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View Full Version : 100-Mile Wilderness, Southbound



csprague
07-26-2010, 01:31 PM
Date of Hike: 7/17/10 - 7/23/10

Trail Conditions: Instead of posting conditions for every piece, I'll note the parts that people contemplating this hike most likely want to know about:

Bugs: not a problem, surprisingly. I never even put on bug-spray. The only day they were a problem was on Monday, when we walked from Nahmankanta Lake to Copper Brook in the rain, and deerflies were all over us, but didn't bite often. They were easy to kill. Otherwise, probably got less than a dozen blackfly/mosquito bites the whole trip.

River crossings: only 2 of the 4 fords necessitated removal of shoes, the West Branch of the Pleasant River, and Little Wilson Stream. The water was calf-shallow and not running hard in both cases. The others were easily rock-hoppable, but if you get there during a week of heavy rainfall, you may find the rivers in different shape.

Mud: I think all of us fell at least once into the dreaded, fetid black ooze that bog bridges take you over. Bog bridges are in very rough shape in parts, well maintained in others, and it was hard to discern any pattern in the maintenance. Overall though mud wasn't a big problem, it hasn't been very wet.

Water: easily available, the longest stretch was between Logan Brook shelter and Sidney Tappan Campsite, where you must cross White Cap, Hay, and West Peak before obtaining more water. Bring your filter, some of those ponds are ganky!

Shelter/Campsite crowding: lean-tos very full it seemed, and since the wilderness is full of shockingly lazy SOBOs right now doing 8 mile days, if you don't get to some lean-tos by like 2:30 in the afternoon you won't get one. We tented very night save one, where we found some room in Wilson Valley Lean-to. Also, the lead contingent of NOBOs is just starting to finish, so the main pack won't be far behind. Plan to tent.

Backcountry/Stealth sites: abundant. We camped by the Rainbow Mt. side trail one night, at the south beach on Nahmankanta Lake another night, and at West Chairback Pond another. All had acceptable to outstanding camping, and were all unofficial (non-AT) campsites. We saw lots of others, so doing extra miles without having to go all the way to a shelter is very easy.

Special Equipment Required: normal backpacking gear plus lots of moleskins and advil.

Comments: The MATC has obviously been doing lot of work on the Whitecap-Barren stretch, re-routing the trail, building switchbacks in places (!), and lots and lots of stairs. We jokingly called White Cap Mt. "Stairback Mt.".

Also, if you camp at Wilson Valley, plan on getting awoken at 4am or so by a screamingly loud, fast-moving freight train. It turns out that the Canadian-Pacific train tracks (same ones that cross the trestle near Borestone) are less than half a mile away.

Your name: csprague

Your E-mail address: csprague@maine.rr.com