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Thread: Ready for MW?

  1. #1
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    Default Ready for MW?

    Getting all set for the guided REI summit trip 03/27. Been gathering/testing gear and been getting some hiking in as well as working out for a cpl months now. I live in NC and just climbed Mt Mitchell this past Thursday:

    Difficulty: Most Difficult
    Total Length: 11.4 mi
    Trail Tread Condition: Very Rough
    Climb: Climbs Steeply
    Lowest Elevation: 2995 ft
    Highest Elevation: 6684 ftTher
    Total Elevation Gain: 3689 ft
    Trails/Roads Used: Mount Mitchell, Higgins Bald (optional)
    Hike Configuration: Out-and-back

    Had my 4790cf pack filled with a total weight of 48 lbs. and wore my dbl plastics to test a new sock combination. I think I set out at too fast a pace and although it was 28^F I broke out in a sweat in the fisrt hr. There was about 2"-3" of snow but footing was not all that bad.
    I did turn back about a mile and a half from the top as my right theigh was burnt out and cramping. All in all I did the up and back of about 8.5 - 9 miles in about 6 hrs... (too fast)

    Learned from this trip is: it is very ez to get sweaty before you know it, my pack needed some more fitting ajustments, and 48lbs is a very heavy load for me. It made me question weather or not I am ready for the Washington trip conditioning wise.

    Anyway, the trip was great. The views outstanding. And the will to make it to the top all that much more on my mind.

    As always feedback, opinons, and points of view, welcomed

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by EWG View Post
    Getting all set for the guided REI summit trip 03/27. Been gathering/testing gear and been getting some hiking in as well as working out for a cpl months now. I live in NC and just climbed Mt Mitchell this past Thursday... Had my 4790cf pack filled with a total weight of 48 lbs. and wore my dbl plastics to test a new sock combination... Learned from this trip is: it is very ez to get sweaty before you know it, my pack needed some more fitting adjustments... 48lbs is a very heavy load for me. It made me question weather or not I am ready for the Washington trip conditioning wise...
    You're doing all the right things (working out, winter hiking in the mountains, testing out and tweaking your gear)--you'll be fine for your summit trip. The people who I worry about are those who all of the sudden attempt to climb MW despite not having the right gear, not having the appropriate level of fitness, and not ever having climbed anything before.

    I'm assuming your 48lbs pack was for training purposes. You can prepare for a day hike with enough clothing/equipment for an emergency overnight, yet still have a pack that weighs less than 35lbs (and that INCLUDES the weight of food/water and crampons/ice ax strapped to your pack).

  3. #3
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    Ewg,

    Which trail did you do on Mitchell? There are some long ones there.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    48 pounds is way too much gear. Something is not right there.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    EWG,

    My guess is you did the Mitchell Trail from the Black Mt Campground on up to the summit. I have done the top part of that trail but not the whole thing. What I remember is - nothing like Mt Washington! Footing is different. Not open exposed rocks, not as steep and not above treeline. The 48 pound pack would scare me more!

    That trail is 33% longer than PNVC - Lion head - MW summit, and the MW trail is 16% more elevation gain. Doing the Mt Mitchell hike for conditioning is excellent! It will really help. But, be prepared for a very different hike on MW.

    Here is what I think you did.

    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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  6. #6
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    For reference here is the MW trail profile using the same tools.

    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    EWG,

    I have done the top part of that trail but not the whole thing. What I remember is - nothing like Mt Washington! Footing is different. Not open exposed rocks, not as steep and not above treeline.

    yeah I also did a similar trail on Mitchell a while back (from Blue Ridge side road to summit was about 4 miles or so one way), and I agree that it is probably not even in the same class as Washington... I should note that when I did Mitchell it was in early winter and there was no snow / ice... obviously the ground conditions and weather are going to be the main difference here... was Mitchell snow covered if so how deep?

    Also, I agree 48 lbs is way to much! you shouldn't need all that unless your doing an overnight and even then that seems heavy... I'm planning for next week and my current pack with Crampons, ice axe, food, water, and emergency blanket etc is maybe 10 lbs

  8. #8
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    And another point to think about is SmithTim is probably going up and back in the same day. EWG is only doing half the trip one day - stay over night - then the other half of the hike. The overnight trips should make it so much easier and more enjoyable - time to look around and see the sunset and sunrise.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
    http://bradstreet.zenfolio.com Personal Photo sales site
    http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet Personal photo web site
    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  9. #9
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    Default ready?

    EWG - sounds to me like you're on the right track. Your actual carry weight should be 30-35lbs max, including food and 2-3 liters of water. I've done the overnight obs trip with all the required gear with as little as 27-28lbs. If you did a round trip of 9 miles with a 3700' elevation gain in 6 hours with a 48lb pack, that's pretty good. Keep in mind that trail conditions will greatly affect the difficulty/ ease of the trip. Use your training hikes to fine tune your clothing system and get to know how your body reacts to cold and exertion level. Best to start out a bit cold and to work into warmth, than to overheat and sweat excessively. If there is no wind down low and the temps are in the 15-20 deg range, I often start in just a light base layer and maybe a light fleece over that with a hat and gloves - a bit cold when you start, but within 10-15min it's just right. Training hikes will help you fine tune your clothing system to your body. Regarding cramping - that is often a sign of dehydration. Be sure to hydrate beginning the day before and drink drink a liter or 2 the morning of the climb between the time you get up and on the way to the mountain. Every hour or so during your break, drink 1/3-1/2 liter as well as have something to eat. When hiking, remember to eat at each break. There's an old climber's saying - "lunch begins right after breakfast and continues until dinner" - you want to keep your body with a steady supply of liquid and food.
    Good Luck
    Tim

  10. #10
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    Well, I think as far as carried weight goes, that depends on how big you are. 48 lbs wouldn't be a problem at all for me, but for someone half my size, it might be. My pack weighed about 30 lbs when I went, but I would bring more water next time so it will be heavier. I brought 3 quarts but used almost all of it climbing up to around tree line and back. Next time I'd bring a gallon. Larger size also means that more water and food is required.

    My thighs were feeling the burn as well last time I tried to climb. I don't know a whole lot about that but someone told me that it's due to lactic acid buildup from exerting yourself far beyond what you're accustomed to, as was the case for me. It was easy to ignore it and continue on, but I'm sure it's much preferred to be in better physical condition to begin with.
    Summa sedes non capit duos

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