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TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


MicroSpikes are really nice and in the same family, but they're also not exactly bombproof. I almost look at them as a consumable item good for a winter or two.

As lame as socks were to receive as a kid, I don't know any outdoor enthusiasts who wouldn't be happy to get nice merino wool socks. Not exactly an exciting gift, though.

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TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Diver Dick posted:

Has anyone done all or a portion of the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire?

About 10-15 years ago I did Washington. Lucked out and had a beautiful day for it. Went up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and back down the Jewell Trail.




TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


gently caress yeah, Christmas.

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).

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

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.

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.

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.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Elijya posted:

My hammock screen top tore last summer when I flipped in it. Not sure if I can get the company to repair it before I take off or to just use one without a screen. People who are early on the trail tend to get the worst of Maine's Black Fly season, don't they?

Would have to be pretty early, black flies are usually done by some point in June or July in New England.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


I much prefer microspikes to yaktrax, myself. It depends on terrain, though. Yaks are fine for flat ice or packed snow, but if you run into ice on any sort of an incline there's no replacement for some form of spikes. I guess the big questions are how hilly your intended trail is, and whether you mind taking the time to remove them when you encounter large patches of bare rock.

Edit: Ah, that I'm less familiar with. I'm not sure there's much you can do aside from selecting footwear with an aggressive tread, but another goon might have good advice.

TerminalSaint fucked around with this message at 19:47 on Jan 19, 2013

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Yeah, microspikes own. I was all over Monadnock cleaning up trails after the ice storm of '08 with just them, and there were probably only 2 times(in the same spot) I wished I had something more substantial.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Amykinz posted:

I'd like to start doing some basic day hikes to get off of my lazy rear end and such. I currently have a 14 month old daughter that I take care of during the day, so she would go with me. There are a few hikes I could just push her in a stroller (paved with mild hills), but I'd rather hike on dirt. I have a wrap where I can fasten her to my back, but that prevents me from carrying a backpack for water and snacks. Is there any kind of (less dorky) advanced fanny pack system I could use or am I stuck trying to purchase a frame pack for the baby/stuff?

Yeah, you want to look for lumbar packs or waist packs. You can find pretty good ones for hiking in sizes ranging from slightly-larger-than-a-fannypack to holds-more-than-a-small-backpack. I've got one for summer day hikes because I hate having a backpack keeping my back all sweaty.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


gently caress people who can't or won't control their dogs. Maybe it's because I'm a cat person, but some unleashed dog bounding up and accosting me while its owners are 100 feet down the trail calling out "oh don't worry, he does that" as if it's an excuse is one of the most annoying things while hiking.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


I've got a couple vacuum bottles which are great. A Hydro Flask which I dropped and now makes a rattling noise, but still works fine, and a widemouth Klean Kanteen one. They're awesome for day hikes. in warm weather they keep drinks cold, and in winter I keep chai in one and soup in the other. I'd skip them for backpacking, though. They weigh almost twice as much as a single-walled one.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


For wearing them with snowshoes it would depend on the bindings. I suspect they'd be bulkier than ideal, though they're pretty quick to get on and off. As far as rock they're fine for rocky patches, but I'd take them off for any real distance.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


That reminds me of an incident at work. A bear wandered near a trail and a small crowd formed looking and taking pictures. One of our rangers was hiking off duty and came across the scene. She, having more than two braincells, knew this was not an ideal situation and started clapping and yelling to scare it off. At this point one of the slack-jawed gawkers told her to stop because she was going to scare it off, and then started walking off trail to get closer for a better photo.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Well the crocuses have bloomed, the daffodils are emerging and the lawn is greening up nicely. Time for a hike...

Good thing I brought my crampons.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


BeefofAges posted:

Also consider using hiking poles. They improve your stability a lot.

I was skeptical of hiking poles because I'd always hated carrying stuff while hiking. Then I tried them out and fell in love. In addition to being knee-savers, they've kept me on my feet in a number of cases that would have been falls.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


I can relate. I've got some softshell pants I dropped a couple hundred bucks on, and while I'm usually loathe to spend that much on a single item, holy hell are they worth every penny.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


They're also nice because they're dead simple. 2 poles for the tent, 1 for the fly. After you put it up once you'll be able to do it in the dark.

My parents have a couple we used when I was a kid. They're still using the drat things (15-20 years) with nothing but an occasional waterproofing or pole replacement.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Crabby Abby posted:

The stairs to get to the top reminded me of the Needles lookout which burned down back in 2011:


Oh the irony.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Clearly the answer is to hang your bear can.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Business of Ferrets posted:

I think they might have been trolling you.

Going back to this, I can't imagine rangers would troll someone with bear safety related information. We joke around with amiable park guests, but the only time we might ever give information that wasn't strictly accurate would be erring on the side of caution.

For example: when a carload of 20 year old college guys pull in 3 hours before sunset with no lights and a 20oz bottle of water and ask me for the hardest trail up the mountain. I direct them up the main trail, telling them how tough it is. To be fair it is tough, but in a stairmaster way rather than the scramble-up-sheer-ledge way they're hoping for.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


megazord posted:

PS, you're gonna die. If it cools off there's prob a monsoon and you're gonna drown in a flash flood. Case in point; never leave your house.

That or an undiagnosed heart condition will drop you in your tracks. I helped carry this guy a mile and half down a rocky trail on Sunday: http://www.ledgertranscript.com/home/7145262-95/hiker-dies-descending-mount-monadnock

Never leave home.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Most of the park guests of that sort I deal with don't even give any thought to the how of a rescue. It's just "We can call you if we get in trouble right?" or "You'll come rescue us if we get hurt, right?".

When I tell them that cell service is spotty up the mountain and they probably won't be able to reach us, or that if we have to do a litter carry it'll be a 6 hour affair if they're lucky, they usually get a worried look.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


PRADA SLUT posted:

Which Vibrams are the best suited for hiking?

A (spergy) pet peeve of mine, but vibram is a kind of boot sole, or more specifically, a company that manufactures said boot soles. The toe shoes are FiveFingers.



Suddenly their toe shoe gets popular and the term we've been using for decades gets mis-assigned.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


JAY ZERO SUM GAME posted:

Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods"

I love the hell out of that book. I think Shnooks is looking for something more instructional, but A Walk in the Woods is a worthwhile read anyway. I love the mix of humor, history, and science.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


SOLO also offers it through Apex Mountain School out that way: http://www.apexmountainschool.com/courses/wilderness-medicine/wilderness-first-responder/

Edit: WFR, that is.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Never leave home.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Smoove J posted:

If you've ever wondered what those mountains around you are named, or if you want to see a little preview silhouette of what you're about to climb, get the PeakFinder app, best app ever.

ex.



and here's the view from the highest mountain in Glacier, lots of classic peaks here. I have yet to climb Cleveland but it's gonna be amazing when I do.

This gets the name and elevation of Monadnock wrong.

Edit: and is completely missing Washington.
Must've been made by some fool out west. Oh, Switzerland.

TerminalSaint fucked around with this message at 08:19 on Aug 20, 2013

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


To be fair, they weigh hardly anything.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


SpitztheGreat posted:

Just did Hadley Mountain in the Adirondacks. The description that I read had it labeled as a "moderate" hike- and that's bullshit; there's nothing "moderate" about it. While it's a rather short hike (five miles round trip) it is one of the most intense climbs I've done. There are great views at the top, and a fire tower which gives you a spectacular 360 view of the Adirondacks.

My main complaint is entirely about the description of the hike. I find it borderline irresponsible that DEC would label an elevation gain of 1600 feet in a mile and a half as moderate. The hike is advertised as great for everyone, young, old, experienced, amateur, animals, etc. This encourages people to attempt the mountain whom either have no business on the mountain, and/or those who are woefully unprepared. On my decent, about ten minutes from the bottom, I ran into a middle aged woman with her golden retriever. She was clearly struggling and said that she had been hiking for about 30 minutes and asked if she was close to half way. I couldn't hide my surprise and concern when I had to inform her that she easily had another hour in front of her. She looked very dejected and said that her husband had gone on ahead (I had just passed him about five minutes before coming across her- what a jackass, he had equipment and left his wife behind) and that she was "totally unprepared" for the hike. She had no water and was wearing shoes more suited for use at the local yacht club, not for hiking a mountain. I gave her one of my bottles of water and tried to prepare her for what was ahead.

Then at the very bottom of the hill I ran into a couple, probably in their mid 30s, who were just starting their hike....at 4pm. I know it's not the Alps but that's still pretty stupid to be just starting the hike so late. but most importantly they asked me about the hike and asked "So this should only take half an hour or so right?" I was floored and told them that it was closer to an hour and a half, and was very intense. They were taken by surprise and said that they expected it to be pretty easy. I then asked if they had any water, to which they replied that they only had half a bottle. But not to worry, they had TWO, TWO, bottles of wine in nice carrying cases. That was their only gear. I didn't want to say anything rude, so I just wished them luck and to be careful.

The thing was that these are only two stories from yesterday. I saw easily a dozen other people that were over their heads. I'm happy to see people getting out and being active and using our park system, but please, be more careful.

Welcome to my world. Stuff like this is part of why my park's mountain has possibly the highest number of emergency responses of any mountain in the country.

Edit: Different mountain, same problem.

TerminalSaint fucked around with this message at 01:37 on Sep 30, 2013

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


EPICAC posted:


IMG_5887 by EPICAC, on Flickr


IMG_5900 by EPICAC, on Flickr


IMG_5926 by EPICAC, on Flickr

Images like these are the proper response to the people who say "Uuugh, I need to get out west where the real hiking is."

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Speleothing posted:

That's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest. They're not really allowed to keep you out of the forests. One is a protected recreation area, the other is land being held by the government until it's ready for harvesting.

That's the funny thing about National Forests. They're not a so much a conservation concern as they are a strategic wood bank.

Edit: I should clarify. Conservation is absolutely a part of what the Forest Service does with the goal of maintaining healthy forests. My understanding was that at the time of it's creation the interest was more to ensure a reserve of timber, but a little digging suggests that preservation was a goal at the time as well.

TerminalSaint fucked around with this message at 16:11 on Oct 11, 2013

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


All my smartwool socks have held up fine. I usually just get lighter socks and when winter rolls around I double up.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


If you insist.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


That's more of a personal boot fit/sock thickness/lacing issue, though. Wearing two pairs of light socks with a thickness equal to a heavy pair plus liners isn't going to be any worse, provided you're not squashing your feet in and lacing too tight.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Time Cowboy posted:

Has anyone here hiked the Pumpelly Trail up Monadnock in NH, or climbed Stratton Mountain in VT? How are they? I'm looking for one or two big (but not too grueling) dayhikes to do in New England next year, ideally not much more than five hours' drive from the middle of Long Island.

I'm a ranger at Mondnock. The Pumpelly Trail has a pretty boring gradual lead-in taking the better part of a mile before you do any real climbing. Then it's a moderately aggressive ~600 feet of vertical gain in a half-mile (no switchbacks, naturally) which puts you up near the ridge line.

From there on it's one of the coolest trails on the mountain. It's a lot of bare rock and dips back into trees here and there. It definitely gives you that big mountain feel with krummholz and mountain bogs. The mountain's isolation results in weather and vegetation usually only seen on bigger mountains, and you'll find alpine features that don't occur anywhere else in New Hampshire south of the Whites. Here's a photo that hardly does it justice that I had hanging around:


Also a heads-up if you're coming soon: we do have patches of ice up the mountain. Things are warming up so they may not hang around long, but be ready for the possibility.

Also be warned that the Pumpelly trailhead is roadside parking. The trail can be hard to spot if no one else is already parked there. It's on Lake Road which runs around Dublin Lake off of 101. The trailhead is on the south side of the lake. To find it I look for the house on the lake side which has siding made out sliced evergreen trunks, bark and all. The trail is across the street, look for a sign a few feet in the woods.

It's the longest trail from base to summit and you're probably looking at 5-6ish hours for the round trip, though that will obviously vary with your speed. Keep sunset time in mind. Don't skimp on water and food. Also keep in mind you'll be pretty exposed, so check the weather to see if it's going to be a windy one.

Sorry if any of this comes off like I'm talking to someone who doesn't know their rear end from a hiking boot, I can slip into work mode when I get talking about it.

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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


Fall is great since you avoid the mosquitos and black flies, but it's also the busiest season (which really means something on the most hiked mountain in the hemisphere). The Pumpelly doesn't get a whole lot of use even on the busiest days, but when you hit the summit it can be a zoo. Mid-week is usually fine if your schedule can accommodate it. Late summer is pretty nice. September is good since it's cooler and drier, but you beat the leaf peepers.

Spring and mid-summer can get buggy; just as black fly season ends the mosquitoes and deer flies come out. July and August can also get muggy as hell, we had one poor guy die of heat stroke toward the end of June this year.

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TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

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



I forgot to mention, if you're driving up from Long Island and don't want to start at rear end AM, the park has a campground. A lot of people drive up the day/afternoon/evening before, camp out, and hit the mountain first thing. The downside is that you lock yourself into a date unless you're cool rolling the dice on the first come first serve sites. Weekdays they're a safe bet, weekends depend on the weather and time of year.

If you reserve, Remote Site 2 is awesome. It's 100 yards or more from the nearest site and sits on top of a hill between two streams. It's also the only remote site that allows fires because there's an old free-standing chimney on it.

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