AT Thru Hiker Chases Snow Storm In Roan Mountain Backcountry

As any thru hiker will tell you, prepare to have your heart broken. It’s a grueling test of both mental and physical strength that pushes even the most seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to their limits. For thru hiker Billy Bowling (@babowling12 on Twitter,) the parts of the trail that give him the most joy are the sections that usually cause people the most grief. 

The AT adventurer recently posted a snippet of his time chasing snow storms in the backcountry of Roan Mountain, and it was no walk in the park. Check out the clip below to see Bowling have the time of his life while a major storm roared on the mountain. 

Although Billy is making the most of his thru-hike despite the conditions, I bet it came with a hefty dose of preparation and planning. If you get caught hiking when a snowstorm rolls in, the last thing you want to be is ill-equipped to handle what’s headed your way. 

Although hiking during a snowstorm is hardly beginner-friendly, winter hiking certainly has upsides. But before you hit your favorite trail, remember these winter hiking tips via the National Park Service.

Before you even go outside, there are some steps you can take at home to make your winter hike less like a nightmare and more of a breeze. 

First, gear is your BFF here. Opt for layers of warm clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks. In addition, traction devices are a great tool for walking on ice and snow. 

Moreover, remember that some sections are likely not to have cell signals. You need to know how to read a compass or carry a GPS device. You should also check the forecast frequently since it can change on a dime, especially in places with higher elevations. 

Once you’re on the trail, here are some other tips to keep in mind.

  • In the winter months, officials may be unable to keep trails marked or maintained. Be prepared to know your route like the back of your hand. 
  • Be mindful of avalanches. Check with your park officials for the latest avalanche forecast and information.
  • Respect wildlife. Always maintain a safe distance and practice safe wildlife viewing practices.

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