[at-l] quick question

Arthur Gaudet rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 11 18:46:21 CST 2009

I assume you're hiking the Smokies and worried about snow. If you are hiking the Whites I might have more thoughts for you.

I doubt that the snow will be so deep that the blazes will be under the snow. At this time of year I'd imagine 6-12 inch snow depth, perhaps even more, but the snow would have to be 60 inches deep to obscure the blazes! 

Instead the wind might pack the snow onto the trees and rocks so that they are obscured. In tight woods the path will be well defined even if no one has broken out the trail for you, but watch out for the intersections. If necessary look both forward and back along the trail as you walk to confirm the AT. At an intersection be very, very certain about where to go before proceeding.

In open terrain the blazes will be on rocks that are obvious and stand out. In the Whites we have cairns, rocks piled to a height that's noticeable so you just follow the covered lumps. In the Smokies I remember only a few places where the rocks are marked but almost no areas where you have an extended open area to cross. (Some of the balds further north would qualify as extended & open).

The Smokies have a lot of sidetrails, some are marked but not all of them. The shelters are nearly all right on the AT so you won't have many blue blaze trails to handle. Hope that helps.

Arthur Gaudet (RockDancer)
Rockdancer97 at comcast.net
"The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."

----- "David Addleton" <dfaddleton at gmail.com> wrote:

> if you can't see any blazes, what are the best techniques for locating
> and staying on a trail covered with sneaux?
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