Author Topic: Geezer Hikers Ho & Hum 2009: Johnson to Lincoln Gap  (Read 6839 times)

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Geezer Hikers Ho & Hum 2009: Johnson to Lincoln Gap
« on: January 30, 2012, 05:05:13 PM »
A link to “Geezer Hikers” Ho and Hum’s 2009 LT Journal is posted at (immediately after the podcast about our August 2009 experiences in hiking the LT).  Links are also provided to our 2010 and 2011 LT journals. 

Below is a summary of our 2009 backpacking adventures:

We, Ho (Jerry Ash) and Hum (Bob Ash), two brothers who together are quite Ho-Hum, completed a 10-day section hike on the LT between August 10 and August 21, 2009.  We’re older, ‘senior’ (‘geezer’) hikers: Ho is 67 and Hum is 69, and this was our first ever long-distance backpacking hike.  We did the hike in 3 stages: a 5-day hike from Johnson/Route 15 to Jonesville; a 4-day hike from Appalachian Gap to Duxbury Road; and a single-day hike from Lincoln Gap to Appalachian Gap.  Overall we hiked almost 70 miles, climbed 15,000 feet, descended 20,000 feet, and took 315,000 steps.  We had beautiful, dry weather over the gorgeous Mt. Mansfield and Camels Hump sections, but ran into some rainstorms and bad weather on the Mt. Abraham section.

The full journal details our preparation for the hike and experiences along the way, and also provides a few pictures.  Our mentors, Rough and Tumble, put together a podcast of our hike (available at, where we discuss our preparation, hiking experiences, and a few things we learned about hiking on the LT.

In this journey we savored an awesome and gorgeous stretch of our natural world, enjoyed the company of interesting and highly friendly people, tested ourselves to the limits of our endurance, overcame many dangers and ‘impossible’ challenges, increased even further the strong brotherly bond that already existed between us, and took away unbelievable memories of this astonishing adventure.  We both count it as one of the greatest experiences of our lives, and we plan to make another Ho-Hum backpacking hike on the LT in August 2010.

As older-senior-geezer hikers, we learned some things that may prove useful to other senior hikers (which are detailed in the journal and podcast):

1.   The GMC Mentor program proved to be invaluable in our preparation.
2.   Our training hikes could have been more realistic by hiking more LT-like topography and carrying our full pack weight.
3.   We found we could significantly reduce our pack weight by carrying at most 5 days of food, eliminating unneeded items, and using lighter weight equipment.
4.   Hiking times listed by the GMC (based on 2 mph and ½ hour per 1000’ elevation gain) proved unrealistic for us; our pace was approximately ½ as fast, or less.
5.   We should have planned at most 5 days hiking before taking a zero day.
6.   Hum found his pack to be unsafe in climbing steep ledges because it swung around wildly threatening to catapult him off the cliff.  He also found his poncho to be unsafe in descending steep ledges because it blocked a view of his feet.
7.   Locating water sources is vital and it is essential to carefully read the LT Guide to locate each and every water source.

Ho & Hum