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klw

NNE Spring 2013 Thread

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MWN reporting large snowflakes at the summit, so it's definitely possible.

Oh I mean snowpack, but it was tough to tell with sun angle.

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Oh I mean snowpack, but it was tough to tell with sun angle.

 

Oh, well the rockpile is still reporting 9, there has to be some snow pack left at those elevations too. We haven't been that warm.

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this is the time of year i dread...ski resorts closing and the snow melt going strong, but you can't (well you shouldn't) go out hiking just yet...just cause hiking on muddy trails ruins them and degrades the natural environment...some people don't care, but those might be the same ones who leave their granola bar wrappers and plastic water bottles on the ground instead of packing them out...

You can still hike...just bring your snowshoes.

You'll need the snowshoes between 2000-4000ft+.

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this is the time of year i dread...ski resorts closing and the snow melt going strong, but you can't (well you shouldn't) go out hiking just yet...just cause hiking on muddy trails ruins them and degrades the natural environment...some people don't care, but those might be the same ones who leave their granola bar wrappers and plastic water bottles on the ground instead of packing them out...

Wait...let me get this straight. Because I went hiking in the southern berks two weeks ago, I'm the same as the guy leaving granola wrappers and water bottles on the trail .because I walked in some mud? I guess this means we shouldn't hike in the rain either?

Pretentious hikers are the worst. Get off your high horse and hike your own hike.

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Wait...let me get this straight. Because I went hiking in the southern berks two weeks ago, I'm the same as the guy leaving granola wrappers and water bottles on the trail .because I walked in some mud? I guess this means we shouldn't hike in the rain either?

Pretentious hikers are the worst. Get off your high horse and hike your own hike.

I'm not getting into the granola bar wrapper debate, but I know up here it is posted all over the place to stay off the trails unless you can still travel on snow cover. Once the snow is gone, please come back on Memorial Day Weekend, which is traditionally the start of hiking season. We are also talking 3000-4000+ foot peaks though that see thousands and thousands of people each season....there are plenty of spots to hike and walk your dog though that aren't major routes, like through a local nature preserve or park where you are welcome year round in these areas.

Even the local BTV NWS office has this on their web page:

***PLEASE NOTE***

During the traditional Mud Season (approximately mid-April to Memorial Day), the Vermont Department of Forests and Parks, and New York's Department of Environmental Conservation closes trails, or institutes a voluntary closure, asking hikers to refrain from traveling. This is done to protect sensitive alpine vegetation and trail erosion.

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Sounds like mud season is a great time to bring a dirt bike into the mud trails and tear it up!

 

lol...so much love for the natural environment.  But that's why there are miles and miles of 4-wheeler roads for that ;)

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Wait...let me get this straight. Because I went hiking in the southern berks two weeks ago, I'm the same as the guy leaving granola wrappers and water bottles on the trail .because I walked in some mud? I guess this means we shouldn't hike in the rain either?

Pretentious hikers are the worst. Get off your high horse and hike your own hike.

 

are you? 

 

maybe you "pack it in, pack it out", maybe you try hard to stick to "leave no trace" i don't know what type of hiker you are...you could be the type of person who when they want something "now" they get it without even thinking about the negative consequences?

 

i'm not pretentious...i respect the natural environment...

 

so get off your own high horse...

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I have never heard of not hiking during spring to prevent trail damage or vegetation damage. I'll have to see what my hiking peeps have to say about that ... but since they're all out on the trails I guess they don't have an issue with it.

Anyhoo ... I have a birthday party for my kids today, so only enough time to get in a quick one. I went to Pleasant Mountain, a 2006' mound just west of Bridgton and home of Shawnee Peak ski area (still snow on the slopes). The trail I took was 1.8 miles in length and offers some nice ledges overlooking adjacent Moose Pond and the foothills of southern Maine. The summit has a nice view of the Whites. The last time I was here in July of last year there were severe storms in the mountains that were headed my way and I had to sprint back down to my car, so it was nice to have a sunny day to relax and enjoy the view. 55° at the summit with nary a breeze. Perfect conditions and I wished I could stay longer but my kids turn 7 only once.

post-254-0-07654000-1367077670_thumb.jpg

post-254-0-10353200-1367077689_thumb.jpg

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Too bad we can't just levitate over the trails. :(

 

 

well, that actually would be awesome because then i wouldn't feel like death every time i got to the top of Mt Washington

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well, that actually would be awesome because then i wouldn't feel like death every time i got to the top of Mt Washington

Since a trail is usually mostly vegetation free and somewhat packed down, I don't see how hiking on a muddy trail will cause damage to the vegetation and/or erosion.

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Since a trail is usually mostly vegetation free and somewhat packed down, I don't see how hiking on a muddy trail will cause damage to the vegetation and/or erosion.

because people don't like to hike in the mud or through the water so they will hike off trail...and then you have a bunch of people creating new little off shoots that degrade the surrounding vegetation and compact soil...which can create new, non-natural run-off channels in areas that are more susceptible to erosion

 

 

but whatever, it's a little disheartening that people don't care...it's not really that hard to do a quick internet search on leave no trace principles, or how to leave less of an impact when hiking...a lot of people like to hike, just try getting up to the White Mountains during the summer weekends or holidays...it's a mass flat-lander exodus...

everything we do has some sort of an impact...no solution is perfect, but there are ways to lessen the negative impact...why do you think we have hiking trails- to keep the damage limited to a small area...people just need to use common sense and put in a little more effort...you can still get out and enjoy the environment while taking care of it...

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Leave No Trace provides a framework for outdoor recreation decision making, which is summarized in the following seven principles:[4]


  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Proper planning leads to less impact.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Damage to land occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond repair. The resulting barren area leads to unusable trails, campsites and soil erosion.
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly: Though most trash and litter in the backcountry is not significant in terms of the long term ecological health of an area, it does rank high as a problem in the minds of many backcountry visitors. Trash and litter are primarily social impacts which can greatly detract from the naturalness of an area.[5] Further, backcountry users create body waste and waste waterwhich requires proper disposal according to Leave No Trace.
  4. Leave What You Find: Leave No Trace directs people to minimize site alterations, such as digging tent trenches, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs, and removing items.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts: Because the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires, LNT teaches to seek alternatives to fires or use low-impact fires.
  6. Respect Wildlife: Minimizing impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Following hiking etiquette and maintaining quiet allows visitors to go through the wilderness with minimal impact on other users.

 


http://www.ask.com/wiki/Leave_No_Trace?o=2801&qsrc=999

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http://voice.sterlingcollege.edu/post/19780762489/hiking-in-mud-season

 

 

 

The Green Mountain Club today noted the early start to “mud season” and urged hikers to stay off muddy and high-elevation trails unless they still have snow or ice cover.

 

Tips if you do hike during mud season:

  1. Walk through the mud, not around it! If a trail is so muddy that you need to walk on the vegetation beside it, turn back, and seek an alternative area to hike.
  2. Hike in the lower-elevation hardwood forest (unless it is muddy!) with southern exposure (south-facing slopes dry out first in spring).
  3. Avoid the spruce-fir (conifer) forests at higher elevations.
  4. Watch your footing on snow and ice.  Be prepared for slippery and snowy conditions no matter how warm it is at home.
  5. Bring a warm extra layer as mountaintops are chilly year-round and Vermont’s weather can quickly change.
  6. Bring an extra pair of dry socks on your hike.
  7. Stay hydrated and bring food for long hikes.

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I have never heard of not hiking during spring to prevent trail damage or vegetation damage. I'll have to see what my hiking peeps have to say about that ... but since they're all out on the trails I guess they don't have an issue with it.

 

 

Does the state post anything at the trail heads in NH or ME?

 

I know the trail heads around Mansfield (I've seen them on Camels Hump too) usually have closure signs on them starting around this time of year, put up by state wildlife officials.  I honestly don't know if you can be fined or cited for hiking during this time, but it is Vermont where environmental issues are sometimes taken over the top, so you never know.

 

I have no real opinion on the matter, as I'm of the mentality that everyone has the ability to make their own decisions and its all about responsible use...hiking a muddy trail this time of year is no worse than 2,000 people on July 4th weekend trampling around on the alpine vegetation  above treeline. 

 

Its also so seasonal and weather dependent, that lately we've been having dry/warm springs, so the trails are in great shape pretty quickly.  This season its a much slower snow melt with still feet and feet of snow on the trails. 

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To clarify, it appears that it is only the major peaks that are closed in Vermont for hiking this time of year, I can't find for sure, but on some websites it sounds like you could be cited/fined by State Environmental Officers.  New York has a voluntary closure that asks folks to stay off the trails.  New Hampshire has no regulation whatsoever.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"The State of Vermont closes all trails on state land including those on Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield from mid-April until Memorial Day weekend.

  • Also avoid: Stratton Mountain, Killington Peak, Lincoln Ridge (Mount Ellen to Appalachian Gap), Jay Peak."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

This post from a hiking forum that makes sense...it seems it is more geared towards 3,000ft and higher.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

The Vermonters have it worked out (sort of). From HikeVermont.com:

Mud Season
As temperatures warm and snow melts, winter turns to mud season. Mud season extends from mid-April through the end of May. It arrives in the lowest elevations first then slowly moves to higher elevations. Trail conditions vary from year to year.

The State of Vermont closes trails on Camel's Hump and Mt. Mansfield until Memorial Day to protect the fragile alpine areas. Hikers are encouraged to stay in the lower elevations and to avoid Stratton Mountain, Killington-Pico, Appalachian to Lincoln Gaps and Jay Peak.

Mud Season Guidelines
The Green Mountain Club and the State of Vermont encourage hikers to:

* stay below 1000 feet until May 1
* stay below 2000 feet until May 15
* stay below 3000 feet until Memorial Day


 I'll leave it to the New Yawkers to describe their scheme.

There is nothing official in the Granite-Headed State. (State Motto: "Live free and die; we refuse even to enact any seasonal ban on studded tires.")

Don't know nuthin' 'bout the Mainiacs' perspective."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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I follow all local postings and state rules and regulations when I hike/camp. In addition to packing out my own garbage, I often pick up what others have left behind and pack out whatever I can fit into my bag. If a trail is closed, I'll stay off off of it, but I don't plan on following any "suggestions" wrt where and when I can hike. The damage done to a trail on a rainy day in the summer(by 100s of people) is far worse than the damage done by a few brave souls willing to hike/camp when the temps are often below freezing at night in the spring.

Sorry to thebigrombalski for coming off harsher than I would've liked. I've always had a thing for hikers that always seem to know better. Based on your persona here, I shouldn't have assumed you were that type. In any case, I look forward to spending a few great weekends up north in the mountains you're so blessed to be closer to, and I promise to do it with the utmost respect.

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because people don't like to hike in the mud or through the water so they will hike off trail...and then you have a bunch of people creating new little off shoots that degrade the surrounding vegetation and compact soil...which can create new, non-natural run-off channels in areas that are more susceptible to erosion

but whatever, it's a little disheartening that people don't care...it's not really that hard to do a quick internet search on leave no trace principles, or how to leave less of an impact when hiking...a lot of people like to hike, just try getting up to the White Mountains during the summer weekends or holidays...it's a mass flat-lander exodus...

everything we do has some sort of an impact...no solution is perfect, but there are ways to lessen the negative impact...why do you think we have hiking trails- to keep the damage limited to a small area...people just need to use common sense and put in a little more effort...you can still get out and enjoy the environment while taking care of it...

I was picturing those trails that you really only can use because they are blazed. Many times the vegetation is so thick and terrain so steep that it's tough to go off the trail, but I have limited experience. I understand your point though.

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I follow all local postings and state rules and regulations when I hike/camp. In addition to packing out my own garbage, I often pick up what others have left behind and pack out whatever I can fit into my bag. If a trail is closed, I'll stay off off of it, but I don't plan on following any "suggestions" wrt where and when I can hike. The damage done to a trail on a rainy day in the summer(by 100s of people) is far worse than the damage done by a few brave souls willing to hike/camp when the temps are often below freezing at night in the spring.

Sorry to thebigrombalski for coming off harsher than I would've liked. I've always had a thing for hikers that always seem to know better. Based on your persona here, I shouldn't have assumed you were that type. In any case, I look forward to spending a few great weekends up north in the mountains you're so blessed to be closer to, and I promise to do it with the utmost respect.

 

Yes, I agree with the traffic on any given July weekend to being much more damaging than the 25 people that want to hike during mud season. 

 

I also don't agree with trying to tell people when/where to hike, I was just posting what I know they do locally here in VT.  Its obvious that someone like Mainejayhawk's hiking experience in all seasons, can make their own decisions for themselves and are well versed in what to do and what not to do.  Just being out there a lot breeds respect for the mountains.  Its the casual once or twice a year hikers or mountain visitors that often need a little educating.

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I follow all local postings and state rules and regulations when I hike/camp. In addition to packing out my own garbage, I often pick up what others have left behind and pack out whatever I can fit into my bag. If a trail is closed, I'll stay off off of it, but I don't plan on following any "suggestions" wrt where and when I can hike. The damage done to a trail on a rainy day in the summer(by 100s of people) is far worse than the damage done by a few brave souls willing to hike/camp when the temps are often below freezing at night in the spring.

Sorry to thebigrombalski for coming off harsher than I would've liked. I've always had a thing for hikers that always seem to know better. Based on your persona here, I shouldn't have assumed you were that type. In any case, I look forward to spending a few great weekends up north in the mountains you're so blessed to be closer to, and I promise to do it with the utmost respect.

 

 

I was picturing those trails that you really only can use because they are blazed. Many times the vegetation is so thick and terrain so steep that it's tough to go off the trail, but I have limited experience. I understand your point though.

 

i did not mean for my original post to come off sounding like i know everything and i think everyone else is a moron...

 

i mainly was speaking about those people who i see every summer hiking in the Whites in loafers, or khakis and a button down t-shirts carrying a a 16oz poland spring water bottle and smelling like they dumped a bottle of cologne on them at the trail head...you would not believe some of the things i have seen...last summer i hiked Falling Waters Trail and across the ridge line to Liberty and Lafayette...i saw people in loafers and in khakis who had run out of water, and i saw people in tanks and shorts even though the temp and the wind up on the ridge line can be wicked nasty even in the summer...i honestly don't know how those people made it up there or how more people don't get hurt or need to be rescued...

 

and if you hike Mt Washington, there are all sorts of little bypass trails that have been worn into the "alpine" zone in order to bypass a rocky part of the trail that people were too lazy to negotiate...

 

and the worst is when parents who have no common sense about hiking try to force their kids to do it...and usually i see kids at the top out of water and severely under dressed for the altitude and weather change...

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Does the state post anything at the trail heads in NH or ME?

The only time a trail is closed here is when there is considerable damage - there's still trails closed due to Irene in fact. And the only time I wander off trail is to get around an extensive blowdown, which I had to do post-Sandy and actually managed to get lost for a good half-hour. Good times when 9 miles from my car. lol

Helluva day out there. Mid 60s, no breeze, no bugs, lots of win.

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i did not mean for my original post to come off sounding like i know everything and i think everyone else is a moron...

i mainly was speaking about those people who i see every summer hiking in the Whites in loafers, or khakis and a button down t-shirts carrying a a 16oz poland spring water bottle and smelling like they dumped a bottle of cologne on them at the trail head...you would not believe some of the things i have seen...last summer i hiked Falling Waters Trail and across the ridge line to Liberty and Lafayette...i saw people in loafers and in khakis who had run out of water, and i saw people in tanks and shorts even though the temp and the wind up on the ridge line can be wicked nasty even in the summer...i honestly don't know how those people made it up there or how more people don't get hurt or need to be rescued...

and if you hike Mt Washington, there are all sorts of little bypass trails that have been worn into the "alpine" zone in order to bypass a rocky part of the trail that people were too lazy to negotiate...

and the worst is when parents who have no common sense about hiking try to force their kids to do it...and usually i see kids at the top out of water and severely under dressed for the altitude and weather change...

The whites are notorious for this kind of behavior because their sheer beauty attracts people from all over the world...especially in the fall. I did falling waters last year and I know exactly what you're referring to. We were smart about doing Franconia ridge, though. We camped up at liberty springs and left for the peak of Lafayette at 6:15am. When we arrived we had it all to ourselves for about 30 minutes before we started the ridge walk. It was magnificent.

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I will be on my way up to move to VT in the middle of next week! My apartment will be in Winooski (just outside BTV).

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