• IO: Wonderland Trail

    Needs a location

    (Very) last minute posting and unfortunately no more space left, but wanted to create the event to facilitate photo + trip report sharing and make it easy for DCUL'ers planning future trips to Wonderland to see what we did! Itinerary: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/8T4BJ8XsO56mptEFGV7aH0Pg/

  • VMO: Catlett/Hazel Mtns, ~35 miles in SNP

    Vienna Metro (North Parking Lot)

    Mid July should be hot and muggy in central Shenandoah - sounds perfect for a couple days of big climbs. I'm still playing around with the route, but my goal is to have a super short Friday, a big Saturday, a flexible Sunday, and to avoid the Saturday crowds on the popular central SNP trails. Here's the general plan: We'll meet at Vienna North parking lot on Fri after work and drive to the Old Rag parking lot. We'll hike in ~1 mile and set up camp along Nicholson Hollow. Saturday, we'll make our way to Cave Falls (along the Hazel River). The route will be 20-25 miles and >5500ft of climbing, and will include a selection of highlights such as Hot-Short Mountain, Sam's Ridge, Hazel Mountain, Buck Hollow, and maybe even Mary's Rock. We may make a quick out and back to snag the waterfall campsite midday, depending on our route (and the crowds). Sunday, we'll have even more options depending on how we're feeling. But ballpark 15 miles and 3-4k ft of climbing. No sunrise hike here, but the trails up around Hazel Mtn are great and less commonly visited (although will likely be very overgrown this time of year). Looking forward to taking a group to see Cave Falls. No fires (boo), a swimming hole at camp (yay!), bear bags required. VMO for climbing in the heat - bring electrolytes! Going to keep the group to 8 so we can be a bit more flexible on campsites, just in case. We'll decide on riders later on, but plan on giving your driver $15 if you catch a ride. Some map resources: - NatGeo Shenandoah or PATC Map 10 - CalTopo for a variety of potential routes: https://caltopo.com/m/9GPH By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).

  • MO: Shenandoah Intro to Packrafting (30 miles)

    Vienna Metro (North Parking Lot)

    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/. While the mileage won't be great this will still be a challenging trip, so it's only open for Full Members and up! 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 @ 8:30am on Saturday and drive this route: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Vienna+Metro+North+Kiss+and+Ride+Lot,+Vienna,+VA/38.840908,-78.329332/@38.7389037,-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 By RSVPing to this or any other DCUL event, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/terms-of-use/) and Liability Waiver (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/liability-waiver/).

  • VMO: Maine's Grafton Trail Loop (38 Miles)


    Let's celebrate 'Murica in the mountains of Southern Maine. Along the way we'll enjoy views from Old Speck, Sunday River White Cap and East Baldplate Mtn. Here's the plan: Thursday 7/4: We'll start by heading south briefly on the AT from here [masked], [masked]). We'll have the option of doing an out and back to Speck before turning off towards Old Speck. Camp is at Bull Brook after 5-7 miles. Friday 7/5: We'll head east and camp at Stewart campsite after about 15 miles. Saturday 7/6: We'll hike another 14 miles or so and camp at Bald Plate Shelter once we reconnect to the AT. Sunday 7/7: After a short 2.5 mile hike, we'll be back at the cars to start the long drive back to DC. Transportation is TBD depending RSVPs. Option 1- Drive both ways leaving from DC Wednesday evening, camping or hotel along the way, and finishing the drive the next day. Option 2- Take a very early flight from BWI to Boston Thursday morning, rent a car, and complete the drive. In this scenario, we'll also drive back to DC. DC ULers have maps: https://www.outdoors.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/map-grafton-loop-trail.pdf https://www.amazon.com/Appalachian-Pleasant-National-Geographic-Illustrated/dp/1597756490 By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).

  • Introduction to Bikepacking on the C&O Canal Towpath

    ***Update to Plan*** We didn't anticipate so much interest! We have booked a beautiful riverfront group campsite at Mile 140.9 (Fifteenmile Creek). That gives us a 44 mile per day distance. That also allows us to increase the trip limit. Caveat: That means we're biking further than originally planned, but there is still the option for people to camp earlier at hiker biker campsites listed below. Original Post w/ edits for new plan: There's been some interest in bikepacking in recent years. Let's get DC UL's first bikepack trip on the books. This is an intro trip meant for anyone interested in bikepacking for the first time, or anyone who has bikepacked before and would like to again but without too much of a time commitment. Here's the plan: Saturday morning, 10:30 a.m., we will meet at the junction of the C&O and the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) near Trail Connection bicycle shop at Canal Place in Cumberland, MD. Once assembled, we will head east on the C&O starting at mile 184.5. We will plan to camp Fifteenmile Creek group campsite which we have reserved. There are also first-come/first-served hiker/biker sites for earlier bailout points: - Purslane Run @ mile 156.9 (27.6 mile per day) - Sorrel Ridge @ mile 154.1 (30.4 mile per day) Sunday morning, we'll break camp by 8 a.m. and head back to Cumberland. As always, we'll scope out a place for grub on the way home. What to Expect: The C&O is a much more rustic trail than the GAP because it was a canal towpath and not a railroad track like the GAP. This means you most definitely encounter mud, gravel, tree roots, rocks, and some potholes. This prevents you from comfortably towing bike trailers, so plan to carry everything on your bike unless you have a single wheel trailer. All that said, this should not be terribly difficult if you are used to backpacking or if you have ridden a bike before! The hardest part is getting back on the bike in the morning, but the pain passes quickly. Look for a bikepacking post on the DC UL blog coming up soon. Parking: There used to be free overnight parking under the I-68 overpass, but in case there isn't any longer (there has been recent construction), there is long-term parking available at the top level of the George Street Garage. http://www.ci.cumberland.md.us/278/Office-of-Parking-Enforcement http://bikewashington.org/canal/plan-parking.php Ali and Carrie are coming from Baltimore and have room for two additional people and bikes. For anyone coming from DC, Shady Grove might be the best metro station for a carpool. When RSVPing, let us know if you can drive, and we will try to arrange a carpool from DC. Applicants should send a gear list by June 25. We will need drivers from DC. Bike Washington's C&O Canal Bicycling Guide Campsites: http://bikewashington.org/canal/plan-camping.php Interactive Trail Map from GAP Trail: https://gaptrail.org/explore Printable Map: https://gaptrail.org/explore/printable-maps 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/JenniferAdach/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.

  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid Part II Course

    Twin Mountain Off Road Adventure

    Do you have your Wilderness First Aid Certification and want to biggie size it? Do you want to continue to learn and hands-on practice first aid skills including extracting patients from a flipped vehicle and a crashed airplane, and working as a team during a challenging night-time rescue? Join us for our Advanced Wilderness First Aid Course (a WFA upgrade or AWFA or WFR recert) in West Virginia this summer! PREREQUISITES: *Must be a MEDIC alum *Must hold a Wilderness First Aid or higher certification REGISTER: www.solowfa.com or[masked]*** YOUR SPOT IS NOT RESERVED UNTIL YOU'VE COMPLETELY REGISTERED AT WWW.SOLOWFA.COM ***Spaces are limited. TIMING: This is a 2-day class, Saturday and Sunday 8:30am - 6:30pm or 7pm each day. DESCRIPTION: Building on the skills learned in Wilderness First Aid, and following the same MEDIC-style course format of ~50 / 50: lecture+Q&A / hands-on, this course is a 2-day "bridge" to the Advanced Wilderness First Aid certification. Plenty of hands-on practice is blended in with the following topics not covered in WFA: Dislocations Femur traction splint Cardiothoracic Trauma: fractured ribs, flail chest, pneumothorax -- closed, tension, and open ("sucking chest wound") Abdominal trauma: blunt force, penetrating Injuries of Eyes/Ears/Nose/Teeth Hands-on use of a real litter basket, how to package and secure a patient in it, and carrying technique Ditto the above for an improvised litter Drowning Seizures Altitude illnesses As time permits, some of the following additional topics will be added in: Abdominal pain (not trauma-caused) Angina Pectoris vs. Acute Myocardial Infarction ("heart attack") Diabetes Hyponatremia Strokes Reynaud's disease Trenchfoot Bivouac: principles in building an impromptu shelter, and skill session in outdoor environment For this course at Twin Mountain Off Road Adventure in Old Fields, WV, you will get to: Work on / extract patients from an actual upside-down vehicle Nighttime team rescue scenario Enjoy free camping Fee: $195 (note: another organization in the region charges $275! You save $80!

  • MO: Seneca Creek (~30 miles) (Spruce Knob, Seneca Falls)

    Vienna Metro (North Parking Lot)

    Wanting to explore more of WV this year, I am planning to head to the Seneca Creek area for a backpacking trip. This trip will offer vistas, waterfalls, beautiful meadows and great campsites! Come, join me! We will gather at Vienna North parking lot and drive to the Spruce Knob trailhead like this: https://goo.gl/maps/QscHNbQsHNqnGnrS9 We will hike in ~1 mile and setup camp. On Saturday and Sunday, we will cover ~18 miles and ~10 miles respectively. Here is our itinerary on Caltopo: https://caltopo.com/m/VPD3 . After finishing on Sunday - we can make a quick trip to Spruce Knob - the highest point in WV!! I can take 10 people. We will decide on drivers as we draw closer to the trip. Riders - please plan on paying drivers $35 per DCUL's 10 cents a mile policy. DC ULers always bring maps. Below are some resources you can use: https://caltopo.com/m/VPD3 https://www.hikingupward.com/mnf/spruceknobsenecacreek/ https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5433335.pdf By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/). B.A.

  • LM: Summer Fun in Southern SNP (~20 to 21 miles)


    Escape from D.C. for a low mileage trip to the southern district of Shenandoah National Park. You'll hike along the AT! You'll swim in swimming holes! You'll eat blackberry ice cream! Yes, you'll do all the things. Saturday morning, we'll head out from the Vienna parking lot to the Turk Gap parking area (MP 94). Our route will take us north on the AT for 8 miles to the intersection with the North Fork Moormans River Road trail. We'll follow that trail for 2 to 3 miles before looking for a nice camping spot near one of the many swimming holes along the river. Good times ensue. About 10 to 11 miles for the day. Sunday, we'll continue along and pass the Charlottesville Reservoir and then hop on the South Fork Moormans River Road trail. We'll follow that to the Turk Gap trail, and then head back up to the AT and to our cars. About 8 to 9 miles for the day. But wait -- there's more! As we head out of the park, we'll plan to stop at the Loft Mountain Wayside for some ice cream to top off the weekend. DCULers have maps! The best map for this route is PATC's map for SNP, southern district. Group size is limited to 10. Also, please plan to bring proper food storage since bears are active in the park. We will be doing a bear hang. Applicants, send me a gear list by June 7. If you have any questions about what should be in a gear list, send me a message. 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, send it to jen[dot]adach[at]gmail.com. 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. Photo credit: Shenandoah National Park

  • LM: AT Trail Magic - Southern PA (18mi)

    Pen Mar Park

    We've skied at Whitegrass, struggled through the Massanutten, and stretched our legs over Memorial Day, so you know what time it is now: trail magic time! We'll repeat the route from last year, so I've copied the details here: We'll work out carpools such that we all meet up Saturday morning at PenMar park at about 930am. We'll drop some cars off and take the rest up to Caledonia State Park at Rt 30 where we'll hit the trail headed SOBO. The plan is to start hiking around 1030am which will give us plenty of time to hike, stop and chat with thru hikers, and enjoy the view along the way. We'll camp at Tumbling Run Shelters, which will be about a 10mi day. We'll have water at camp, but note that the last 7mi of the day are dry, so make sure to bring enough capacity to handle that. Sunday we'll do a quick 8mi back to the cars, reverse the shuttle, and get some food on the way back. DCUL is after all, a backpacking group, so we'll be providing magic in style... by carrying it all on our backs. The intent of this trip is to make some thru hikers' day, so packing some form of treat is encouraged. No hiker expects magic in the middle of the woods, which makes it all the better. I'd recommend beer, soda, fresh fruit, and any unhealthy snack foods you can find (basically anything made by Little Debbies/Hostess, oatmeal cream sandwiches, etc). Tumbling Run has plenty of shelter space and room for tents, so we shouldn't have too much competition, but even so we'll limit this trip to 7. Splits are 9mi and 7.8mi. I've sketched out the route here: https://caltopo.com/m/FC3K Applicants will need to send me a full gear list by Wed 6/5. Maps are required: PATC map 4 covers the area. Since we'll be on the AT the entire time, I'll also accept AWOL/Guthooks/other AT guides if you have them.

  • MO: Laurel Fork Wilderness-Allegheny Trail Loop (30 miles)

    Vienna Metro (North Parking Lot)

    Come join me on a trip to Laurel Fork Wilderness - one of the least used wilderness in WV. This will be my first time in the area - so I am super excited. I am mostly copying Ben's trip from Jul '18: https://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/events/249444198/ We will leave Vienna on Friday evening and drive to the trailhead like this: https://goo.gl/maps/A1dBvstC1sdsb56F6 . It will be ~9 PM by the time we reach the trailhead. We will hike ~3 miles to camp. Our splits for Saturday and Sunday will be 18 and 8 miles. This is a loop - so no car shuttle! Parts of the trail are likely unblazed - so we will be careful to make sure we are on track. DCULers always bring maps. Using a previous sketch (Thanks, Catt), here is our rough plan on Caltopo : https://caltopo.com/m/T5JH You can also find this trip on Midatlantic Hikes: http://midatlantichikes.com/lfw-1.htm The total driving will be roughly ~350 miles, so riders should expect to pay drivers $35 per DCUL's 10 cents a mile policy. - By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).