natural area miles from an access point. It blends classroom instruction with hands-on problem-solving rescue scenario practice. You'll come away with actual do-it-yourself care-giving skill and confidence, and a two-year SOLO certification. It counts as WFR Recertification, too. No prerequisites. The course is $195. If you elect to receive the textbook in advance, it is an additional $5 (for a total of $200) to have it shipped to you. Keep reading for information on how to register and how to pay. This course is ideal for trip leaders and frequent outdoors-people who would like a basic level of first aid training. It is a 2-day class, starting promptly at 8:30 a.m. and running until 6:30 or 7 p.m. each day. The class will be held at a private home in Pasadena, Md. The address will be supplied closer to the event to registrants. Our class will be led by Dallas, who is an instructor affiliated with local MEDIC and SOLO Wilderness, Disaster & Emergency Medicine Instructor Matt Rosefsky. Those who took the class in 2017 will remember Dallas--we are excited to have him back with us. HOW TO REGISTER Having taken a WFA class before, I can attest that it is well worth your time, especially if you are a frequent hiker or backpacker--and especially so if you lead trips for us or for family and friends. To register, you will need to take the following steps: 1. RSVP here on the event page. 2. Then, go to http://www.solowfa.com and click on Register. Select "Private Class DC Ultralighters May 18-19" on the registration form, and complete the registration process. (Do NOT choose *anything* that says Washington DC anywhere else on that registration page. You may wind up assigned to the wrong class.) 3. Confirm to me (Jen) that you have paid and are confirmed. You will not be considered to be fully registered until you have paid for the class. The fine print: this class and pricing are based on having a minimum of 12 people registered for this class. Please register as soon as you can so we can determine if we are hitting that minimum. (That's also why it is important that you sign up only for the May 18 and 19 class on solowfa.com.) Remember--your spot is not reserved until you've fully registered at www.solowfa.com (http://www.solowfa.com/) Register now!
- VMO: Baker Trail: Memorial Day Leg-Stretcher (132 miles)
So, this year's iteration of my traditional Pennsylvania backpacking trip will be the Baker Trail, which runs 132 miles across PA's northwestern corner. This will be at least the seventh year we've spent Memorial Day weekend with a trip like this one. I'm thinking out loud at this point, but my idea is that we'd start at the southern terminus near Pittsburgh and hike NOBO. Of course, we can probably manage about 90 miles by Monday. I'm thinking about taking a few extra days off work to complete the trail, but I'll set it up so that we have an exit for people Monday morning. Maybe those going on can re-supply there too. I'll detail this a bit more as the trip nears. The relevant book seems to be this one: https://store.rachelcarsontrails.org/a-hikers-guide-to-the-baker-trail.html You should acquire it. My guess is that, much like the North Country Trail, this route may cross some mixed use land, so we may not experience a pristine wilderness. It will be an adventure. No whining and no broken legs. Pray for cooler temps. You should be a veteran member comfortable with hiking 20 miles a day over several days. I can take 10. I probably won't plan days much beyond 20 miles a day. By joining, you agree to DC UL's liability waiver, etc., etc.
- MO: Shenandoah Intro to Packrafting (30 miles)
This will be a rehash of the 'intro packrafting' trip EzBake and I hosted in 2015: https://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/events/219409982/ Water levels dictate everything, so if levels are too low or suicidally high we'll either punt to a predesignated backup (July 20-21) weekend OR relocate to another waterway. The broad outline: Walk most of our miles on Sat on the Massanuntten Trail, then camp out on a small site on the Habron Gap trail. Sun, we walk down to the Shenandoah, inflate our rafts, then hit the water. Route Map: http://files.meetup.com/1502009/MT%20-%20Shenandoah%20Packraft%20Loop.pdf The details: We'll roll from Vienna Metro North @ 8am on Saturday and drive this route: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Vienna+Metro+North+Kiss+and+Ride+Lot,+Vienna,+VA/38.840908,-email@example.com,-78.01817,10z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b64bf1ac7156e9:0xed9e2f8e6a21ab0f!2m2!1d-77.271944!2d38.879091!1m0 That should put us at the 613 bridge boat ramp and our access to the Tuscorara trail around 10am. We'll park then head north along the blue blazed TT (starting with a bit of road walking), then hang a left on the oranged blazed Massanutten Trail. We'll walk the 11-ish miles to Habron Gap, hang another left, walk a quarter mile more then camp at an established site. This entire section is dry, dry, dry, including camp. Sunday morning, we'll make the easy downhill 2 mile cruise to Page Valley Road. Roughly a .25 mile or so from the road we'll cross our one and only water source. We'll fill up there (you don't want to drink the Shenandoah), then head to the boat ramp to deploy our inflatable flotilla. It'll be a 17 mile float back to the 613 bridge, where I'll be standing American Gladiator style ready to knock over anyone who tries to paddle past the takeout. What you'll need (in addition to your normal gear): Packraft, Paddle, and PFD Optional: Helmet, dry bags, dry jacket, paddling gloves. Any type or style of packraft would do for this trip, even a flat water type. The only real challenge should be Compton Rapids (Class II). This time of year the rest of the Shenandoah will be practically flat water. You will be scraping over rocks however. Likewise there is little need for a helmet, except possibly at Compton Rapids. If you don't own a packraft, there are a number of packraft rental services, like this one: https://www.backcountrypackrafts.com/. Keep in mind, if the trip gets bumped you may be out your rental fee. Most rental places also sell rafts and you have plenty of time to score a deal on the interwebs. If you do wish to purchase, Alpacka is the gold standard. But there are other makers like Feathercraft and Kokopelli. Packrafting isn't a cheap investment. Final notes: Expect roughly a 2.5-3 mph pace on the water. We won't see much (if any) white water as the goal is to keep this beginner friendly. We will be paddling all day, so you will need some upper body stamina. Of course you can also stop and rest and enjoy the float! Previous trip report: https://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/messages/boards/thread/49033066/0/#[masked] Video (the water action starts 1 min in): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnA264ygzW8
- MO: Shenandoah Intro to Packrafting (BACKUP WEEKEND)
This is the backup weekend for the Shenadoah Packraft trip: https://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/events/260348911/