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Topic: GSMNP in the winter< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
willhemphill Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 29 2013, 11:46 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am looking at going out for 3-4 days in GSMNP, but I am not sure where in the park yet. This trip would occur in late December/early January. All of my winter packing experience has been in the Linville Gorge, so I am a little green in regards to going out in the winter at higher elevations. Are there any special considerations or anything I need to know before visiting the Smokies this time of year?
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Montanalonewolf Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 8:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah.  
Carry snowshoes and expect significant heavy wet snow. Be prepared for heavy "slogging".
Don't expect to make more than 5 miles/day and maybe not even that.
Make sure you have a tent (if you're using one) that won't collapse under a snowload.

It may not snow that much or be very wet but don't assume it won't.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 10:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

on some of the lower elevations trails---there may not be snow at all...

ive never used snowshoes but have hiked in gaiters and boots and have been fine.....

on some of the steeper trails and that are near rocks---some people use crampons.......

the park just had to do a rescue earlier this week from a guy who fell along alum cave trail after the snow...

that trail has some rocky steep parts that can be treacherous during ice and snow....

i would say gear would come down to whatever route that you pick....
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ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 30 2013, 10:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

yeah, you might not see deep snow, but you shouldn't go without some kind of traction device -- microspikes or otherwise ...trekking poles.

in january it's good to have a plan b in case of road closures.


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 Post Number: 5
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 01 2013, 7:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Keep a very close eye on the weather leading up to your trip.  'Major' snow events in/around the GSMNP are fairly predictable.  
Also keep in mind there can be major temp differences as you gain elevation.  
As always, let someone you trust have your itinerary.  Carry extra fuel & food.
And last but not least, no Wal-Mart tents please!
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 01 2013, 10:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(smokehiker @ Dec. 01 2013, 7:40 am)
QUOTE
Keep a very close eye on the weather leading up to your trip.  

+1.  

The highs can hit sixty or not get out of the twenties.  Like others have said preparation will be the key.  There are many unfortunate stories of hikers under estimating Smokies weather, especially in the winter.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2013, 6:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While rare, this does happen occasionally although it was 20 years ago.

This was just a year ago. 3½' of snow.


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 Post Number: 8
Owen571 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2013, 8:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm headed that way in a few hours.
The next few days it's gonna be about as warm as it was when I was there in September :(
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2013, 8:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
This was just a year ago. 3½' of snow.




that storm happened during the week---and i went out to icewater shelter on that weekend (had reservations for weeks beforehand).....

at some places, the snow was 4 feet deep....

really warm though as inches of snow melted during my stay there......

the AT was nothing but post holing basically all the way to the shelter, and each step/hole had water in it that was inches deep.........

if memory serves me, the next weekend was nice and warm.....


for the storm of 93----i was driving from erie PA to richfield OH, for a grateful dead show that eventually got cancelled......
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willhemphill Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 12:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, it seems as if you guys have successfully scared me away - at least for this year. Snow shoes seem like a hefty investment, and as I am not familiar with the park, it doesn't seem advisable to jump straight into the fire - or snow.

I am all about embracing pain as part of the journey, but having National Guard choppers pull me out of an easily avoidable situation is not on my list of things to do in the next month.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 6:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Didn't mean to scare you away.
The odds are against such heavy snowfalls BUT better to be prepared.

Costco has been selling basic snowshoes for around $100 with poles.


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 Post Number: 12
kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2013, 10:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

or just pick a lower elevation route......

more than likely, the lower parts will have little or no snow....
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 8:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

MICROSPIKES!!!

I just hiked up there last weekend and if your hiking the A.T. what happens is all the foot traffic on the snow turns the trail into a sheet of ice. It is slow going & dangerous footing without them. Ice is typically more an issue than deep snow.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2013, 11:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would think you could backpack around the Cades Cove area, maybe do a loop involving Abrams Falls, and be fine. You may see some snow but nothing you would need crampons for or anything. Of course, ice could be different and there are a lot of rocks even in the lower elevations so you would still have to be very careful depending on the weather.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2014, 3:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I went up Rainbow Falls on the 23rd and it was just misty and cold. A little snow came in overnight, but there was very little sign of it in the lower elevations.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2014, 3:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Please don't be scared of a winter trip to the park.  Just pick a lower elevation site with very little elevation gain or loss on the trail and stick with your plan unless severe weather is predicted.

That being said, I wouldn't get up on any of the ridges or peaks without crampons or snowshoes.  Sometimes local weather can't even predict whats going to happen up there.  Plus, just the freezing wind burn on my face is enough to scare me from those places. brrrr
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 14 2014, 8:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

and here's why you should've gone:
http://www.highonleconte.com/daily-posts.html


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16 replies since Nov. 29 2013, 11:46 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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