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i_heart_ponies
Oct 16, 2005

because I love feces


Nope, those are pretty solidly hiking boots and not climbing boots. They have a general-purpose Vibram sole. Climbing boots usually have a dedicated sole, like the Vibram Mulaz, with a flat 'climbing zone' on the bottom of the toe and some way to quickly put on semi-auto crampons - at least a heel bail notch, if not a toe welt too. I'm guessing it's only a 3/4 shank in the midsole. Is there any toe flex at all? It's kind of rare to find that kind of boot with a metal shank, since most manufacturers have switched to nylon for weight savings.

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a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



Yeah, that's definitely a hiking boot. You'd know if you'd bought a climbing boot because you'd have spent approximately one billion dollars US on them.

smilehigh
Nov 2, 2010

RUUUUUNNNNNNNN

i_heart_ponies posted:

I'm guessing it's only a 3/4 shank in the midsole. Is there any toe flex at all? It's kind of rare to find that kind of boot with a metal shank, since most manufacturers have switched to nylon for weight savings.

Yeah I was surprised at the metal shank too. There isn't much toe flex. They aren't too heavy, I was torn between these and a lighter pair, but the light ones just felt...wrong.

a foolish pianist posted:

Yeah, that's definitely a hiking boot. You'd know if you'd bought a climbing boot because you'd have spent approximately one billion dollars US on them.

I was slightly bothered by the product description saying they were for mountains, but seems like it's all good.

Thanks!

LogisticEarth
Mar 28, 2004

Someone once told me, "Time is a flat circle".


Since we're posting pictures for the new thread, I figured I'd add a few from some of my shorter hikes, as I haven't been able to do any overnight backpacking in a long time. These are all day-hike (or shorter) photos:

The Pinnacle, in Pennsylvania. September 2012:







Panorama (click for big)


Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. May 2012:



Point Lookout trail, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado. June 2012:

Forest fire panaorama (click for big):




Sunset, hiking back down:




The Grand Wash trail, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. June 2012:




Confluence Overlook trail, Canyonlands, Utah. June 2012:


We started early in the morning, and my fiance hadn't had her coffee yet:


Panorama of the overlook of the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers (click for big):




Hopefully this will inspire any lurkers out there who might be intimidated by some of the more extreme hikes posted here. You can still do a lot on simple day hikes to get started.

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

Yesterday I went on my first snow hike in years, climbing the backside of Storm King in New York's Hudson Highlands. Turns out I'm nowhere ready for this snow hiking poo poo. I pushed right up to my physical limits just to get to the summit and back to the trailhead. I'm not hiking in snow again any time soon. Pretty though:



Looking south at the Black Rock Forest from near the summit of Butter Hill.




Looking north up the Hudson at the Catskills on the horizon.




Six inch drifts coated Storm King's summit.




Looking across the Hudson at Breakneck Ridge. I'd rather climb Breakneck Ridge again a thousand times than try hiking in snow one more time.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?


Looks like a beautiful day for it. It's easy to forget how much extra effort snow requires until you're wading through it.

That said, some trails benefit from it. For example, on Monadnock some of the trails are so worn down they look like riverbeds full of rocks; some date back to when recreational hiking was first becoming A Thing. It's pretty killer on the ankles and knees, especially on the way down. But, after a couple feet of snow and a few days for people to pack it down, it's smooth easy hiking(with traction).

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

TerminalSaint posted:

Looks like a beautiful day for it. It's easy to forget how much extra effort snow requires until you're wading through it.

That said, some trails benefit from it. For example, on Monadnock some of the trails are so worn down they look like riverbeds full of rocks; some date back to when recreational hiking was first becoming A Thing. It's pretty killer on the ankles and knees, especially on the way down. But, after a couple feet of snow and a few days for people to pack it down, it's smooth easy hiking(with traction).

A lot of the trails I've hiked in southern NY are the same way. I had to bail out of a hike along the South Taconic Trail after twisting my ankles going down one of those loose scree-filled death chutes worn into the slope from generations of hiking. And going uphill is almost as bad -- those trailbuilders in the '20s and '30s loved to slap dabs of white paint on vertical schist cliffs and call it a trail. Don't get me wrong, the occasional insane rock scramble can be fun -- I really want to get back to Breakneck Ridge in the spring. But I miss hiking out west. Trails out there tend to be graded for pack horses, which is so much nicer on joints and lungs.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?


I like to attribute the straight-up-a-cliff trails to yankee frugality and puritan work ethic: No sense in all that extra work to make a trail zig zag, and if you can't make it straight up you don't deserve to get to the top anyway.

Edit: For the benefit of you folks out west, here's an example of what passes for a hiking trail back east(not my photo):

TerminalSaint fucked around with this message at 04:02 on Jan 1, 2013

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

I'll add a few of my own pictures:



My friend negotiates a level stretch of the AT in northern New Jersey. (Note the white trail blaze under his foot.)




Climbing the Breakneck Ridge trail. (Again, note the trail blazes.)




On the South Taconic Trail along the NY/MA border.

LogisticEarth
Mar 28, 2004

Someone once told me, "Time is a flat circle".


Time Cowboy posted:

I'll add a few of my own pictures:



My friend negotiates a level stretch of the AT in northern New Jersey. (Note the white trail blaze under his foot.)

Is that Sunfish Pond?

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

LogisticEarth posted:

Is that Sunfish Pond?

Yes, indeed it is. I wish the lighting had been better that day, there was gorgeous fall foliage everywhere but my camera doesn't do well on flat overcast days.

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!



Just got done doing a few hours part way up Mt. Ogden (http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1964229). Had some beautiful views that I completely failed to save the pictures for.

One thing I learned, poles are great but in packed snow coming down a mountain, a combination of poles and add on traction would have been better. There were a couple of spots that got a little dicey that the added traction would have helped tremendously.

It was particularly surprising seeing the wide range of gear everyone was using. I was on the "more geared" side of things with winter boots, hydration backpack, poles, and heavier, layered clothing. The number of people I saw with what I would consider inadequate gear was amazing. No water, light layers only, no poles or add on traction - what people will fail to pack with them when going into the mountains during winter was a real eye opener.

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


TouchyMcFeely posted:

One thing I learned, poles are great but in packed snow coming down a mountain, a combination of poles and add on traction would have been better. There were a couple of spots that got a little dicey that the added traction would have helped tremendously.

...The number of people I saw with what I would consider inadequate gear was amazing. No water, light layers only, no poles or add on traction - what people will fail to pack with them when going into the mountains during winter was a real eye opener.
This is one of the reasons the majority of posters here will answer most questions with rather serious and aggressive over-preparedness. I was on a relatively flat hill in the snow Monday (7.5mi 750m ascent), and while I had my snowshoes with me, the lower GI wasn't really behaving so I didn't do the last two miles to the top of the hill; it typically gets rather drifty up there and the snowshoes help a lot. I saw two runners that had absolutely nothing with them; they may have had some ice walker thingies on their shoes. I admit that the weather forecast showed no incoming weather system, and it was a generally mild day, but those people had better be well-practiced at their hobby. There's no way I could go that long without water, nor food since I tend to do a piss-poor job eating what I do manage for caloric intake.

My Microspikes get more use than my snowshoes, in general, simply because most ascents start below and cross the freezing line. Less avid hikers get away with using trekking poles on that type of terrain (ice or overnight-freeze+morning-melting), but I don't use my poles much anymore because they slow me down. The spikes are where it's at. I don't know about those spring-looking ice walkers. If the trail is packed, spikes work just as well. Snowshoes really become handy when you have more than 4-6" of fluff, or the snow is balling up on the spikes.

To return to the point, however, I hike in the Cascades, so it is necessary for me to point out that: Weather conditions change rapidly, and moisture and precipitation depends on more than the weather forecast. Snow conditions on most peaks around these parts depends on snow loading from overnight wind and temperature conditions, for example, and south exposures can be affected a great deal by daytime heating. A trail that one can ascend may be difficult to descend, particularly if it's turned into a solid sheet of water-covered-ice and one has no traction.

It can be quite amazing what humans can survive, but their stupidity is rather equally amazing. Seeing two college-aged guys in jeans and cotton shirts going up Mt Pilchuck, when it's a solid overcast day with 30kt gusts and hailing, with one bookbag between them, and medium avalanche conditions on the south face... is a whole lot different than seeing the dude in full ski gear and goggles on the same day. Neither team made it to the top. I guess the smarts they had going for them was the decision to turn around while they were still alive with sufficient energy to make it to the parking lot.

tl;dr: Microspikes are better than trekking poles.

BeefofAges
Jun 5, 2004

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the cows of war.



Microspikes rule.

Red87
Jun 2, 2008

The UNE will prevail.


bou posted:

Hi there!

First time poster and Backpacking-Rookie from Germany checking in

As stated, i am not that knowledgeable (yet), but could maybe provide some basic information about touring the Alps i guess.

/e: typo1

If you know of any decent hikes in the Alps or anything that would be awesome. I'm well aware there's tons to do. I live in northern Bavaria / Oberpfalz region and we have a few places around where I'm at to go, such as Naturpark Steinwald, but I'm really looking for some good mountain trails or whatever. I'm an American living in Germany for another year or two so I figure I should get out and see what I can.

Most recently I got out and around the San Tan Mountain regional park while I'm on vacation in Arizona. Its a really small park with only 22 miles of trails in the souther Phoenix metro area and the mountains are only 2500' high, but it had some pretty awesome views and I got a decent 7 mile run/hike in.



In a few days I'll be up in Kingman AZ and will be climbing Hualapai Mountain Peak, which starts in the high-desert at about 4000 feet with desert scrub and cactus. The peak caps off at about 8200' feet in a Ponderosa/Aspen forest, and you go through like 3 biomes climbing it. I haven't done it since I was a teenager and I really can't wait to climb it.

Canna Happy
Jul 11, 2004
The engine, code A855, has a cast iron closed deck block and split crankcase. It uses an 8.1:1 compression ratio with Mahle cast eutectic aluminum alloy pistons, forged connecting rods with cracked caps and threaded-in 9 mm rod bolts, and a cast high

Here are some pictures from my PCT trip this past spring/summer. All of them are from the Sierra's. I had them handy. Click for big.




Elijya
May 11, 2005

Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing.

Now that my hellish December is at a close I can start hiking again and plan for a thru. I only got out for any serious trips twice through the fall. Look forward to diving back into it, but I've never hiked in crazy extreme cold before. I'm reluctant to hike solo in the snow as it seems potentially foolish and an easy way to get lost or injured if you cannot see the trail. Stories from those with experience?

bou
Aug 3, 2006




Welcome to Germany, Red!

I'd definitely recommend spending some days in Berchtesgadener Land. Biggest attraction is the "Watzmann", Germany's second highest mountain. You can reach it's first (and lowest at ~2650m) peak, the "Hocheck" in a hike of about 9 hours up and down.
If you are a little experienced in climbing, absolutely not afraid of heights and surefooted you can cross the ridge towards the other two slightly higher peaks. This trip however is impossible to do in a single hike. I did it with some friends this year in three days, staying over night at the Watzmannhaus and some other place on the other side of the mountain which's name i'd have to look up. And it is highly recommended that you use some climbing gear and a helmet.
If you can imagine sharing a bed with up to 20 other sweaty snoring mountain-goers, say so and i will try my best to elaborate and report from some other hikes that you might like. If you are more into dayhikes or want to know anything else, please just ask.

General hints:
If any of your plans take you near the austrian or swiss border and you go by car, make sure you have a vignette or stay on sideroads. If they catch you on their Autobahn (highway) without one, you're fined something about 120 Euros. Also, Switzerland uses their Fränklis and not Euros as currency. Be sure to have some in your pocket the farther away from civilization you get to avoid nasty exchange-rates.


Early in the morning on our way to Hocheck.


Some places on the Watzmanngrat are secured with steel rope. But not everywhere you would need them.

EPICAC
Mar 23, 2001



BeefofAges posted:

Microspikes rule.

My Microspikes are the single most used piece of non-clothing winter equipment that I have (if you count gaiters as clothing). If there's packed snow or ice on the ground I'm likely wearing my Microspikes. Even if the trail is packed snow, I like the extra traction that they provide

Last winter I used my microspikes every hike, and wore them most of the time. My snowshoes got a little bit of use, but NH didn't get a lot of snow last year so they mostly stayed on my pack or in the car. I used crampons once, for some steep, icy bulges on one section of trail.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?


Yeah, microspikes are great. It would be nice if they were a bit more durable, but as long as you make sure they stay aligned properly they'll last long enough to be worth the price.

One place they really shine are during seasonal transitions where you may or may not encounter early/lingering ice. Just toss them in your pack and within a minute you can be ready to cross ice.

BeefofAges
Jun 5, 2004

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the cows of war.



Elijya posted:

Now that my hellish December is at a close I can start hiking again and plan for a thru. I only got out for any serious trips twice through the fall. Look forward to diving back into it, but I've never hiked in crazy extreme cold before. I'm reluctant to hike solo in the snow as it seems potentially foolish and an easy way to get lost or injured if you cannot see the trail. Stories from those with experience?

Wear bright colors (orange, yellow). Dress in layers so that you can peel them off as you warm up and put them back on when you stop moving. Try to avoid sweating, it'll cool you down too much when you stop. If the trail gets icy to the point of feeling dangerous, either put on microspikes/yaktrax or turn around and go home.

Other than that, just follow the same safety rules you normally would - tell your friends where you're going, don't wander off the trail alone, don't go beyond your ability, bring a map, etc. Most of the trails I've been on have enough foot traffic even in winter that it's obvious where the trail is.

If you're planning on overnighting in the snow there are some more tips I can provide (or you can do a bit of googling), but it's really not that different from normal hiking besides being cold.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

So I've gotten a really stupid inclination to thru-hike the AT this year. I've never really had an adventure, and I love (day)hiking and walking in general. In April or May I'll be closing down the family jewelry store and have a transitional opportunity I may never have again: no debt, low bills, no job, no kids. I'm in my early thirties and have no real medical issues. I don't know that I'll ever be able to be selfish for 5-6 months like this again.

I plan on doing a lightweight pack (probably around 11lbs without food or water) and hammock as much of the AT as possible. Right now my main decisions are regarding luxury items (the firstest of world problems). I'm considering taking a combination of the following:

HTC 4G Android Phone (7 ounces) + charger (2 ounces)
Kindle Paperwhite (7 ounces) + charger (as above) + neoprene sleeve (2.5 ounces)
Point and Shoot camera (4-10 ounces?) + charger (might be same as above)
Solar charger (5 ounces) (would be compatible with possible all three devices, and negate the need of their chargers)

The phone is the most versatile of the devices, but aside from letting me check in with folks back home, it doesn't perform the other tasks too well. I can read on it and use it to take pictures, but these are mediocre experiences. Reading would drain the battery very quickly. Using it for photos would require turning it on first, and I might miss some awesome salamander that scurried under a branch before I could get the photo. I could replace this with a phone card, though I don't know how common public phones are in the towns along the trail. I don't see many working payphones in Chicago nowadays.

The Kindle is regarded as a great reading experience with a very long battery life. I could replace it with actual books, but if I want to read at night I'm better off with the Kindle. I don't know how bored I'll be or how motivated I will be to read on the trail, but I figure I can always mail it home if it's weighing me down.

I don't own a lightweight rugged point and shoot, so I'd love any recommendations if people have them. I was looking at the Nikon Coolpix AW100 and that had some neat features (kinda rugged exterior and some GPS functionality). That clocked in around 6 ounces and if I can charge it with just a USB connection, all the better.

Finally, the solar charger might be me taking this too far. I understand it would probably take several days of canopy-filtering sunlight to charge any of the above devices, and right now I'm ok with that. I just want to minimize the excuses for staying in hotels and hostels if I can. If I need a day off, I'll take it, but I don't want it to happen because I feel beholden to keep a camera charged or something like that.

Thoughts?

Nerdmann
Sep 21, 2007


So I love to hike and do a lot of 5-12 mile dayhikes here in Southwestern Virginia (particularly on The AT) and have done a few backpacking trips like Mt.Rogers. Just did a quick trip to Dragon's Tooth off the AT on Monday, tomorrow I am doing a 6 mile loop at Bottom creek Gorge and next Monday doing 11 miles at Rock Castle Gorge since I am on college break.

I am a super lightweight day hiker though and have trouble with my knees due to running so backpacking kills me. I see snow around here in the mountains but nothing compared to most of these pics, what a difference! But I do think the Blue Ridge Mountains are gorgeous, and we have some pretty amazing hikes if I may say so, is it cool if I share some photos and adventures as well, even if they are relatively tame comparatively?

And I do a lot of trail magic in the spring since Troutville is such a trail town and I run into a million thru-hikers, can that also be shared here?

BeefofAges
Jun 5, 2004

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the cows of war.



Jalumibnkrayal posted:

So I've gotten a really stupid inclination to thru-hike the AT this year...

Thru-hiking isn't stupid. It's amazing. You should definitely do it.

Everyone has different opinions on how to thru-hike, but here are my suggestions:

Take your phone and charger, and take a ruggedized point and shoot camera (I used a Panasonic DMC-TS3 and so did a lot of other hikers) and its charger. Don't bother with the kindle, you probably won't have the energy to read and you'll be hanging out with other hikers. If you really want to read, you can always grab a book from a used bookstore along the way and leave it at a shelter when you finish reading it (or use it as toilet paper). Don't bother with the solar charger, since you'll rarely be sitting still in sunny spots for long periods of time. Just charge your stuff when you're in town. You don't need to stay overnight in a hostel or hotel, just find a power outlet on the outside of a McDonalds or something and chill for a bit. Always keep your phone on airplane mode and minimum screen brightness to maximize battery life. See if you can get a PDF of the guidebook of your choice to have on your phone instead of carrying a physical guidebook. If your phone or camera do run out of batteries, oh well. It's not a big deal. I doubt you'll have issues though.

BeefofAges
Jun 5, 2004

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the cows of war.




Definitely share your photos and stories!

Shrinking Universe
Sep 26, 2010
Muse sucks FYI

Jalumibnkrayal posted:


I don't own a lightweight rugged point and shoot, so I'd love any recommendations if people have them. I was looking at the Nikon Coolpix AW100 and that had some neat features (kinda rugged exterior and some GPS functionality). That clocked in around 6 ounces and if I can charge it with just a USB connection, all the better.

Finally, the solar charger might be me taking this too far. I understand it would probably take several days of canopy-filtering sunlight to charge any of the above devices, and right now I'm ok with that. I just want to minimize the excuses for staying in hotels and hostels if I can. If I need a day off, I'll take it, but I don't want it to happen because I feel beholden to keep a camera charged or something like that.

Thoughts?

Great little camera but not too flash on the battery. Can't charge natively with USB either but I picked up a lightweight USB charger for it on eBay that plus into my battery pack that I carry.

Flaky
Feb 14, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 2310 days!


I'll be in the US for a couple of weeks from January 14. We are planning to spend a few days each at Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Sequoia and Death Valley national parks amongst other things. Although the weather will probably be not great and we'll be travelling primarily by car, are there any tricks to visiting these?

bou
Aug 3, 2006



Camerachat:

I own the Canon D10 and used it on every trip for the last 2 years. In this time it survived flawlessly rain, snow, bumping and scratching at mountainsides, being dropped on the ground and in deep snow. One charge lasts for about a week (easily over 200 pictures taken).
My only real nitpick would be the abstinence of a lens cover, so i sometimes needed to wipe it clean/dry with some cloth before taking pictures in moist or foggy weather when i kept the camera strapped to my wrist all the time. It's a bit clunky but i like my toys not feeling like actual toys .

Since its successor D20 having just come out you may probably get this one for cheap.

BeefofAges
Jun 5, 2004

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the cows of war.



Flaky posted:

I'll be in the US for a couple of weeks from January 14. We are planning to spend a few days each at Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Sequoia and Death Valley national parks amongst other things. Although the weather will probably be not great and we'll be travelling primarily by car, are there any tricks to visiting these?

You may need snow chains for some of the roads in the parks.

If you can't decide on your own what to visit, ask someone at a visitor center. They'll probably be happy to plan out an itinerary with you.

In Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Sequoia, do not leave scented items (food, toiletries, etc) in the car. You're unlikely to have any bear problems in the winter, but it's still possible.

mastershakeman
Oct 28, 2008


I just came out of Yellowstone yesterday-it has a really weird setup, with the north entrance being plowed, but the rest of the park is snowmobile/coach only. I'll get a trip report+ pics up later tonight, but you'll need to do a lot of planning to pull it off compared to other parks, I think.

mastershakeman
Oct 28, 2008


So here's my winter Teton/Yellowstone trip report
Didn't really do much in Grand Teton NP. Most everything was closed off, and since it's such a small but vertical park, skiing around the base seemed kind of pointless. My dad & I headed up to West Yellowstone the next day, as the southern entrance from Jackson wasn't very usable - snowmobiles only as far as I know, and we were looking to do XC skiing.
We rented XC backcountry skis and had 40 (dad) and 50 (me) lb packs. Took a snowcoach in to Old Faithful Lodge, and set up the tent for the night nearby. The next day we tried to go down to Shoshone lake, but ran into a ton of trouble with our skis. We kept having to take them off in thermal areas, which are freaking everywhere, and the bindings stopped clicking in fully when we put them back on. At one point it took us about an hour to go something like 250 yards, so we gave up and set up camp for the night. We got a fire going, but it didn't self sustain for some odd reason, and the canister of fuel we'd bought for the jetboil wasn't 4 season (despite me asking salespeople to make sure), so we ended up having to sleep with the fuel can + lots of other gear in our sleeping bags to warm them up.
Skied out the next day to the lodge, then did a day trip without packs up to Mallard Lake. Only got about 2/3s of the way up before it got too dark , as it was a constant climb and I was having to herringbone my way up for significant stretches of time. The way down took less than half the time up due to the elevation. Camped the third night, then headed out the next morning on a coach.
Turns out Old Faithful area is much warmer than W. Yellowstone - it was -13 for us, but -26 in W. Yellowstone overnight :O

I was really surprised that snowmobiles didn't make more noise, as I thought they'd be really annoying.

Gear wise, we were using a lot of old gear from the 90s that was really bulky and heavy. We only had 0 degree bags, so my dad grabbed a quilt from target we put on top of us in our 4 man tent. During the day, I wore just a base layer + shell, but that was enough for me to sweat. At night, I wore a lot of real thick wool and didn't get cold, my dad went with like 5-6 layers at night since he didn't have anything thick. Didn't hang our food & cooked inside the tent one night because we weren't worried about bears and were really freaking cold (and dumb).


The amount of wildlife is nuts - I hadn't realized that the rivers didn't freeze over, and didn't realize just how much thermal activity there is in the park. All that warmth really brings the critters together. Interestingly, Yellowstone rangers said that bear cans are pointless - the bears there are so used to humans and bear cans that they can open them, so hanging packs is the only option.


album: http://imgur.com/a/11rE0

Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




How "wild" are the bison there? They're completely extirpated up here, although they're farmed for meat and tourism. There are plans to try and re-establish a wild population in Banff National Park though!

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?


I was just reading the wikipedia article on bison a couple days ago. Yellowstone actually has one of the handful of remaining "free roaming and genetically pure herds on public lands". Also, fun fact: from 1980 to 1999 more than 3 times as many people in Yellowstone were injured by bison than bears.

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

Bison will gently caress you up. People will approach them because they look like big woolly cows. People are stupid.

chad radwell
Jan 16, 2009



.

chad radwell fucked around with this message at 14:03 on Sep 13, 2015

Stalker
Feb 2, 2003


Nerdmann posted:

So I love to hike and do a lot of 5-12 mile dayhikes here in Southwestern Virginia (particularly on The AT) and have done a few backpacking trips like Mt.Rogers. Just did a quick trip to Dragon's Tooth off the AT on Monday, tomorrow I am doing a 6 mile loop at Bottom creek Gorge and next Monday doing 11 miles at Rock Castle Gorge since I am on college break.

I am a super lightweight day hiker though and have trouble with my knees due to running so backpacking kills me. I see snow around here in the mountains but nothing compared to most of these pics, what a difference! But I do think the Blue Ridge Mountains are gorgeous, and we have some pretty amazing hikes if I may say so, is it cool if I share some photos and adventures as well, even if they are relatively tame comparatively?

And I do a lot of trail magic in the spring since Troutville is such a trail town and I run into a million thru-hikers, can that also be shared here?

I was just in Grayson Highlands park about two weeks ago, did the Pine mountain loop on an overnight trip. Only meet a pair of guys on the AT before veering off towards Scales. The whole park is so quiet this time of year, its very peaceful and if you haven't yet I would really recommend seeing the wild ponies off that trail. They are incredibly tame and a lot of fun to see. All the balds there are incredibly gorgeous too. I'm keeping an eye on the weather so I can head back and do a day hike up Mnt Rogers.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?


Yautja Philosophy posted:

I think people assume that anything that's not a predator is totally docile. But cape buffalo and moose and such will straight up murder you. I was up hiking in Park City when a moose up and decided that it felt like flattening some poo poo out and steamrolled through the woods like it was nothing.

I knew a girl in college who said her dream was to pet a hippo.

I got charged by a moose once. I was out on the back 40 and saw him grazing in a vernal pool. I ran back to the house, grabbed a camera, and he was still there when I got back out. The area had a lot of brush so I kept working closer to try to get a decent shot. At that point he gave me a look which transcended inter-species communication barriers and I had just enough time to turn and start sprinting away before he lunged at me. Luckily it was just a bluff charge, but I got the message and called it a day.

Moose don't gently caress around, though. If one attacks you in earnest and you play dead, you have to wait for it to leave before getting back up, or it may well come back to finish the job.

Business of Ferrets
Mar 2, 2008

Good to see that everything is back to normal.

H&B MT III: A Look which Transcended Inter-species Communication Barriers

Akion
May 7, 2006


Grimey Drawer

Jalumibnkrayal posted:

So I've gotten a really stupid inclination to thru-hike the AT this year. I've never really had an adventure, and I love (day)hiking and walking in general. In April or May I'll be closing down the family jewelry store and have a transitional opportunity I may never have again: no debt, low bills, no job, no kids. I'm in my early thirties and have no real medical issues. I don't know that I'll ever be able to be selfish for 5-6 months like this again.

I plan on doing a lightweight pack (probably around 11lbs without food or water) and hammock as much of the AT as possible. Right now my main decisions are regarding luxury items (the firstest of world problems). I'm considering taking a combination of the following:

HTC 4G Android Phone (7 ounces) + charger (2 ounces)
Kindle Paperwhite (7 ounces) + charger (as above) + neoprene sleeve (2.5 ounces)
Point and Shoot camera (4-10 ounces?) + charger (might be same as above)
Solar charger (5 ounces) (would be compatible with possible all three devices, and negate the need of their chargers)

The phone is the most versatile of the devices, but aside from letting me check in with folks back home, it doesn't perform the other tasks too well. I can read on it and use it to take pictures, but these are mediocre experiences. Reading would drain the battery very quickly. Using it for photos would require turning it on first, and I might miss some awesome salamander that scurried under a branch before I could get the photo. I could replace this with a phone card, though I don't know how common public phones are in the towns along the trail. I don't see many working payphones in Chicago nowadays.

The Kindle is regarded as a great reading experience with a very long battery life. I could replace it with actual books, but if I want to read at night I'm better off with the Kindle. I don't know how bored I'll be or how motivated I will be to read on the trail, but I figure I can always mail it home if it's weighing me down.

I don't own a lightweight rugged point and shoot, so I'd love any recommendations if people have them. I was looking at the Nikon Coolpix AW100 and that had some neat features (kinda rugged exterior and some GPS functionality). That clocked in around 6 ounces and if I can charge it with just a USB connection, all the better.

Finally, the solar charger might be me taking this too far. I understand it would probably take several days of canopy-filtering sunlight to charge any of the above devices, and right now I'm ok with that. I just want to minimize the excuses for staying in hotels and hostels if I can. If I need a day off, I'll take it, but I don't want it to happen because I feel beholden to keep a camera charged or something like that.

Thoughts?

I'm starting my thru-hike on March 15th, and I've spent a bit of time talking to friends who have done it. Here is what they had to say:

Smartphone: Mixed bag. Some folks like it for the fact that it gets them weather reports, internet, music, camera, and comms all in one. Others don't like the intrusion on their thru-hike. Personally, I am planning on just taking a dumb phone with a prepaid card so I'm not on the hook for a cell bill on the trail.
Kindle: I have a paperwhite as well, and (personally) am still waffling on whether to take it. A lot of it depends on your hiking style. Are you going balls-out 30-miles-a-day? Probably not gonna want to read when you get done, just cook dinner and pass out. Personally, I am taking my time (6.5 months is my plan) so I am taking mine for zero/town/slow days.
Camera Yes. I had been debating just relying on my iPod Touch as my camera, internet access, and music. The issue with this is that if it breaks, I probably won't get my photos back. A camera means even if it dies a horrible death you still have the photos on your SD Card.
Solar Charger Skip it. There is a lot of cover on the AT, so it's going to be minimally effective. I'd take something like the Brunton power packs that have a USB port to charge devices and can be wall charged.

My plan is to take an iPod Touch (music, internet access at hostels for e-mail and ordering things from Amazon to be sent ahead to the next town) and my Kindle because I am taking my time on my hike and like the idea of taking a zero day with a nice view to just sit down and read.


Also, it sounds like you are still on the fence about your hike. Get off it. Do it. You only go around once.

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single-mode fiber
Dec 30, 2012



Stalker posted:

I was just in Grayson Highlands park about two weeks ago, did the Pine mountain loop on an overnight trip. Only meet a pair of guys on the AT before veering off towards Scales. The whole park is so quiet this time of year, its very peaceful and if you haven't yet I would really recommend seeing the wild ponies off that trail. They are incredibly tame and a lot of fun to see. All the balds there are incredibly gorgeous too. I'm keeping an eye on the weather so I can head back and do a day hike up Mnt Rogers.

Also go to Grayson around the 2nd week of June (though this past winter was so warm, it was more like the last week of May) to see the rhododendrons bloom. Incidentally, this is also around the same time that the ponies will be having even-smaller baby ponies following them around.

If you're in the vague area of Grayson, one place that doesn't get a whole lot of traffic is Buffalo Mountain, in Floyd County. Once you get off the main road, it's like 2 miles of barely-maintained dirt road to get to the parking area (so I wouldn't recommend it if it's snowy/icy or rained in the past couple days). The hike itself is short and not very interesting, but there's no vegetation tall enough to obstruct your vision on the summit, so you get a great view in all directions. Plus, you go into town (all 2 blocks of it) and have some delicious, overpriced food made by hippies.

e: I'm good at writing

single-mode fiber fucked around with this message at 10:23 on Jan 6, 2013

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