Favorite seasons & climates.... Whats your preference?

1:52 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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As the seasons and temperature changes what is your preference?

Are you a backpacker that appreciates the temperatures that approach the equivalent of a blast furnace?

Are you one of those individuals that hits the trails with the hopes and dreams of someday running into a rogue penguin on the AT while post-holing thru 3ft of fresh powder?

As the seasons change so do the surroundings. I find it great how a bit of snow, the lack of leaves, etc. can change the whole scope of ones trip. 

Mother Nature can take an area that you were very accustomed to being in during the spring and change it to an area that is quite unfamiliar territory to ya in the winter.

So Trailspace, If you could pick YOUR perfect season, what would it be and why?

 

 

 

 

 

3:19 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I prefer early spring and fall for backpacking. I like the desert but only during midwinter December and January in the Southwest like Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Tucson. I prefer summers to be in the north from Northwestern Wyoming to Alaska.

7:58 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Each season has its advantages---summer I can swim in the creeks and bathe properly but there's heat frustration and bugs.  Winter is my favorite although it's much more difficult in several ways, and the pack is always heavier. (It's already heavy enough).

Long uninterrupted trips make winter backpacking easier, as I can sit thru several blizzards and snowstorms and not have to worry about my exit date and getting out "on time". (And it's easier to hitchhike out in the winter when there's snow on the ground as drivers are in a good mood).

My favorite of all is probably starting out on a snowless day of backpacking in cold temps when the sky starts clouding over around 3pm and by four there's a genuine snowstorm dumping brand new snow as I walk to my next campsite.  I become giddy---the whole point of it all.

And then there's waking up at 2am in my tent to the sound of snow hitting the shelter---a nice tinkling sound.  Or having a mean and nasty blizzard come thru with very high winds and blown whiteout spindrift and stepping outside my tent at midnight and stumbling around outside and looking back fondly at my tent sitting secure and guyed out with the door slightly open and inviting me back in. The neat thing is, I'm in thousands of acres of rough conditions and white terrain and yet I have a small cozy nylon hole that is dry and warm and snowfree amidst the tumult---now that's a good feeling.

Man, I haven't posted this much EVER.  It's time to get back out.

8:26 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Snow, cold, blizzard, winter! I find it weeds out the 'fairweather' backpackers and thus I don't have to drive as far/ hike as far in to have some solitude and quiet. I also find my body is unable to manage core temps in the heat, but I rarely feel cold.

8:26 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Mid-to-late Autumn ... somewhat variable, due to where ... ( I'm based in the Mid-Atlantic area, and usually seek Appalachian Trail sections) ... and temperatures.

A "killer-frost" portends to falling leaves.   That's OK at the onset.   But, after most deciduous trees have lost their leaves, they can become a hazard.

Why?

Even on nice, balmy 50 -60 degrees temps during mid-day ... the early daytime hours ... from daybreak to about 10:AM ... there is frost and ice, both under and on top of the leaves.   Combining that, with the fist-sized, rounded and slick rocks under the leaves, hiking is like skating on banana peels. 

One cannot discern the rocks under the leaves.   This is really a good time to use trekking-poles, if there ever was one.   Also, high-top, stiffer-soled and ankle-supported boots are almost mandatory.

Still, to me, the best time for hiking and backpacking.

I must say that this is also the best time for surfing along the Mid-Atlantic -- one of my "other passions".  

The hurricane-season is starting to wind-up ... and frequent tropical storms that blow out toward the mid Atlantic Ocean, produce large, consistent swells.   Combining that with steady off-shore breezes during late September through late October ... these breezes produce the wonderful, hollowed-out shaped and 'tubular' waves that all surfers yearn for.   Also, the water temps are still relatively mild.   Wet-suits are not always needed for the cooler water ... but, the breezes can produce chills on wet upper-bodies, as the surfer sits on the board waiting for the next wave to ride.

I was just looking at my wetsuit the other day.   They come in various thicknesses  of neoprene ( in millimeters ) for various water-temperatures.  Not cheap ... and, I have to have custom-made suits, because I am "V"-shaped -- 43" chest, 31-32 inch waist.   My cold-water kit includes a hood (balaclava) and mitts.   Work very well in cold-water ... and, I was thinking how they might come in handy for severe cold-weather hiking.   Probably "over-kill".  

Sooooo .... I'm sorta conflicted during this part of Autumn.   I just go "nuts" with the choices .... Hmmmm.   Do I surf today ... or go hiking ?

Signs on my shop door either say, "Surf's Up -- closed" ... or, "Gone Hiking".

Nirvana ... pure nirvana.

                                                   ~r2~

10:53 p.m. on July 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I am a hardcore winter fanatic... in fact I probably need help. Really though anytime I can get out for a night I will do so, rain, sleet, shine, or snow. but by far my favorite season is winter.

I love the challenge winter brings, along with the blissfull serenity of the frozen landscape. I patiently await to hear the sound of a jet taking off (msg xgk ex) because that means winter has finally arrived!

9:21 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

I am a hardcore winter fanatic... in fact I probably need help. Really though anytime I can get out for a night I will do so, rain, sleet, shine, or snow. but by far my favorite season is winter.

I love the challenge winter brings, along with the blissfull serenity of the frozen landscape. I patiently await to hear the sound of a jet taking off (msg xgk ex) because that means winter has finally arrived!

 If I'm at home and hear a big snowstorm is coming, I quickly get my kit together and get my GF Little Mitten to drive me up into the mountains before the worst of it hits.  This way, I'm sure to see the best and get walloped.  Another thing I do if I'm stuck at home during a snowstorm is to set up one of my tents in the backyard and still get my bag nights in the snow---very important for us fanatics.

10:17 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah my wife thinks I am a few apples shy of a bushell. I sleep in the backyard many a nights during the winter. I am not always blessed with time away from work, but when I can get a weekend off or use my vacation time I go out no matter the weather, and the more snow the better! No wonder my brother gave me the trail name Ironbelly(a polar bear from a game we used to play).

 

11:12 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Same Ironbelly who's on Whiteblaze I see. 

11:25 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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That I am!

11:41 a.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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This is funny. I was beginning to think I was nuts. Everytime we get a nasty storm, or hammered with snow guess where I am if I am not on the trail? In the backyard putting up a tent. My wife as well as neighbors pretty much think I have lost my mind.

8:36 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

This is funny. I was beginning to think I was nuts. Everytime we get a nasty storm, or hammered with snow guess where I am if I am not on the trail? In the backyard putting up a tent. My wife as well as neighbors pretty much think I have lost my mind.

 Hahaha! It looks like we could start a "Winter Crazies" club, I'd be in it for sure :)

When a winter storm or cold temps are predicted, one of my brothers and another friend are usually calling each other to see where we want to go to get out in it. I am looking forward to this winter.

Overall, winter is only barely second to Autumn, which is my favorite season- the smells, the changing colours, the creep of frost into the air. Autumn affects me very deeply; it is what the  German word "Sehnsucht" is about- an indescribable, visceral feeling and longing for something unidentifiable place or thing. 

Or I could just be mad ;)

10:01 a.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Watch out where the huskies go ... and don't you eat that yellow snow!.

Anyone remember the lyrics to Frank Zappa's "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" ?

                                                   ~r2~

11:15 a.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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There is no such thing as bad weather, only inapropriate clothing.  Stolen quote

Sometimes the proper attire is a hous and a mug of cocoa.  Saying that however I must admit that dry cold is nice because of NO BUGS.  Still I love late Summer, I just wish ours would get here. 

The pic below is from my TR and was taken July 23 at only 4,500 ft.  Winter snow won't leave us in the PNW. Though I hear you all in the Midwest and East Coast are getting plenty of heat.  Keep it.   
07232011374.jpg

11:41 a.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

 Though I hear you all in the Midwest and East Coast are getting plenty of heat.  Keep it.   

 Gee, thanks.... You shouldn't have. :)

 

12:30 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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HEAT ??

Perhaps (?) I am "acclimating".   Therefore, I should be ready for my jaunt through the Gobi Desert, or a stroll across Death Valley.

Maybe my friends in HADES wanted me to get a "sample" ... so, I might change my life.

I'm ready to become a Trappist Monk .   Jesuit order, though.   'Em are the "bad boys".

                                                          ~r2~

12:40 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Perhaps (?) I am "acclimating".   Therefore, I should be ready for my jaunt through the Gobi Desert, or a stroll across Death Valley.                                                          ~r2~

 Where a sumo suit. I heard it helps maintain moisture. Notice I said "heard."

12:51 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inapropriate clothing. 

 That was Paul Petzolt, right? I am reading one of his books right now; good stuff.

2:11 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I heard it credited to Sir Rannulph Fiennes, whoever that is.

3:01 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Maybe one of those guys on "The Weather Channel" ?

                                                     ~r2~

3:02 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Or that guy ;)

I am sure it was in Petzoldt's book, but I guess he was quoting Sir Rannulph.

10:49 a.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Back when I was a Boy Scout, I liked the fall camping trips. Yesterday I did a 6 mile hike in 90 degrees. While it was good to get out, I would rather be in cool to cold weather any day.

1:51 p.m. on July 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Mike Cipriani said:

Back when I was a Boy Scout, I liked the fall camping trips. Yesterday I did a 6 mile hike in 90 degrees. While it was good to get out, I would rather be in cool to cold weather any day.

 Mike, during past summers I have hiked along the Chattooga, Fort Mnt. Trail, East Fork Trail, Ellicott Rock Wilderness, etc.  My work has kept me too busy to get up there so far this summer.

There are some good areas to hike in the shade & near water up your way, I'm jealous!

Where did you get to hike this time?

Also, a local boy scout camp we have on Wadmalaw Island SC has scout camp during summer. My son went twice years ago, he had a great time, but I have often wondered if the searing summer heat turned some of them against camping for life. Haha.

1:24 a.m. on July 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Asking what season I prefer is like asking if I prefer blondes, brunetes, or red heads.  The answer is yes.

Ed

6:55 a.m. on July 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I have favorite parts of each season. For me the best thing about winter camping is the protein! You can pack all sorts of perishable items. Steak, burger, scrapple, pretty much anything in the fridge is an option if you want to carry it. Eggs can be a hassle or anything that can't freeze. But a nice rare steak on the fire and a cold beer when your 2 days from civilization is my idea of a good time. Throw a few jumbo shrimp on for appetizers. Now we're talking.

10:38 p.m. on July 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Trout, we hiked form the 28 bridge up stream to the end of the DH area, then turned right and went up over the edge of the mountain, and back down to the starting point. I hike with a group from Chattooga TU, we usually have between 6 and 10 guys. Most are my age (63), a few are younger, a few older.

9:41 a.m. on August 8, 2011 (EDT)
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When I lived in Colorado it was definitely Summer, Fall, Winter.  Spring was the mud season.  Now that I'm in Texas it is Fall, Winter, late Summer and early Spring.  We've been dealing with over 60 consecutive days in triple digits and it really sucks trying to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.  You can try out "Texas style" heat in your own home.  Go into a closet with an electric blanket.  Make sure the blanket is plugged in and set on its highest setting.  Get in the closet and under the blanket.  Cover your head too! Now get a hairdryer, to simulate the hot wind, turn it on high and aim it at your face.  Stay this way for the better part of 18 hrs and that's what it feels like!  Fun! 

7:50 a.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Wow!

That sounds unbearable!

                                               ~r2~

8:26 a.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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I would take 100+ in the dry heat anyday compared to a 100+ day with humidity. If you live near the humid parts of the texas.... god bless you.

3:14 p.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Himidity is just the worst in any area.  HACK!  BLECH!

3:16 p.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

I would take 100+ in the dry heat anyday compared to a 100+ day with humidity. If you live near the humid parts of the texas.... god bless you.

 +1000 on the whole humidity thing.

11:49 p.m. on August 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Favorite would be Fall. The leaves changeing and weather is ,mild dureimg the day and at night nice and cool. Add in a good campfire and Cider days are golden to me.

3:00 a.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Here in the Great North West I find that I like Spring and Fall equally with summer being next.  The only season that is no fun here for me is the Winter.  We get around 55-65 inches a year where I live and most of that during the months of mid sept-march or april.  There are times when the sun does not come out for 45-60 days in a row and everyonce in a while for longer peoiods.  Summer is just begining to hit us now.  Where I live it has only reached 80 twice this year. Today we recorded a high of 63 and a low of 56.  We don't see much snow but when we do it is wet and heavy and quite often deep, none of this light powder stuff.  It's not uncommon to get 1-2 ft of snow once or twice a year.  During the winter it is not uncommon to see the sun so rarely that when it comes out for short peoiods we call them sun breaks, it is at this time when all work stops and all the peoples run out side to catch a ray of sun.

7:49 a.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

 Add in a good campfire and Cider days are golden to me.

 

I used to live in Central Virginia (Charlottesville, Staunton), Denis.

I know what you mean about the local cider.   Only problem, was drinking TOO MUCH !

Gave 'new meaning' to "the trotski's"

                                                  ~r2~

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