[at-l] White Mountains query

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Wed Apr 11 11:12:22 CDT 2012

You can book a reservation starting today. I just visited
www.outdoors.org/lodging/rates/ and the stay at Lakes of the "Crowds" is
$114 for a non-member, mid-week. The huts are very popular so soon, very
soon, nearly every hut will be booked for every bunk for the months of July
& August. However, many of those reservations won't be filled when the day
comes - people get sick, they overbooked not knowing where they would be,
large groups don't have the numbers they thought, etc. So, every morning
each hut gets an update by radio telling them how many to expect for that
day and it is almost never the number they thought it would be. This is also
true for the campsites & shelters that have caretakers in the Whites. ($8
fee for 2012). They also receive the morning radio call with updates. (I was
a guest caretaker for the Ethan Pond Shelter a few years ago so I got to the
man the radio for one morning, fun!)


That said it might make sense to make a reservation when you are a week or
so away from entering the Whites. By then you'll know your approximate
schedule & if you get in (through cancellations) you can adjust your hiking
to fit the schedule. But frankly I wouldn't do it. Instead I would show up
at the hut (about 2 - 3 PM) and offer to pay for your stay. 


Chances are you will get in. If you want a bit more security you can employ
the radio message system to this extent:


(use this as an example) About 8 AM you walk into Lonesome Lake Hut & take
advantage of the left over breakfast deal. It's usually a great amount of
food for only a buck or two, so ask! Let the hutmaster or Croo know that you
are heading to the Hut you are interested in & ask them to place your name
on the list for that night. You'll probably be heading to Greenleaf. Next
morning at Greenleaf, before you head out, ask the hutmaster to put your
name in at the next Hut, perhaps Zealand. This way the Hutmaster at
Greenleaf (or Zealand) knows they have a paying customer heading their way &
it won't be as necessary to arrive as early as 2-3 PM. You can show up later
but dinner is served at 6 PM sharp.


More info:

The huts are a kids & family experience so go there with that in mind. Once
they (the other customers) know you've hiked all the way from Georgia you'll
get a bunch of questions & it can be a fun Q&A session. You will likely be
the most experienced hiker any of them has ever met. After all, they are
staying in a sheltered, food-provided place for a bunch of reasons. They
don't have to worry about food or shelter during their stay in the Whites.
It's also what makes the job of the Croo so difficult. These customers need
a lot of handholding & reassuring.


Every night the Croo conducts a talk in keeping with their mission to make a
'green experience' and to provide education about the mountain environment
for the clients. These mandates are put on the AMC by the US Forest Service
as part of their 2000 agreement. Sometimes, AT thru-hikers have conducted
these talks as their "work-for-stay" activity. You might just want to offer
this to the Croo instead of paying for your stay. The Croo gets tired of the
same talk night after night (they rotate the task, add in some "dress-up" to
make it fun.) You could talk about your reasons for doing the trail or just
tell them what life is like on the trail day-after-day. Round out the
session with some Q & A. 


Hope that helps, RockDancer



From: at-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:at-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On
Behalf Of Jack Vanderbijl
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:23 AM
To: at-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [at-l] White Mountains query


I have read a multitude of books and journals on hiking the AT and all
generally discuss in detail getting "work for stay" in the AMC huts through
the Whites and staying in the "dungeon" or similar.

How feasible is it to actually book and stay in the huts like the

I realise that there would be a need to book ahead of time but just how far

I expect that while I am not lavish with funds that at least a couple of
nights I can afford to stay in the "top of town".  At 55 now and 56 when I
get there (assuming I get there) I really don't feel that I want to sweep
floors or wash dishes when someone else really wants the opportunity.  I'm
not proud (I currently take soiled linen out of nursing homes as part of my
job so I'm familiar with dirty jobs), I just don't feel that's a part of the
experience I really want to share if I don't have to.
Is it possible that about 100-200 miles before getting to the Whites I could
predict a date that I will get to the huts and make a booking?


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