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STinGa
06-19-2014, 15:39
My google skills are lacking today.

Does anyone know the percentage of AT hikers that quit their attempt prior to leaving GA or that quit before leaving the GSMNP? I have found several sites that tell me that about 20% of the NoBo hikers finish a thru hike, but I canít re-find (Is that a word?) the number that don't finish the GA section.

Thanks,
STinGa

Last Call
06-19-2014, 16:08
I'd say a good many.

rafe
06-19-2014, 16:28
I think something like 25% drop out in Georgia. If I recall correctly. Another 25% by Damascus.

jj2044
06-19-2014, 17:02
that sounds about right, it amazing you will walk with someone all the way to Neels gap, then they will just disappear, lol, later you hear they got a shuttle to an airport or whatnot. you could almost tell after you leave any town in GA, or NC there always seemed to be less people..... A lot of people have never done anything like the AT and for some reason think its "easy".... the first 70 miles in GA is a awake call for a lot.

rafe
06-19-2014, 17:14
Think about the driving forces for dropping out. The dropout rate will be extreme at first, decline rapidly from there, and eventually level out, without ever going to zero. Where does it level out? Anybody's guess. The alpha male on Whiteblaze has dropped out in Gorham twice. I think I've heard him say that. Go figure.

So in the first week or two you've got folks who were just totally unprepared, had no idea what to expect, or were nowhere near fit enough.

After a few weeks physical fitness is less of an issue than fatigue and boredom. Or the views weren't as gorgeous or as frequent as expected. Or you feel like you're just wasting your time. (One can go on and on...)

Dropouts happen all along the trail, but obviously the further you get, the better your odds. Injuries and emergencies at home can happen at any moment.

Captain Blue
06-19-2014, 18:05
Look here: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/about-the-trail/2000-milers

MuddyWaters
06-19-2014, 19:27
Ive come across a very high % of hikers with sore knees in GA, and good many injured hikers with ankle injuries in NC, and TN. I think some keep pushing along, till they cant go any more. Then they go home.

Jack Tarlin
06-19-2014, 21:19
I lived and worked at Neel Gap, Georgia for the better part of two months this past hiker season. The "25%" quit rate for Georgia, in my opinion, is very much exaggerated. Not all that many people quit the first week.

Slo-go'en
06-20-2014, 00:55
There is no doubt that a significant number of potential thru's never make it out of Georgia, but exactly how many and where they end is impossible to say. There just isn't that kind of record keeping being kept. There is no requirement to register when you start or to sign out when you leave. Probably a few at every road crossing along the way.

That said, many do sign in when they start and Baxter keeps track of how many thru hikers show up at the end, although some of those only did the 100 mile wilderness to qualify. Between those two numbers, all we know is about 80% give up somewhere along the way.

rafe
06-20-2014, 07:13
I lived and worked at Neel Gap, Georgia for the better part of two months this past hiker season. The "25%" quit rate for Georgia, in my opinion, is very much exaggerated. Not all that many people quit the first week.

But Neels Gap is only 30.5 miles out of Georgia's 75.2 miles. You'd have to be at Bly gap to know. ;)

I'll bet there's a strong correlation between the time required to reach Neel's Gap (from Springer) vs. probability of dropout. But that's a slightly different matter.

Grampie
06-20-2014, 08:06
A good number of hikers that leave Springer declare that they are "thru-hiking". The only problem is that they are quite ill prepared to be out away from home for 6 months. Without the proper funds or time they still declare that they are thru-hikers and are counted as such.

Slo-go'en
06-20-2014, 10:28
Look here: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/about-the-trail/2000-milers

From the ATC data, it looks like about 10% of those who signed in at Springer didn't sign in at Neels gap. Of course, not everyone signs in at Neels, but it would be safe to say that most of that 10% didn't sign in because they left there or didn't even make it that far.

About half of those who signed in at Springer don't make it to Harper's Ferry and only half of those who make it to H.F. actually finish.

STinGa
06-20-2014, 11:07
Thanks for the info everyone. I ran across a guy at work the other day that was NoBo earlier this year, but he didn't finish. I later found out that he wasn't prepared for the journey. I understand injuries and money issues, but when someone starts this type of trip without going through the 6 Ps, I just shake my head.

Thanks,
STinGa

bamboo bob
06-20-2014, 11:12
I think a fair number of people, after having a send off party at work and at home, leave on their much publicized trip. They quickly decide they don't like backpacking and then hike "enough" so they wont be embarrassed when they go home. That may take to Damascus where it seemed there was the largest number of drop outs.

SteelCut
06-20-2014, 12:52
Thanks for the info everyone. I ran across a guy at work the other day that was NoBo earlier this year, but he didn't finish. I later found out that he wasn't prepared for the journey. I understand injuries and money issues, but when someone starts this type of trip without going through the 6 Ps, I just shake my head.

Thanks,
STinGa

The "6 Ps" ?? Can you elaborate. You've raised my curiosity.

STinGa
06-20-2014, 14:26
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

:)

SteelCut
06-20-2014, 14:39
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

:)

OK, that make quite a bit of sense.

+1

Jack Tarlin
06-20-2014, 15:20
Just in the interest of accuracy, Neel Gap is 31.7 miles from Springer, and the North Carolinna state line is 78.5 miles from Springer, not 75.2. And nobody quits at Bly Gap, it's in the middle of nowhere. I stand by my original statement that the "25% quit rate" before hikers leave Georgia is a great exaggeration.

rocketsocks
06-21-2014, 13:45
I think a fair number of people, after having a send off party at work and at home, leave on their much publicized trip. They quickly decide they don't like backpacking and then hike "enough" so they wont be embarrassed when they go home. That may take to Damascus where it seemed there was the largest number of drop outs.
I've always wondered if many start the hike, then mellow into it and realize they really don't want to be bothered with chronicling, or the idea has somehow taken a back seat to the "just go hiking and live in the moment" type mind set. :-?

RED-DOG
06-21-2014, 14:20
Personally i have seen more people drop out in Gatlinburg TN than any other town, I would say a small percentage drops out at Neels Gap but most of the drop out happens between Gatlinburg Tn and Pearisburg Va, If you can make it to Harpers Ferry WVA you should be able to make it to Katahdan.