08-18-2009, 12:26 AM
I'm from Virginia and a friend and I are considering a hike in late October. We hike the AT in the area year round. We understand the weather can be brutal and preperation is the key. Any advice?
October is a crap shoot. Could be bare ground, could be very icy.
If it's clear, no problem, normal precautions and you'll be fine.
If there's been a recent snow or rime storm, yikes. Early snow and ice, especially heavy early season rime can be knee busters. You can't see where the rocks start and end, and the winter cover is unconsolidated. You think your on solid ground, your leg goes an extra 3 feet down and you're a rescue...
I've seen just about everything in October. 60 degree temps, single digit temps. Winds up to 158mph. Undercast for a week straight. 28 inches of precipitation over a month. 2 feet of accumulated snow/sleet in 24 hours.
It's a tough month to plan a hike for...but you could be fine! But for me...I'd rather hike January than October/November. Atleast then, you know what you're getting, and the footing is sound...
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