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rup
04-16-2008, 12:21 PM
Planning to hit the Maine 4000 footers this spring, and trying to choose blocks of time. In a gross sense, Memorial Day thru 4th July is probably prime bug weather, but that time frame could be shorter/later/etc. I've taken great bug-free hikes in the Whites on Memorial Day.

Any guidance on what to expect for trail snowpack and bug bloom timing would be greatly appreciated.

weatherman
04-16-2008, 03:58 PM
Been there a couple times, and the two weeks (most years) between deep snow and blackflies can be really sweet. The birdsong is just incredible. The Western ME 4000 footers typically have that between May 15-30. This year there is more snow though, and people I know that have been there more tell me that years like this can have deep snow and bad bugs simultaneously. A lot depends on how fast the meltout is. I think I'd aim for Memorial Day, and figure on a 20% chance of deep snow and a 20% chance of bad blackflies. Hopefully you'll hit the 60% in between. But I may be totally out to lunch. Hope this helps.
Weatherman

SkierSteve
04-16-2008, 07:47 PM
Having spent a fair amount of time is both places during bug season, first thing I would say is that the flies are far worse in Western Maine than the whites. I know its a very general comment but thats just my experience. In fact, the area encompassing Sunday River up through Sugarloaf, which has a fair number of 4K's, has traditionally had about the thickest black flies I've seen. The old wise tale is from Mother's Day until Father's Day belongs to the bugs. As you go further north in Maine the bugs rule right into early July, especially around BSP.
That time of year I try to get above tree line as much as possible to take advantage of the breezes. Doesn't always work but thats my usual plan.

Stan
04-21-2008, 08:29 AM
Bugs in Maine!!!??? I'm totally shocked to hear such a thing. :eek:

Seriously, I have found it easier and more gratifying to adapt to conditions than to try to predict them or schedule around them. My bug season layers include long pants, long sleeves, hat, head net and silk glove liners. My antidotes include products ranging from benign lotions such as skin-so-soft and herbal based remedies to increasingly strong (90%) deet products which I use as a last resort and, in fact, rarely.

Don't let the little buggers get you down. Fight back.

weatherman
04-24-2008, 09:54 AM
With the recent crazy warm and DRY weather, I'll revise my recommendation back 10 days... if you can, I'd aim for 5/15. Ya never really know. Do what Stan says. My bug outfit only weighs about 12 oz... headnet, long sleeve wicking shirt, very light nylon pants... I can't stand the idea of gloves in hot weather, so I just get bitten a lot on my hands and deal with it.

Weatherman