Last skiing days before the A.T.

Less than one week before starting the big adventure – completing an Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. Here at the Arctic Circle in Northern Sweden there is still a lot of snow and my training focus is cross-country skiing until the last day.

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My personal pre-A.T. American songbook

One week left before we leave, 10 days before we start our hike 🙂

10) Bridge over troubled water, Simon & Garfunkel, 2009 version
There will be a lot of troubled waters to cross and not always a bridge.

9) Sigmund Freud´s impersonation of Albert Einstein in America, Randy Newman
Maybe the longest song title ever?

8) Take me home, country roads, John Denver
Of course! 700 miles to Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountains, 1000 miles to West Virginia.

7) Walking in Memphis, Marc Cohn
At least we´ll walk a lot of miles along the Tennessee state line. Let´s see if we meet the ghost of Elvis in the Smokies (or just a bear).

6) City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie
Live at Farm Aid 2008. North-bound thru hike meets south-bound odyssey.

5) America, Neil Diamond
Far, we´ve been traveling far – oh yes, but this was only the beginning :-).

4) Rocky Mountain High, John Denver
Not the Appalachian Mountains but: “Left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again might say he found a key for ev’ry door. He know he’d be a poorer man If he never saw an eagle fly”.

3) America the beautiful, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and many more
Spacious skies, amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties – looking forward to this.

2) The River, Bruce Springsteen
No wedding day smiles, no walk down the aisle, now flowers, no wedding dress – a hiker marriage?

1) Forever young, Pete Seeger
May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung may you stay forever youngdedicated to all Thru Hikers!

A.T. elevation profile: climbing Mt Everest 16 times

12 days left before we leave, exactly 2 weeks/14 days until we will set our first steps on the Appalachian Trail. First we´ll take the 8,8 miles approach trail from Amicalola Falls State park to Springer Mt. We discussed for a while if to hike even the Approach Trail or alternatively take a ride to the forest road which crosses the AT one mile to the North of Springer Mt, but finally we felt 8,8 miles can not be decisive if we plan to manage the entire trail of 2189 miles (3520 kilometers, which is the official length for 2015 – the distance varies from year to year, most years it´s getting longer than it was the year before).
Recently I found an elevation profile for the whole AT (thanks to http://www.topofusion.com) which looks awesome. Even if the highest peaks are “only” around 2000m – Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park at 2025 m is the highest point of the entire AT – the total climb for the whole trail is quite impressive: more than 600 000 feet (I have to get used to get the message in feet instead of meters) which is 182 900 meters ascent in total. This means climbing the Mt Everest 16 times from sea levels. We´ll take the challenge!

Elevation profile AT

One month left before we start

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Exactly one month from now, on April 1st, we´ll start our journey by flying from Luleå, North Sweden via Stockholm and Chicago to Atlanta. We´ll stay for 2 nights at a hotel near to Atlanta airport and the plan is to purchase food for the first 4-5 days in Atlanta. Even gas for the stove is on the list of supply we need to check in Atlanta.
2 days later will take a shuttle from North Springs to Amicalola State Park and start our hike. We hope we can get some miles further than Springer Mountain the first day.
Unfortunately the working load for the remaining days is feels gigantic, No idea how to manage to finalize half of the tasks that are on the to-do-list.
Here a preliminary statistic on 2015 Northbound AT Thru-Hikers starting date. Clearly we´ll be long back in the pack when starting.Registered thru hikersOur plan is to cover approx. 23-24 kilometers (15 miles) on an average day and have a zero day every 10 days. of course reality will look different, I`m absolutely aware of that. But if feels good to have a plan.