View Full Version : VA Section Hike -Mid Mar to May

2009-01-23, 21:57
I am planning a section hike from Damascus to Harper's Ferry starting in mid to late March.
1) I'm looking for advice on temps and weather conditions from start to about mid-April, especially over the Mt Rogers area. I was planning to use a hammock for this section. I have the gear for most conditions to below 15 degrees and have camped to below 10.
2) What are best options for re-supply once I reach SNP as I think most of the campgrounds/camp stores may only be open around mid-April? Or am I wrong on park opennings?

SGT Rock
2009-01-23, 22:10
If you can go to 15 you will be fine. Mt Rogers is funny. Sometimes you have great weather, and other times you can get crap. In early June of 1997 I got an ice storm near Mt Rogers.

I'm not sure on re-supply in the park. Before you go into the park hit Waynesboro and get 5 days of food. You may luck out and snag some in the park while hiking through. Then on the far side you can re-supply in Front Royal or Linden.

2009-01-25, 10:00
Thanks Top. Still debating the hammock vs. tent for first 2-3 weeks on this trip. Want the comfort of the hammock but hanging in severe cold can be a bummer for my fingers when putting up and taking own the suspension lines - I have to uncover to work the lines. Weights come out about the same for both options since I will need the UQ to get past mid-April. I'm looking to get a new Spinntex cat-cut from Brian at OES to cut my tarp weight by 8 ozs, but that is not much savings considering the whole of the winter gear needed. Any suggestions based on your trips?

SGT Rock
2009-01-25, 10:44
My Tarp is a Sil-Nylon 8x12 @ 14.6 with the lines
My hammock is a homemade hammock (no net) @ 12.3
2 caribeners @ 2.5 total
4 stakes @ 1.3 total
Undershield @ 8.1
Suspension for the shield and under quilt @ 1.1
Total for my hammock - 39.9 ounces This is good for me down to 0 degrees and is what I used through the highlands in early March last year with about a foot of snow on the ground. The hammock has tree huggers you wrap around and then use the carribeners that are already on the suspension lines to clip into the straps. Saves time and you can do it with gloves on.

Homemade pad @ 10.0
Top quilt @ 26.5
Bottom quilt @ 21.3
Total for sleeping pad/quilts - 57.8 ounces. This rig with that hammock got me through all sorts of bad weather on the trail.

All that said, I stopped using an underquilt around the end of March and went to just a top quilt and pad. As I recall once you get past the 5,000' peaks in VA around that point it gets easier to stay warm.

2009-01-25, 11:40
Thanks. My take on what to expect on the conditions is about what you stated. After Mt Rogers area, I'm hoping things should get a little warmer and I can get rid of a few things. Hope there is no Easter surprise snow this year.