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ReaDy2G0
05-28-2009, 23:48
Im planning a thru hike and im interested in hearing from those that have hiked all the way thru what are the more dangerous parts of the trail

fiddlehead
05-29-2009, 00:07
People have been known to have hypothermia, dehydration, even frostbite on the trail.
But getting lost is probably more common.

Be careful above treeline in a whiteout.
That to me is probably the most dangerous.

Or else, getting wet along with all your clothes in a storm where you have nothign warm to put on. (if you kept your sleeping bag dry, you can still get into it naked and get warm)

If i had to pick an area where more of this extreme weather happens, it would be the whites and Maine.

clured
05-29-2009, 00:47
For me, the NOBO descent off of Mt. Moosilauke, with everything good and slicked up after a rain storm. Mostly, though, the AT is very tame.

Summit
05-29-2009, 06:37
Any of the balds or open, exposed mountain tops during lightning storms. Avoid the situation the best you can.

Lone Wolf
05-29-2009, 06:39
PA has the most trail murders

rickb
05-29-2009, 06:56
No murders have taken place on the AT north of PA.

All of them have been from PA south.

Marta
05-29-2009, 06:59
Darting across the parkway in New York is pretty bad.

Other than that, there are a few no-fall zones, disease-bearing ticks, lightning, heat and cold, and the ever-present danger of tripping over your own feet.

Crazy Larry #1
05-29-2009, 07:27
Even though I have never thru hiked I have hiked a many a mile on the trail and in my opinion the most dangerous part of the trail is when you have gotten your confidence up and your hiking legs under you and your are just a rolling along that is when something is most likely to step up on you and kick you in the butt. Your guard is down and you think you are King Tutt and all at once boom!

MOWGLI
05-29-2009, 07:31
Im planning a thru hike and im interested in hearing from those that have hiked all the way thru what are the more dangerous parts of the trail

Roasting marshmallows around the fire. You can burn the roof of your mouth really easily. Be careful! :sun

Digger'02
05-29-2009, 09:25
the Doyle hands down

jrnj5k
05-29-2009, 09:30
When you walk past me.....jk

Blue Jay
05-29-2009, 09:31
the Doyle hands down

I agree 100%. Duncannon is like a black hole for me. Once I go there I never want to leave.

Blue Jay
05-29-2009, 09:35
The second most dangerous place is where ever you get off the trail aqnd return to conventional society. Do not go there whatever you do, it's fatal.

boarstone
05-29-2009, 10:04
trail towns........

Colter
05-29-2009, 10:12
The White Mountains have got to be the most dangerous stretch. Might be the most beautiful, too.

http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/surviving.php

garlic08
05-29-2009, 11:22
Stubbing your toe walking around barefoot in motel rooms. Man, that hurts.

Monkeyboy
05-29-2009, 11:37
Generally, the most dangerous part of the trail for you is whichever part you are on at that given moment......

Just sayin'.

Gray Blazer
05-29-2009, 11:52
Generally, the most dangerous part of the trail for you is whichever part you are on at that given moment......

Just sayin'.


Would that be the safest part, also?

Monkeyboy
05-29-2009, 12:11
Nope......that would be the rest of the trail that you are not on.........

...or the part you just left.

Gray Blazer
05-29-2009, 12:30
HMMmmmmmm......so some people are admitting that there are dangerous parts of the trail? Would you mind repeating that on the hiking with a one year old thread?

Bearpaw
05-29-2009, 13:24
Darting across the parkway in New York is pretty bad.

Amen! Playing Frogger trying to get across Pallisades Parkway was by far, the most dangerous part of the AT for me.

JAK
05-29-2009, 13:29
HMMmmmmmm......so some people are admitting that there are dangerous parts of the trail? Would you mind repeating that on the hiking with a one year old thread?So you take precautions,
just like people do when they put their toddlers in car seats, and drive the speed limit, and stay alert.

Gray Blazer
05-29-2009, 13:36
So you take precautions,
just like people do when they put their toddlers in car seats, and drive the speed limit, and stay alert.

Amen, Brother Ben!!

Blissful
05-29-2009, 13:38
Other than that, there are a few no-fall zones, disease-bearing ticks, lightning, heat and cold, and the ever-present danger of tripping over your own feet.


That about sums it up.

saimyoji
05-29-2009, 14:58
The absolute hands down MOST dangerous part of the trail.....is the ride to the trailhead.

JumpInTheLake
05-29-2009, 22:53
Roasting marshmallows around the fire. You can burn the roof of your mouth really easily. Be careful! :sun

And don't drop a flaming marshmallow on the top of your bare foot.

TIDE-HSV
05-30-2009, 12:51
Getting the hang of lighting an alcohol stove...:p

Dogwood
05-30-2009, 13:43
The most dangerous part of the AT occurs while crossing roads.

DaSchwartz
05-30-2009, 18:03
ReaDy2G0, it's a shame this forum has declined so bad that you can't get a straight answer. The legit posters have pretty much left.

Mt Washington and that area is the most dangerous. Just google Mount Washington + deaths. Due to the unstable climate and people underestimate it in summer.

buff_jeff
05-30-2009, 19:02
road crossings

Blue Jay
05-30-2009, 19:03
ReaDy2G0, it's a shame this forum has declined so bad that you can't get a straight answer. The legit posters have pretty much left.

Mt Washington and that area is the most dangerous. Just google Mount Washington + deaths. Due to the unstable climate and people underestimate it in summer.

You're also not legit. Compare the number of deaths on Mt. Washington to almost anything on the AT or conventional society, dog bites, peanut butter allergies, falling in holes and on and on. Mt. Washington does not even make the top 100. Your answer is ludicrous.

SunnyWalker
05-30-2009, 19:07
When you neglect your feet (blisters) and your feet become infected.

flemdawg1
05-30-2009, 19:19
Getting the hang of lighting an alcohol stove...:p

Building alchy stoves or experimenting with pot stands.

TIDE-HSV
05-30-2009, 23:42
LOL! I guess we're talking about danger of minor injuries with the stoves. Road kill still tops the list of being killed or morbidly injured. Serious, but non-life threatening is still busting your butt...

wacocelt
05-31-2009, 09:47
Hitching to town for resupply. Had an old fella that was really lustin for my bootay. He didn't want to take no for an answer, then when he finally let me out burned off with my pack. Unfortunately I was making a grab for it, got caught up and dumped off his van doing about 30.

Nine staples in my head, bunch of stitches in my leg, some nerve damage in my thigh which is still numb...

I'm still kickin though!


Puck Fu

saimyoji
05-31-2009, 09:56
Drunk belligerent ******** are dangerous too. Locals often get mixed in with partying hikers. Stay away from shelters close to roads.

MOWGLI
05-31-2009, 10:06
ReaDy2G0, it's a shame this forum has declined so bad that you can't get a straight answer. The legit posters have pretty much left.

Mt Washington and that area is the most dangerous. Just google Mount Washington + deaths. Due to the unstable climate and people underestimate it in summer.

What is dangerous, is scaring people into believing that the AT is dangerous. If that tactic works, they'll sit at home on their couch near the refrigerator where it is REALLY dangerous. As far as long distance trails go, the AT is a walk in the park.

saimyoji
05-31-2009, 10:17
What is dangerous, is scaring people into believing that the AT is dangerous. If that tactic works, they'll sit at home on their couch near the refrigerator where it is REALLY dangerous.

gotta disagree......the freezer is MUCH more dangerous. those damn freezer packs are like bricks.:mad:

wacocelt
05-31-2009, 10:21
I'm not at all trying to deter people from attempting any hiking, be it day, section or Thru... but it would behoove many folks to know what risks there are that can be avoided.

As for the Whites, I did them SoBo in 05 with a broken foot. It's all relative to what you're expecting and what you're ready for. Too many people get too hyped up about things of little consequence. If you're thinking and worrying about THE WHITES while you're still in NC/Tenn then of course it's going to be incredibly scary and difficult.

The more energy and anxiety you give a fear, the harder and deeper it bites your soul. If you aren't imminently facing it, forget about it until you are. Be well!

Puck Fu

Marta
05-31-2009, 12:16
None of it is dangerous; it's all dangerous.

Both things are true, of the AT, and of life in general.

SassyWindsor
05-31-2009, 22:48
Some of the privies I've had the unfortunate pleasure of visiting should rank pretty high on the list.

Newb
06-01-2009, 09:49
Town. That's where trouble happens.

Deadeye
06-01-2009, 11:32
Driving to the trail, and road crossings

mrc237
06-01-2009, 11:41
Driving to the trailhead! :D

foxfire01
06-01-2009, 16:40
I would say Maine and New Hampshire can have most dangerous weather.
There is also a section of trail south @ Moreland Gap Tenn.where there are a faction of people who have a reputation of not being very friendly towards hikers.

Foxfire 01
Ga. Me. 02

ReaDy2G0
06-03-2009, 20:42
LOL that is the truth, and the smell of burnt hair never smells any better

CowHead
06-04-2009, 10:17
The most dangerous part of the AT is when you think you know it all.

MattBuck30
06-04-2009, 10:48
The following link is a pic of the first "dangerous" climbs NOBO's encounter.


http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/1/5/6/6/6/107_0044_thumb.jpg (http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=31622&c=member&orderby=title&direction=ASC&imageuser=15666&cutoffdate=-1)

MattBuck30
06-04-2009, 10:56
New Hampshire and Maine can be dangerous with all of the rock scrambles. Specifically the White Mountains, southern Maine (Mahoosac Notch), and Mt. Katahdin. I felt the most dangerous part of the trail was all of the snakes you encounter. We had so many close calls w/ poisoness snakes that it makes me shiver now! A few close calls with bears as well. Every great adventure has some danger to it!

rashamon12
11-16-2016, 06:58
life in general has so many things that are dangerous but we become accustomed to dealing with the ones we face every day. Driving our car, crossing the street, eating food, and so on. The trail is no different. There will be dangers every day some you will encounter frequently others are more rare. Each day and each trip down the trail is different no matter what. There are constant dangers like the animals you may encounter, the people you may encounter, and so on and so on. The key is education on how to deal with the situations and keeping aware and not taking foolish risks. Risk prevention is the key. Just because you are in the woods does not mean you can leave your common sense at home.

Cheyou
11-16-2016, 08:06
Ticks

thom

Deadeye
11-16-2016, 13:31
ReaDy2G0, it's a shame this forum has declined so bad that you can't get a straight answer. The legit posters have pretty much left.

Mt Washington and that area is the most dangerous. Just google Mount Washington + deaths. Due to the unstable climate and people underestimate it in summer.

I beg to differ - the road crossings are more dangerous than Mt. Washington, and are a perfectly straight answer, and nothing on the trail is more dangerous than the people, dogs, and ticks that follow it.

Another Kevin
11-16-2016, 14:14
The absolute hands down MOST dangerous part of the trail.....is the ride to the trailhead.

Since this thread has resurrected - even more dangerous is the ride home from the trailhead, when the driver is likely already tired, and letting down from a successful hike or trying to recover from an unsuccessful one.

Worse still is if the driver celebrated or mourned the hike in town before getting on the road. Don't drive when you're tired and emotional (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tired_and_emotional)!

Dogwood
11-16-2016, 15:04
Sticking to the hike once on 'trail,' the most dangerous places are where there are greater opportunities for slips, trips, and falls. Don't think of heightened danger in terms of only places though. It's conditions that can be dangerous too like when wet leaves cover wooden trail construction or wet leaves on slopes, wet exposed tree roots, especially that have bark worn off, that can be every bit as slippery as ice, loose rolly polly rock where one steps on these rocks and expects solid footing, obscured trail, like from snow or leaves or fallen debris that hide uneven trail, washouts, or holes, soft sides of trail on the lower side of the tread where steep drop offs occur, rock hopping streams, attempting to be a balancing beam acrobat walking on fallen branches and trees usually to cross streams or bridged gullies, ice, snow, especially on slopes, small sapling stumps that are near or in the tread,...


Combining any of these conditions or places with an unbalanced pack or firmly adjusted pack to the body, less than optimal footwear for the conditions, or an overall low awareness easily distracted mindset are the greatest risks.


So it it is not the trail that is the most dangerous it is the hiker's behavior and lack of knowledge that is the ultimate greatest danger to him or her.

Slo-go'en
11-16-2016, 15:52
Yep, Dogwood nailed it. The most dangerous part of the trail is the place you happen to slip and fall. Learning how to fall down and not hurt one's self is an important skill.

SkeeterPee
11-16-2016, 16:21
I know this is an old thread, but it would have been nice to hear of actual dangerous places. Places where you though you might fall off the trail for instance, or difficult streams. As a noob, I have only hike MD and parts of PA and have not seen anything too scary, maybe a few high rocky spots with falls on either side possible. But I just was more careful in those spots then my 23 y/o son who bolted through those.

Are there any scary spots for the more athletically challenged?

illabelle
11-16-2016, 16:58
I know this is an old thread, but it would have been nice to hear of actual dangerous places. Places where you though you might fall off the trail for instance, or difficult streams. As a noob, I have only hike MD and parts of PA and have not seen anything too scary, maybe a few high rocky spots with falls on either side possible. But I just was more careful in those spots then my 23 y/o son who bolted through those.

Are there any scary spots for the more athletically challenged?

I've walked about 2/3 of the AT, including some of the stuff that I was scared of. Haven't done the Mahoosucs yet, saving that for last.

I was concerned about Maine. Now I've done a little more than half of Maine, and I'm not scared anymore. Of the 1400 miles we've done, including the Whites, I haven't been anywhere that I've been too scared to proceed, even though I have a moderate fear of heights. We climbed Katahdin about 10 weeks ago. I had seen a video (was posted on WB somewhere) that showed a metal rung up on a vertical rock that you have to haul yourself over. When we actually got there, someone who had done it before commented that that spot was the worst, and after that was not so bad. So I watched the person in front of me, saw how it was done, and I just did it. Even coming back down I was okay.

I would echo what was said earlier, that even though there are some intimidating places here and there, the real danger is from conditions on the trail that could happen anywhere - a slippery log step or bog bridge, leaves concealing roots or loose rocks. These conditions often occur at times when we are less vigilant.

nsherry61
11-16-2016, 17:01
. . . Are there any scary spots for the more athletically challenged?
To paraphrase, are you trying to say, "Where is the most rugged terrain and the most difficult river/stream crossings?"

As suggested by the thread, there really aren't any particularly dangerous sections of trail or apparently any particularly dangerous stream/river crossings (at least during normal thru-hiking season) unless your actions/decisions lead you to making them dangerous.

SkeeterPee
11-16-2016, 17:12
Yes, nsherry61, that is what I was asking and I think probably the point of the OP. So it seems people are saying nothing is particularly difficult, but danger comes from conditions, fatigue, lack of focus etc.

Dogwood
11-16-2016, 17:22
Sticking to the hike once on 'trail,' the most dangerous places are where there are greater opportunities for slips, trips, and falls.

Take it from there.

Sarcasm the elf
11-16-2016, 17:51
Running across the Palisades Parkway at rush hour stands out.

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=47697&catid=member&imageuser=26465

http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/2/6/4/6/5/p5220068_thumb.jpg (http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=47697)

Teacher & Snacktime
11-16-2016, 21:06
Damascus. You'll never get out with your heart in tact.

Fireplug
11-16-2016, 21:40
About 1.86 seconds after you step on a Timber Rattler.

AtWokman
11-16-2016, 21:51
the Doyle hands down

So so true.

AtWokman
11-16-2016, 22:01
ticks, photo ops, getting lost, trusting water, the wrong shoes, free pancakes in Franklin nc, short cuts. dragon's tooth, partying and yourself.

Patrickjd9
11-16-2016, 22:16
Worse still is if the driver celebrated or mourned the hike in town before getting on the road. Don't drive when you're tired and emotional (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tired_and_emotional)!
As they keep adding brewpubs near the trail, shuttlers will be able to add "designated driver" to their services.

Del Q
11-16-2016, 23:00
The Doyle was pretty freaky, I still have 200 miles left but the rock ledges in NH are dicey.