Aug 17, 2012 at 8:36 am #1293072
Thoughts on routes or daily mileage?Aug 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm #1903845
I would be in for the Sods. Preferably before it gets too cold, but either way I'd go. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you like.Aug 21, 2012 at 7:15 am #1904478
Sean, what is your low temp limit?
Edit: I'm leaning toward the first weekend in November. I think that avoids hunting season.Aug 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm #1904638
I'm interested. It all depends on when you plan on going. First weekend in Nov may work for me.
I've seen it all, so I'm up for whatever type of mileage or route as long as we hit some of the northern area.Aug 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm #1904686
I'm interested…dependent upon schedule.
and yes…my avatar pic was taken from Bear Rocks!Aug 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm #1904691
Just ensure you can get up there – some of the roads up there aren't maintained in winter.
I'd be up for it if the mileage is in the 15-20 miles per day category.Aug 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm #1904700
I think forest road 75 closes in late October or November. That leaves access from the south and west.
15-20 is fine with me.Aug 22, 2012 at 8:20 am #1904895
Stephen: The north sounds great. I was just there on a 3 day trip with the whole family.
Darin: Awesome photo!
Looking more closely at the hunting seasons, boar gun season runs through Nov 3. I don't think boar season is as popular as deer season, so there won't be as many hunters. I'm not sure if anyone hunts boar in Dolly Sods. There's no way to avoid archery hunting seasons in the late fall, but I'm not concerned about that. The weekend of Nov 10 appears to be free of any large animal gun seasons.
Hunting season dates:
We'll have about 10.5 hours of daylight. Sunrise/set times on Nov 3 are around 7:50 am and 6:15 pm (DST, time change is that Sunday morning). Nov 10 would have us losing about 14 min of daylight–no big deal. Nov 3 is a waning full moon, and Nov 10 is a crescent, close to new moon, with better stargazing.
Weather for nearby Elkins:
This shows an average high of 59F and average low of 33F for Nov 3. The Sods (espeically the North) will be cooler and windier than these temperatures, so take these as a "warm average".
I can do 15 miles, not sure about 20 but willing to give it a try. I generally hike about 2-2.5 mph, but I go slower than most on uphills. (My pack weight is very low, but I'm still working on some extra body weight.)
Many ideas for routes here:
I think we could plan to roughly follow one of these routes, making final planning decisions in the morning and campsite decisions in the afternoon.
Do we want to do a Friday-Sunday (3 day, 2 night), meeting at the trailhead around 10am on a Friday?Aug 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm #1905095
I can tentatively attend the first weekend of November. I should know in the next few days. The second weekend of November is definitely out for me, but don't let that affect the planning if that is the best weekend. October may be a possibility for me as well…just need to check the schedule.
Circumnavigating the northern and southern part would be a fairly easy task. There would be plenty of time for side trails as well. If there is time left and anyone feels up to bushwhacking to the overlook in Roaring Plains…I'm game.
This is the circumnavigation route:
May have to alter the starting point due to road closures (still not sure when they close forest road 75). It would be nice to start up there because of the view. Might be best to start at the Red Creek trail head if the northern road is closed. I've heard from others that you can start on the western edge, but I've never done this (private property may be involved).Aug 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm #1905096
Found this on one website:
Starting in October, prepare for freezing temperatures and lots of snow that can last through April. In winter, the area can receive up to 150 inches of snow, so cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular. Backcountry skiers can ski Forest Road 75 itself since the road is closed December through mid-April. Alternatively, Blackbird Knob Trail (No. 511) starts on an old jeep trail before switching to grassland, starting at Red Creek Campground and ending east by Cabin Mountain.Aug 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm #1905106
Jeesh…That description gets me hyped up! However, If they expected "lots of snow" starting in October, then Canaan and Timberline would be open for business in early November. I don't think they open until sometime in mid December. I have no doubt that anyone entering in October or November should be prepared for freezing temps and snow, but I'm skeptical on the "lots" part.
Happy to hear that 75 is open until December!Aug 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm #1905107
"I have no doubt that anyone entering in October or November should be prepared for freezing temps and snow, but I'm skeptical on the "lots" part."
Oh heck, yeah, I agree. I did once, however, get four inches overnight unexpectedly in the Sods in late October. Twas beautiful! Expected the temps, so I was warm. But I remember postholing through knee-deep snow going off trail on the way back to the car.Aug 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm #1905111
That actually sounds like a wonderful time. Is that weird?Aug 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm #1905114
"That actually sounds like a wonderful time. Is that weird?"
No! It was a wondeful time! I was in a cuben Duomid on that trip. When I woke up I could see the snow piled around the perimeter from inside. Hmmmmm, I thought. Went outside and just marveled at both the amount of snow, and the beauty of it since it was fresh and glistening and such – no mud, no footprints, nothing. It was gorgeous and fun, even the potholing (during which I laughed quite a bit, even when I almost wedged my foot between two unseen rocks. Hurt a bit, but didn't dampen my good time!Aug 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm #1905168
I'm also interested and can make the first weekend in November!
If the weather proves interesting and October does provide us with an abundance of snow, it is also possible to access the northern edges of the Sods via chairlift from Timberline resort.
Devin's trip report here:
http://soredirtywet.blogspot.com/2010/01/next-dolly-sods-sledding.htmlAug 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm #1907270
It sounds like Nov 2-4 is the best date then? That's Friday-Sunday. I guess let's plan to meet at 11 am on Friday Nov 2 at the Red Creek trailhead near Laneville (Wildlife cabin).Aug 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm #1907276
Sounds like that may be the best starting point. Here is a link for google map directions to the trail head:
I may have to catch up with the group if you plan on meeting that early. I may be a few hours behind but can hoof it.
Do we have anyone else confirmed that is attending?Aug 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm #1907289
Stephen (and everyone else considering attending): What meeting time works best?Aug 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm #1907326
1pm is probably best for me, but I could probably make it by noon if I left early enough.Aug 31, 2012 at 11:39 am #1907973
12 or 1pm would be fine with me. I'm 5 hrs away, so the later time would mean that I'm more likely to be awake while hiking. We'll see what time others suggest as the date approaches.Sep 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm #1911842
I can most likely do just about any weekend Fri-Sun. I'm not too concerned about temps as much as I was when I originally posted. I've been piecing together some cold weather gear and should have all I need by November. As for routes, earlier this summer I did the circumnavigation listed on MidAtlanticHikes.com. The one starting and ending at Bear Rocks. It was an awesome trip over 3 days and 2 nights. My mileage was no more than 10 per day, not including short side trips. Should be fun in November.
The only thing that I'm concerned with is the prospective 15 miles a day. But, being a few months away, I should have no trouble being in shape. I've been slacking on my gym time lately.
I'm just around 2.5 to 3 hrs from the Sods, so starting time won't affect me too badly.
Feel free to PM me about any changing details.
SeanOct 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm #1917844
Just wanted to update that the first weekend in November 2,3,4 is no good for me. If that ends up being the trip weekend, no big deal. I can always try to make another one.
SeanOct 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm #1920628
I'm about 3 hours east of the Sods and it has easily become my go-to backpacking destination for a quick weekend. If there is still room for another in the group I would be happy to come along. 15-20 days work well for me.
In regards to the wild weather in the Sods, last Halloween I went out and got blanketed with snow– between a foot and 18 inches in some places. So be advised.
Hope I'm not too Late.
JohnOct 15, 2012 at 7:07 am #1921389
@bowlingl25Locale: Almost Heaven
I see this trip has become pretty popular, and if there is room for one more Id love to come along.
As the previous poster mentioned snow is a definite possibility. It snowed in the area last weekend, but this weekend was beautiful in the mid 70s. WV weather in October/early November is very unpredictable.Oct 23, 2012 at 6:41 am #1923861
Unfortunately, some things have come up, and I won't be able to make this trip.
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