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Short Term
2010-02-19, 10:41
I am planning a section hike between NOC and the Charlies Bunion area for the last week in March thru the first couple days of April. I have hiked this section before, so I am familiar with the terrain. But I have not hiked it during this time of year. Got a few questions.....

I am expecting lots of hiker traffic....thru hikers and sectioners. With this in mind I could do without staying in the shelters...but I know the GSMNP rules. Who can fill me in on the options.....we'll be using a hammock and a tarp.

Also, given the weather up there during that time should I prepared for an icy trail....do I really need crampons??

Thanks.......

SGT Rock
2010-02-19, 20:13
I am planning a section hike between NOC and the Charlies Bunion area for the last week in March thru the first couple days of April. I have hiked this section before, so I am familiar with the terrain. But I have not hiked it during this time of year. Got a few questions.....

I am expecting lots of hiker traffic....thru hikers and sectioners. With this in mind I could do without staying in the shelters...but I know the GSMNP rules. Who can fill me in on the options.....we'll be using a hammock and a tarp.
You will meet thru-hikers and spring breakers. My experience up there is hit and miss. Some shelters you can have to yourself and others will be packed to over-flow. Since you are starting 50 miles out of the park you qualify as a thru-hiker, so just fill the reservation out as one when you enter the park. You will likely also encounter trail runners too.

My general experience is to get to a shelter and wait until everyone else shows up and takes all the spots in the shelter. Then I find a good hang.
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Also, given the weather up there during that time should I prepared for an icy trail....do I really need crampons??

Thanks.......[/QUOTE]

It may be possible you need them. But I doubt it. This year the weather has been wild, so wait until closer to time and see what the weather is doing.