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JenSkim
04-28-2009, 07:55
I'm new here, so this might seem like a silly question (looked for the question in forum, to no avail). Still, I'm considering either thru-hiking or section hiking the AT and seeking opinions from the experienced hikers.

What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?

Two Tents
04-28-2009, 08:06
HI jenskim! Welcome! Good question. For me it is always the same before a long hike and it is the scary/lonely feeling. It goes away soon after I hit the trail. There isn't too much that gets me freaked out when I'm out there. Well' I'm not real happy to see any kind of snake up close but that doesn't happen that much. --- Happy trails---Two Tents!

Slimer
04-28-2009, 08:14
Crossing the Palisades Parkway.

OldStormcrow
04-28-2009, 08:20
Crossing the Palisades Parkway.
Ditto....I hate having to try and trot across busy road crossings in heavy traffic.

zoidfu
04-28-2009, 08:22
I've had sizeable tree limbs fall feet away from me 4 times now. Out of everything, that scares me the most.

snowhoe
04-28-2009, 08:35
I think the scariest thing would be that something would happen to my family and I wouldnt know about it.

Engine
04-28-2009, 08:40
I've had sizeable tree limbs fall feet away from me 4 times now. Out of everything, that scares me the most.

We sat down on an old log next to the trail to eat lunch and about 5 minutes later a big limb fell about 20 feet behind us. Not really a NEAR miss, but it got my heart rate up for 10 minutes or so.

As for the OP's question, for me it was when we first started hiking and with no real experience to draw from. The most scary part was dealing with all of the "What if" scenarios. That is largely why my pack used to weigh so darn much. At some point I realized I had been carrying things I never touched while we where hiking and that helped me realize that there is very little to fear about being out there.

max patch
04-28-2009, 08:44
Nothing...

Valentine
04-28-2009, 08:48
Maybe not the scariest but Yellow Jackets swarming me certainly bring short term panic. This has happened to me on at least two occasions.

Captain Blue
04-28-2009, 08:50
Lightning .... especially when you are caught on a mountain top.

JTCruiser
04-28-2009, 09:01
Non-hikers at road crossings. But, I guess those are creature encounters ;0)

JAK
04-28-2009, 09:19
It is important to distinguish between fear and danger.
Some stuff is more dangerous, but not as feared.
Other stuff is more feared, but not as dangerous.

I am probably more afraid of bear and people encounters than I need to be. I am probably less afraid of vehicle encounters than I need to be. I drove home after finishing a long hike once barely awake. Should have pulled over to sleep. Almost hit a moose. Might have simply fallen asleep at the wheel. Should have known better.

Fear can be useful, especially as you get tired and fatigued or otherwise disoriented. But it is important to take stock and make sure you are fearing the right things. The biggest threat is probably bad judgement, especially when we get tired, or suffering from minor fatigue, dehydration, sunstroke, hypothermia, or whatever, which can turn major. Good skill is to learn to stop and have a cup of tea or coffee, and take stock before continuing on, hiking or driving.

RiverWarriorPJ
04-28-2009, 09:38
..my biggie is goin' off trail 2 check a view or whatever and falling down some rocks.....no 1 knows ur there..!!..happened 2 me twice.....no major injuries ....but could have been....PS....i solo hike alot....partner (swim buddy) is suggested....do as i say....not what i do..!!..Ha..

Reid
04-28-2009, 10:01
You need to be careful there riverwarrior!

Jaybird
04-28-2009, 10:04
I'm new here, so this might seem like a silly question (looked for the question in forum, to no avail). Still, I'm considering either thru-hiking or section hiking the AT and seeking opinions from the experienced hikers.What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?


I concur....


Crossing a 4-Lane HIGHWAY with 30-lbs on your back can be quite harrowing!:D

See ya'll out there (w/ "Jigsaw" & "Model-T") May 2-14 Harpers Ferry,WV to Swatara Gap,PA:D

JAK
04-28-2009, 10:14
..my biggie is goin' off trail 2 check a view or whatever and falling down some rocks.....no 1 knows ur there..!!..happened 2 me twice.....no major injuries ....but could have been....PS....i solo hike alot....partner (swim buddy) is suggested....do as i say....not what i do..!!..Ha..A friend of mine's Dad, who died of cancer a few years back, climbed some mountain in the Himilaya's. At the time he was the oldest man to go that high without oxygen, but its since been smashed by some dude much older. Anyhow, he said the two near misses were once when they had to cross a very iffy bridge across a ravine, and another time that he went for a pee and almost stepped off the mountain.

JAK
04-28-2009, 10:16
Alot of ocean racing sailors get swept overboard while having a pee also.
Lots of guys on the bottom of oceans and ravines with their fly down.
Something to think about.

Blue Jay
04-28-2009, 10:32
What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?

That's an easy question. By far it's getting off and rejoining conventional society.

Pootz
04-28-2009, 10:53
Lightning .... especially when you are caught on a mountain top.

I will also vote for lightning. I got caught on top of the Priest in a big lightning storm in 07. It was hitting all around me. I think I hiked my fastest mile that day.

Yukon
04-28-2009, 11:04
The scariest part is coming off the trail and having to go back to work...

gravityman
04-28-2009, 11:06
Nature cause - I agree with Lightening
Human Cause - The off-kilter hikers that you can tell aren't all there. However, they are pretty easy to avoid!

Kerosene
04-28-2009, 12:08
Lightning, falling trees, and getting incapacitated off-trail have already been mentioned.

Another candidate: Getting caught/injured above treeline in bad weather as dark is falling with no one likely to come along for awhile.

I personally don't obsess with any of these, but I do try to manage the risk appropriately.

Tin Man
04-28-2009, 12:14
packsniffers

TD55
04-28-2009, 18:43
Running into a sneezing pig would scare me.

peakbagger
04-28-2009, 18:58
As a section hiker, it was definitely driving to and from the trail.!

river1
04-28-2009, 19:12
Crossing the Palisades Parkway.

yeah thats like playing froggy.

CrumbSnatcher
04-28-2009, 19:28
Running out of mountain money!,(TOILET PAPER)
Running out of Deet!
Dealing with Monkeybutt!
Running out of mountain money!
Lightning
slippery rocks and Roots(much scarier than bears and snakes)

jamarshall
04-28-2009, 19:54
Road crossings -four lane highways, or the ones where you have to listen to hear if something's coming to squash you... couple of those in PA.

Blissful
04-28-2009, 19:57
One ledge coming up from Palmerton in PA and coming down off Carter Mtn in the Whites. And the ladder jump and rock climb on Old Speck was interesting.

George
04-28-2009, 20:42
the most logical thing to fear because it can be serious is lyme disease

Lone Wolf
04-28-2009, 21:00
fording the mighty kennebec is the scariest for me. why the ATC forces us to do it is beyond me

toothpick
04-28-2009, 21:15
Recently section hiked from Harpers Ferry to Waynesboro and I thought the scariest part was running out of water with 3 or 4 miles to go to the next shelter. As much as a person sweats do not take any chances with your water. Always leave camp each morning with a full supply and if you cross a stream don't get lazy and pass it by. I found the publication called Appalachian Pages Southbound to be of great help in locating and planning your water stops.

Toothpick

Colter
04-29-2009, 09:04
It is important to distinguish between fear and danger.
Some stuff is more dangerous, but not as feared.
Other stuff is more feared, but not as dangerous...But it is important to take stock and make sure you are fearing the right things. The biggest threat is probably bad judgement

Good post. Falling and hypothermia are much more dangerous than bears, for example. Lyme disease is definitely something to be concerned about.

hikingsailor
04-29-2009, 19:22
water crossings on logs. lost a hiking pole that way and almost fell in. fog can get pretty dicey also.

Chaco Taco
04-29-2009, 19:59
Seeing someone really messed up either mentally or on drugs

2011_thruhiker
04-29-2009, 20:31
When I am hiking solo-my first night back on the trail and getting acclimated to all the night sounds-I tend to be very jumpy that night and keep myself awake much longer than I really need too-but I find that a good book or writing in my trail journal helps out alot. I also have made it a habit to take this particular night that I feel the jitters to make it "me" time and give myself a special snack or something.

When out hiking with others-crossing busy roads such as highways always makes me jittery...

Egads
04-29-2009, 20:34
fording the mighty kennebec is the scariest for me. why the ATC forces us to do it is beyond me

Purists can't claim a thru hike if they ride a boat :rolleyes:

Tin Man
04-29-2009, 20:46
Purists can't claim a thru hike if they ride a boat :rolleyes:

actually, the canoe has the white blaze, not the fording spot :)

CowHead
04-29-2009, 20:56
For me itís the first 20 mins of the first night in the woods after living in the noise world quiet can be deafening eerie

ChinMusic
04-29-2009, 20:57
The tiny deer tick......

Tin Man
04-29-2009, 20:58
thru-hikers who feel entitled :rolleyes:

OldStormcrow
04-30-2009, 08:40
Seeing someone really messed up either mentally or on drugs
.....or genetically!

RockDoc
06-29-2009, 15:10
Road travel to/from trail.

Captn
09-08-2009, 16:48
You pitch your tent, build a fire, settle in for an evening alone.

Then someone who's not all there shows up and proceeds to talk your ear off about half crazy stuff.

You settle in to sleep and about 3 am you hear that twig snap just outside your tent. You get up to pee and check stuff out, dude is wandering around camp like he's stoned or something, talking to himself. Try to go back to sleep and toss and turn all night listening to him wander around.

Pack up in the morning and he says: I was getting lonely, glad I found someone to hike with.

I took a Unplanned Zero day in Town last section hike because of this exact thing, then stealth camped the next two nights all by myself half way between shelters.

Captn
09-08-2009, 16:52
You pitch your tent, build a fire, settle in for an evening alone.

Then someone who's not all there shows up and proceeds to talk your ear off about half crazy stuff.

You settle in to sleep and about 3 am you hear that twig snap just outside your tent. You get up to pee and check stuff out, dude is wandering around camp like he's stoned or something, talking to himself. Try to go back to sleep and toss and turn all night listening to him wander around.

Pack up in the morning and he says: I was getting lonely, glad I found someone to hike with.


I took a Unplanned Zero day in Town last section hike because of this exact thing, then stealth camped the next two nights all by myself half way between shelters.

Oh yeah .... forgot the part about him asking if he could have everything he watched me pull out or put into my pack, like my stove, cookpot, tent, sleepingbag, water bottles, food, etc. Actually wanted to FONDLE my gear.

DrRichardCranium
09-08-2009, 18:45
actually, the canoe has the white blaze, not the fording spot :)
they should both have white blazes. When I get there, I'm bringing some white paint!!:banana

slowandlow
09-08-2009, 21:42
What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?

The privy at Sassafras Gap shelter just north of the NOC.

ridgerunninrat81
09-08-2009, 23:18
I also was caught on priest during a thunderstorm, lightning is very scary on top of a mountain in the open. However back in 81 when I did the bulk of my AT hike by far the scariest thing on the trail was the late night "visitors" who drove near to a shelter and were expecting to party there only to find their party place occupied by hikers.

Trailweaver
09-09-2009, 01:43
I hike solo and worry about some catastrophic accident happening while I'm out there (ie: tree limb coming down, or a fall that breaks my leg. . .etc.) and without someone to go for help.

I did have a small accident last year and managed to hike myself out, but was in tremendous pain and certainly don't want it to happen again. Still, I haven't quit.

Mr. Parkay
09-09-2009, 02:11
Scariest part for me is when I'm camped near a road, and someone shines their car headlights at my tent in the middle of the night... possibly for an extended period of time.
... definitely creepy, and a good reason not to camp near roads when possible.

jbrecon2
12-05-2009, 13:52
hiking along with my eyes pealed on the ground out of fear of snakes. an irrational fear, but its my fear. HATE snakes

jnl82381
12-05-2009, 14:08
i agree with snowhow. i think the scariest part for me would be that you're out in the middle of nowhere (relativly) and something happens to a loved one and there's no good way to get a hold of you.

My wife will be deployed while i thru this summer so we're still trying to work that one out how we'll be able to talk and how i'd be notified if something happens to her.

lets all cross our fingers that that never happens :)

CrumbSnatcher
12-05-2009, 14:32
hikers sharing gorp!:eek:

weary
12-05-2009, 22:41
fording the mighty kennebec is the scariest for me. why the ATC forces us to do it is beyond me
I don't know of any evidence that ATC has much to say about it, one way or the other.

ATC has no independent source of funds -- especially to the multimillions a bridge would cost. It survives on the contributions from the notoriously stingy hiker community, and what little it can glean from taxpayers through appropriations from Congress. Neither has shown any interest in a bridge. And only reluctantly supports a canoe ferry.

As every hostel owner in moments of honesty knows, hikers by and large are dedicated free loaders. I suspect ATTroll could probably atttest to that also. What percentage of active posters actually contribute towards the cost of this site? I'm constantly amused by folks who have made thousands of posts, but who still complain about the inability to edit their comments -- when just $10 bucks a year would give them unlimited editing rights.

Weary

Flush2wice
12-06-2009, 00:02
Losing or breaking a trekking pole miles from a road.

Flush2wice
12-06-2009, 00:03
...or not being able to find frequent video/chat service,

Captn
12-06-2009, 15:33
Getting started!

johnnybgood
12-06-2009, 17:11
Nothing is scary about the AT . :-? Now the world away from the trail ....

superman
12-06-2009, 18:11
Nothing is scary about the AT . :-? Now the world away from the trail ....

The only time my stress level went up during my thru hike was when I went to a phone to call home. Each call was weirder than the last. When I got home I discovered that my girl friend, at that time, stole $15,000 from me as I was hiking.

Okie Dokie
12-06-2009, 18:30
Gotta go with jbrecon2, above...watch for snakes, especially in warm weather...I encountered multiple rattlers and copperheads in the middle states and came awfully close to getting bit by a copperhead while on a lunch break...don't really fear them, just don't want the inconvenience of suffering through a venomous snake bit and losing time, or having to seek medical attention...very few other hazards along the trail can catch you completely by surprise....

Cheers
12-06-2009, 18:42
The few days before leaving were the scariest. I always go all quiet and reflective before heading out for a long hike. Once the feet hit the trail its down to business and i'm back to my old self.

Cheers

sofaking
12-08-2009, 09:04
bear mtn. n.y. scared me...5th of july, thousands of people, one pitbull that wanted to see how fast i could run, people trying to ask ME for directions and the darn zoo was already closed when i got there.

Rain Man
12-08-2009, 11:56
hiking along with my eyes pealed on the ground out of fear of snakes. an irrational fear, but its my fear. HATE snakes

It's called "ophidiophobia" and is irrational, yes. But I suppose no more irrational than those so afraid of the dark that they have to carry guns, even if they are felons for doing so. Ahhhh, the irrational human mind! THOSE are the weirdos who scare me the most on the AT, those who consider themselves above and thus outside normal, decent, law-abiding society (no matter how they rationalize their superior, above-the-law attitude and illegal behavior).

Rain:sunMan

.

Buster2261
01-15-2010, 22:26
Almost stepping on a timber rattler after crossing a creek in the Smokies. Fortunately, it was rattling at me, and I saw it and was able to freeze and slowly back away. It was scary, since it was only a foot so away from my leg and coiled up, ready to strike. Taught me to pay better attention, especailly when scrambling up a creek bank after crossing. Also taught me that snakes try their darndest to avoid encounters with those foolish humans.

fiddlehead
01-15-2010, 22:29
Finishing.

Lauriep
01-16-2010, 01:40
Running out of money and having to choose between begging money from parents and friends or returning to the real world.

The General
01-16-2010, 02:53
Going back to the real world at the end.

Maddog
01-16-2010, 05:56
im goin' with lightning and lyme disease! :)

Maddog
01-16-2010, 05:58
oh yeah...and blowdowns!

The General
01-16-2010, 08:22
Lightning and Blowdowns mmm yep their instant killers, Lime Disease is not much more than an iritation. But Springer Fever is a slow and painful dihabilitating condition for which the only cure is more trail.

Thankfully plenty of cure centres around

Spokes
01-16-2010, 08:23
Slipping on wet rocks!

People say it takes 5 million steps to hike the AT but they never tell you how many falls.

Dogwood
01-16-2010, 10:07
Scariest part of hiking the AT? - that s easy - Taking the Greyhound from Atlantic City NJ to Atlanta GA!

weary
01-16-2010, 13:08
Slipping on wet rocks!

People say it takes 5 million steps to hike the AT but they never tell you how many falls.
I fell just twice on my 2,000 mile walk in 1993. Falls result from going too fast for conditions, either yours or the terrain -- something like most auto accidents. The first time was most embarrassing. I was pretending to be half my age -- or was trying to -- and wasn't looking where I was going. I carried a scar on my forehead for a week. The second time occurred when I bought new boots with slipperier soles than my old ones. I skidded on a wet rock.

Though my sense of balance, never very good, has since deteriorated, I still haven't fallen in years, despite many hours a week on trails in the woods and hills.

Weary

wudhipy
01-16-2010, 13:45
I've been wondering what this near anxiety I'm feeling on occasion as the time approaches. This seems to be the scarry part...the trail of life before the access trail.;)

Kerosene
01-16-2010, 14:59
Falls result from going too fast for conditionsThey also happen when you're overtired, undernourished, under-hydrated, over-confident and/or inattentive. Carrying a very heavy, poorly balanced pack can contribute also.

Weary is obviously much more in-tune with his body than I am. I probably average a slip/fall every 30 miles or so, with two minor injuries (a small elbow cut and a minor groin pull). Of course, I learned how to fall back in high school playing a soccer goalie!

Spokes
01-16-2010, 15:23
....Falls result from going too fast for conditions, either yours or the terrain -- something like most auto accidents. The first time was most embarrassing.
....



They also happen when you're overtired, undernourished, under-hydrated, over-confident and/or inattentive. Carrying a very heavy, poorly balanced pack can contribute also.
....


Yeah but the girls like scars.........

Tinker
01-16-2010, 18:56
On my section hikes hitch-hiking has always been the scariest part. Avoiding getting hit, wondering about some of the folks picking me up (of course you're not obligated to get in), but a couple of times I had a bad feeling which was unwarrented - a carload of young kids, for one, the occasional person who's had one too many, and once in a while, a person with ulterior motives. So far, so good, though.
Then there's the DRIVE to and from the trailhead, and crossing major roads.
FACE IT - LIFE is unsafe - it's terminal :D.

weary
01-16-2010, 19:03
They also happen when you're overtired, undernourished, under-hydrated, over-confident and/or inattentive. Carrying a very heavy, poorly balanced pack can contribute also....
Those things are among the "conditions I was thinking about when I said "Falls result from going too fast for conditions," I clarified what I meant, a minute or so after my initial response, when I added," both yours and the terrain."

Weary

AUhiker90
01-16-2010, 20:51
Having to get off the trail forsure

weary
01-16-2010, 22:11
Yeah but the girls like scars.........
Well, she was not really a girl, just a very delightful woman 20-years younger than me. But she didn't seem particularly impressed by my face-down fall.

We did have a delightfull (platonic) hike together for the next few weeks. She left to go home to the midwest, at Harpers Ferry, a slim legacy from a deceased long time companion having been exhausted.

We had more honest conversations than anyone I've ever talked with, before or since. Such encounters are the real magic of the trail.

Weary

Pony
01-17-2010, 00:29
Yeah but the girls like scars.........

Strange but true. A couple of years ago I was bit on the face by a pitbull. In the weeks following, a ton of the girls i work with were practically swooning. When I told them how I was saving my 7lb miniature dachshund from being attacked, well then they were like putty in my hands.

I agree with lightning. Got hit with a lightning/hale storm on the Beauty Spot, and then again on Unaka. This summer I had lightning hit so close to my tent it made my ears ring.

jrwiesz
01-17-2010, 02:03
...the girls i work with were practically swooning...then they were like putty in my hands.


Didn't they slip through your fingers? I like my girls a little more on the firm side.

Just sayin'.:D

I would have to agree with those that related "getting to the trail". Of course, I don't live "60 yards" from it, yet.:sun

twodifferentsocks
01-17-2010, 13:55
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W09MhqpdMoM&feature=related

Just kidding. It's not the AT. I just found this clip on Youtube. Crazy!

gunner76
01-17-2010, 13:58
Having a knee injury and not knowing how long it will be before you can start hiking again.

weary
01-17-2010, 20:38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W09MhqpdMoM&feature=related

Just kidding. It's not the AT. I just found this clip on Youtube. Crazy!
What's so scary about that video? The trail is remarkably like the Cathedral Trail on Katahdin in Maine -- well, except that we don't have all those convenient ropes, hand holds and paving. I even escaped down the Cathedral Trail after high winds and sub-zero temperatures forced us off Katahdin's summit, one February, thankful for an easy trail.

It's been months -- well, maybe even a year or two since anyone has died on the Cathedrral. Who can keep up with all these minor Maine mishaps?

You long distance hikers can experience the Cathedral also. JUst bypass that easy Knife Edge trail. Follow the signs to the truly scary trail -- just footsteps away from the AT. There's no special rules. If you start from the summit. Just follow the Cathedral.

Weary

rainmaker
01-17-2010, 23:36
It was that 17 foot reticulated python we saw near a shelter in Virginia. I wish I could remember the name of that shelter. :D

Daydream Believer
01-18-2010, 10:48
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W09MhqpdMoM&feature=related

Just kidding. It's not the AT. I just found this clip on Youtube. Crazy!

I almost got vertigo watching that. :eek: NO freaking way!

It wasn't the AT (at least not yet) but the Grand Canyon that scared the crap out of me. I rode the mules down to Phantom Ranch and back out last Feb and I think a couple of times my heart nearly quit. "Jesus!! Point" on the Bright Angel Trail was the worst...mules go down a steep section of trail with an abyss opening in front of you (dropping into the inner gorge) to a switchback that the rider cannot even see. No pics of that spot...I was too busy holding on and praying. :o

Coming back out on the S. Kaibab we hit a blizzard near the rim and 50 mph gusts. That is a very exposed ridgetrop trail and at one point I thought my mule was going over the edge when we caught a gust of wind on a narrow section with a sheer drop off both sides.

Lots of hikers on this trail too that day. I would have rather been on foot honestly but was kind of stuck with the mule rides as I had no gear to hike in.

Not the AT and a bit OT with non hiking pics but if you can bear with me posting pics, here are some cool pics from last Winter in AZ.

Looking close you can see the S. Kaibab trail on this ridge.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCKB12.jpg

S. Kaibab again...coming up from the Tip Off.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCKB8.jpg

Bright Angel Trail near the top of the rim. Look close and see the mule train.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCBA3.jpg

A larger perspective:

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCBA4.jpg

Inner Gorge on the Bright Angel Trail. It is that narrow and steep. I have mild vertigo and spent a large part of this ride in terror.. Not sure I'll ever do it again! I took this from the back of my mule.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCBA9.jpg

Spokes
01-18-2010, 11:38
........running into small men playing tin whistles off the side of the trail. YIKES!!

weary
01-18-2010, 13:06
I almost got vertigo watching that. :eek: NO freaking way!

It wasn't the AT (at least not yet) but the Grand Canyon that scared the crap out of me. I rode the mules down to Phantom Ranch and back out last Feb and I think a couple of times my heart nearly quit. "Jesus!! Point" on the Bright Angel Trail was the worst...mules go down a steep section of trail with an abyss opening in front of you (dropping into the inner gorge) to a switchback that the rider cannot even see. No pics of that spot...I was too busy holding on and praying. :o

Coming back out on the S. Kaibab we hit a blizzard near the rim and 50 mph gusts. That is a very exposed ridgetrop trail and at one point I thought my mule was going over the edge when we caught a gust of wind on a narrow section with a sheer drop off both sides.

Lots of hikers on this trail too that day. I would have rather been on foot honestly but was kind of stuck with the mule rides as I had no gear to hike in.

Not the AT and a bit OT with non hiking pics but if you can bear with me posting pics, here are some cool pics from last Winter in AZ.

Looking close you can see the S. Kaibab trail on this ridge.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCKB12.jpg

S. Kaibab again...coming up from the Tip Off.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCKB8.jpg

Bright Angel Trail near the top of the rim. Look close and see the mule train.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCBA3.jpg

A larger perspective:

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCBA4.jpg

Inner Gorge on the Bright Angel Trail. It is that narrow and steep. I have mild vertigo and spent a large part of this ride in terror.. Not sure I'll ever do it again! I took this from the back of my mule.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l215/ssluss/GCBA9.jpg
When I walked to the bottom of the canyon on the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails 20 years ago, my wife was too heavy to either walk or ride a mule down.

Now that she is of mule carrying weight, I showed her your post and suggested we should take a mule down this winter.

For some reason, she didn't seem very enthusiastic, despite your very vivid report.

Weary

ShelterLeopard
01-18-2010, 13:37
I'm new here, so this might seem like a silly question (looked for the question in forum, to no avail). Still, I'm considering either thru-hiking or section hiking the AT and seeking opinions from the experienced hikers.

What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?

Scariest part, you mean, aside from running out of bacon???

Seriously, the only thing that makes me slightly nervous, is hitching. (As a female) But, I figure if I hitch with someone else and use my judgement, I should be fine.

The AT is really a pretty safe place to be.

ShelterLeopard
01-18-2010, 13:39
Just realized how old this thread is- I've probably posted on here before...

Daydream Believer
01-18-2010, 13:50
When I walked to the bottom of the canyon on the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails 20 years ago, my wife was too heavy to either walk or ride a mule down.

Now that she is of mule carrying weight, I showed her your post and suggested we should take a mule down this winter.

For some reason, she didn't seem very enthusiastic, despite your very vivid report.

Weary

Weary, I completely understand! :D I'm not sure you could get me on a mule again headed down that trail. I truly think hiking the GC would be much more fun also...you can take your time, see more, etc... I am a horse owner and accomplished rider but that trail scared me to death.

BrianLe
01-18-2010, 15:09
"I'm not sure you could get me on a mule again headed down that trail."

Me neither, but because of the cost ...
More to the point of this thread, it seems to me that something like that is a lot less scary when you're using your own feet. Some of the less broad and well traveled ways in the Grand Canyon area can seem a bit less secure, but even dealing with some ice in the upper reaches last year the broad trails such as Bright Angel didn't seem at all daunting.

My friends tell me that on the A.T. what I have to be leery of is the sound of banjo music. The only thing that actually does bother me is the idea of not seeing evidence of a deer tick. So I guess what I really need to watch out for is deer ticks playing tiny banjos ...

MtnRider1981
01-18-2010, 15:26
I'm new here, so this might seem like a silly question (looked for the question in forum, to no avail). Still, I'm considering either thru-hiking or section hiking the AT and seeking opinions from the experienced hikers.

What is the scariest, most dangerous part of the AT (aside from creature encounters)?

Stampeding, rabid lama with milky-brown diarrhea. I hate it when I see them coming down the trail.

Johnny Appleseed
01-18-2010, 21:15
I love to hitch into town w/ a female hiker. I get rides much faster, like the first vehicle that passes by. At first I was scared of NOT getting a ride, but now I don't even blink. I waited for 1 hour once.

Tell I got thru virginia nearly every time there was lightning I was on top of a mountain and I did a duck walk w/ the hiking poles low and parallel to the ground. It happened so much I got less scared. I was so amped for my hike I feared little. Also I always snuck out as a kid and loved the dark and my imagination, so this was not a scary factor. I love the fog also.

Not much to worry about bacause you will be found on such a popular trail. Just watch for falling branches-never been near one or heard one.

Johnny Appleseed
01-18-2010, 21:16
worry about horsing around and hurting a knee or ankle. Saw this a couple of times.

Daydream Believer
01-18-2010, 23:56
More to the point of this thread, it seems to me that something like that is a lot less scary when you're using your own feet. Some of the less broad and well traveled ways in the Grand Canyon area can seem a bit less secure, but even dealing with some ice in the upper reaches last year the broad trails such as Bright Angel didn't seem at all daunting.



I think you are probably right. Being on the back of an animal...even a smart mule...adds a bit of feeling out of control. I was probably safer on that mule than I would have been hiking, but it did not feel that way. ;) I also do really get vertigo...I got smart after my first look down over the edge and did not do that again!

Chaco Taco
01-19-2010, 10:53
Scariest, touching the sign on Katahdin. That signifies the Hike is over and back to reality.

Jim Adams
01-19-2010, 10:58
running out of alcohol more than a day from town.

geek

Grampie
01-19-2010, 15:07
There are probably a lot of scary things you can worry about when you are about to partake in a great adventure.
I had viewed the movie "Deliverence", shortly befor I left on my thru. Even though it was only a movie, several times I thought of it.
As you progress with your hike many of the initial fears vanish and you feer nothing..:)