dragoro

03-13-2011, 14:14

Would be interesting to know how much total you've hiked up and down.

View Full Version : Has anyone ever bothered to figure out the total elevation gain?

dragoro

03-13-2011, 14:14

Would be interesting to know how much total you've hiked up and down.

dragoro

03-13-2011, 14:18

Whoops, sorry. Didn't realize there was a specific forum for this kind of topic.

Slo-go'en

03-13-2011, 14:53

I don't want to know - it would be a big number and would scare me.

Croft

03-13-2011, 15:08

Never figured it out but probably equates to climbing Everest about 100 times.

TheChop

03-13-2011, 15:36

I told a girl Everest times 40. She seemed sufficiently impressed.

Sufficiently impressed to get with the buddy I was with.

Sufficiently impressed to get with the buddy I was with.

CrumbSnatcher

03-13-2011, 15:53

91 vertical miles

CrumbSnatcher

03-13-2011, 16:09

14-17 everest summits

chasegru

03-13-2011, 20:29

NOBO:

Total Ascent: 629899 ft

Total Descent: 628623 ft

SOBO:

Total Ascent: 628546 ft

Total Descent: 629832 ft

Total Ascent: 629899 ft

Total Descent: 628623 ft

SOBO:

Total Ascent: 628546 ft

Total Descent: 629832 ft

Captain Blue

03-13-2011, 20:44

NOBO:

Total Ascent: 629899 ft

Total Descent: 628623 ft

SOBO:

Total Ascent: 628546 ft

Total Descent: 629832 ft

Why isn't the descent for a northbound hike the same as the ascent for a southbound hike? And vice versa?

What is the source of info for these figures?

Total Ascent: 629899 ft

Total Descent: 628623 ft

SOBO:

Total Ascent: 628546 ft

Total Descent: 629832 ft

Why isn't the descent for a northbound hike the same as the ascent for a southbound hike? And vice versa?

What is the source of info for these figures?

SwitchbackVT

03-13-2011, 20:50

"515,000: Elevation Change on the AT, In Feet. (Equals Almost 100 Vertical Miles)"....according to the November 2008 Backpacker magazine. 3 year old estimate. From: the bathroom reading archives.

johnnyblisters

03-13-2011, 21:01

Why isn't the descent for a northbound hike the same as the ascent for a southbound hike? And vice versa?

What is the source of info for these figures?

Agreed, those numbers should be even....

What is the source of info for these figures?

Agreed, those numbers should be even....

Bob McCaw

03-13-2011, 21:09

Agreed, those numbers should be even....

They aren't even because the north end is higher than the south end.

They aren't even because the north end is higher than the south end.

Captain Blue

03-13-2011, 21:16

They aren't even because the north end is higher than the south end.

And??? How does this explain why the descent for a northbound hike is not the same as the ascent for a southbound hike?

And??? How does this explain why the descent for a northbound hike is not the same as the ascent for a southbound hike?

chasegru

03-13-2011, 22:14

Fair Question: the data comes from USGS Digital Elelvation Model data. NOBO calculated from a NOBO .gpx file. And SOBO calculated from a SOBO .gpx file.

So... you are correct NOBO descent should equal SOBO ascent and vice versa. You'll notice the numbers are within 100 feet of each other, and the difference reflects...oh we'll call it the tolerance (fudge factor). After all, we can't even agree on how long the damn thing is in miles...

I admit it's silly to provide this number down to the foot. Better stated:

NOBO Ascent/ SOBO Descent: approx. 629850 ft

NOBO Descent/ SOBO Ascent: approx. 628600 ft

So... you are correct NOBO descent should equal SOBO ascent and vice versa. You'll notice the numbers are within 100 feet of each other, and the difference reflects...oh we'll call it the tolerance (fudge factor). After all, we can't even agree on how long the damn thing is in miles...

I admit it's silly to provide this number down to the foot. Better stated:

NOBO Ascent/ SOBO Descent: approx. 629850 ft

NOBO Descent/ SOBO Ascent: approx. 628600 ft

garlic08

03-13-2011, 22:41

Fair Question: the data comes from USGS Digital Elelvation Model data. NOBO calculated from a NOBO .gpx file. And SOBO calculated from a SOBO .gpx file...

And where do the .gpx files come from? Are they collected from units that made the trip, or from routes drawn on topo software? I don't know a lot about this stuff, so excuse me if this is a dumb question.

I'm asking because the figure that's over 600,000' is quite a departure from figures I've seen previously of the 500,000' range. And from what little I've seen in the field, GPS units are not all that accurate for elevation, nor is the model of the world's surface on which they work.

Plus, I wonder if you have a bounce in your step while you carry a GPS, will it show up as elevation gain and loss? If an AT hike is 5,000,000 steps and you rise only a quarter of an inch with each step, that's 100,000 feet! I know it's probably not sensitive enough to register, but wouldn't there be a cumulative effect? And think of all the times you sit down and stand back up with your GPS over a thru hike.

And where do the .gpx files come from? Are they collected from units that made the trip, or from routes drawn on topo software? I don't know a lot about this stuff, so excuse me if this is a dumb question.

I'm asking because the figure that's over 600,000' is quite a departure from figures I've seen previously of the 500,000' range. And from what little I've seen in the field, GPS units are not all that accurate for elevation, nor is the model of the world's surface on which they work.

Plus, I wonder if you have a bounce in your step while you carry a GPS, will it show up as elevation gain and loss? If an AT hike is 5,000,000 steps and you rise only a quarter of an inch with each step, that's 100,000 feet! I know it's probably not sensitive enough to register, but wouldn't there be a cumulative effect? And think of all the times you sit down and stand back up with your GPS over a thru hike.

Croft

03-13-2011, 23:10

Never figured it out but probably equates to climbing Everest about 100 times.

That estimate was total hiking I've done--not just the AT.

That estimate was total hiking I've done--not just the AT.

4eyedbuzzard

03-13-2011, 23:27

The greater the number of sample points, the greater the elevation change will be. As the number of sample points approaches infinity, so would elevation change. I don't know how many GPS points are used in the elevation calculations, but if 5,000,000 steps is the accepted "norm" for a thru-hike, that would mean a data point every 2.3 feet (28") or so in order to give a reasonable representation.

couscous

03-14-2011, 00:16

Has anyone ever bothered to figure out the total elevation gain? - yes

As you have noticed the estimates vary tremendously with many estimates falling in the 88-100 mile or 464,640'-528,000' range. If you are planning to answer that question from others, you might want to pick something easy to remember like ~ about 515,000'.

As you have noticed the estimates vary tremendously with many estimates falling in the 88-100 mile or 464,640'-528,000' range. If you are planning to answer that question from others, you might want to pick something easy to remember like ~ about 515,000'.

digger51

03-14-2011, 00:33

Total elevation gain is different from total ascents and descents. Ascents and descents are all those big numbers listed above. Total elevation gain is the difference between the end height and the beginning height. Springer is 3782 ft, Katahdin is 5268 ft. Total gain is 1486 ft if my subtraction is correct.

fredmugs

03-14-2011, 06:57

You're quibbling over 1/100th of a percent?

chasegru

03-14-2011, 08:38

And where do the .gpx files come from? Are they collected from units that made the trip, or from routes drawn on topo software?

In my case, drawn on topo software, with sample points every 0.05 miles. This is going to best gps units data which will cut in and out due to blind spots and the canopy.

As for sample points approach infinity/ elevation gain approaches infinity: not following your logic there... more sample points results in higher degree of accuracy, but not indefinite increase.

In my case, drawn on topo software, with sample points every 0.05 miles. This is going to best gps units data which will cut in and out due to blind spots and the canopy.

As for sample points approach infinity/ elevation gain approaches infinity: not following your logic there... more sample points results in higher degree of accuracy, but not indefinite increase.

Pedaling Fool

03-14-2011, 08:51

NOBO:

Total Ascent: 629899 ft

Total Descent: 628623 ft

SOBO:

Total Ascent: 628546 ft

Total Descent: 629832 ft

Why isn't the descent for a northbound hike the same as the ascent for a southbound hike? And vice versa?

What is the source of info for these figures?

Agreed, those numbers should be even....

They aren't even because the north end is higher than the south end.

Total elevation gain is different from total ascents and descents. Ascents and descents are all those big numbers listed above. Total elevation gain is the difference between the end height and the beginning height. Springer is 3782 ft, Katahdin is 5268 ft. Total gain is 1486 ft if my subtraction is correct.

This is all very interesting, but right now I'm feeling under the weather and a little foggy in the head, but hope to think about this when I come out of the fog.

Total Ascent: 629899 ft

Total Descent: 628623 ft

SOBO:

Total Ascent: 628546 ft

Total Descent: 629832 ft

Why isn't the descent for a northbound hike the same as the ascent for a southbound hike? And vice versa?

What is the source of info for these figures?

Agreed, those numbers should be even....

They aren't even because the north end is higher than the south end.

Total elevation gain is different from total ascents and descents. Ascents and descents are all those big numbers listed above. Total elevation gain is the difference between the end height and the beginning height. Springer is 3782 ft, Katahdin is 5268 ft. Total gain is 1486 ft if my subtraction is correct.

This is all very interesting, but right now I'm feeling under the weather and a little foggy in the head, but hope to think about this when I come out of the fog.

LoneRidgeRunner

03-14-2011, 09:29

It's a bunch

Two Speed

03-14-2011, 10:55

You're quibbling over 1/100th of a percent?:welcome to WB!!!

johnnyblisters

03-14-2011, 10:57

Total elevation gain is different from total ascents and descents. Ascents and descents are all those big numbers listed above. Total elevation gain is the difference between the end height and the beginning height. Springer is 3782 ft, Katahdin is 5268 ft. Total gain is 1486 ft if my subtraction is correct.

Lol, Geometrics for dummies!

Lol, Geometrics for dummies!

Captain Blue

03-14-2011, 11:19

You're quibbling over 1/100th of a percent?

Yes. Because this is like saying the saying the distance between Springer and Katahdin is longer than the distance between Katahdin and Springer. (But don't worry. It is only 1/100th of a percent different.)

Yes. Because this is like saying the saying the distance between Springer and Katahdin is longer than the distance between Katahdin and Springer. (But don't worry. It is only 1/100th of a percent different.)

Captain Blue

03-14-2011, 12:48

Total elevation gain is the difference between the end height and the beginning height.

What you refer to as "total elevation gain" is what most people refer to as "net elevation gain".

What you refer to as "total elevation gain" is what most people refer to as "net elevation gain".

rgarling

03-14-2011, 12:50

Nice job chasegru. A few questions... What was the resolution of the topo maps you used? Also, do you have a count of the number of ascents and descents? What was your definition of an ascent?

chasegru

03-14-2011, 16:32

What was the resolution of the topo maps you used? Also, do you have a count of the number of ascents and descents? What was your definition of an ascent?

-:-? It's hard for me to answer the resolution question in a straightforward way. I used small scale USGS DEM data. Details on its accuracy can be found here: http://eros.usgs.gov/#/Guides/dem

-I do not have a count of number of ascents and descent because I didn't bother with distiguishing/defining these terms. For my project, I took Dem elevation samples at .05 increments to generate an elevation/distance profile. However, within those samples I have still have both elevation gain and loss loss data; meaning that hills smaller than .05 miles long are still captured in the calculations.

Basically, as long as the hill registers in small scale DEM (larger than a speed bump) it's in the calculation.

-:-? It's hard for me to answer the resolution question in a straightforward way. I used small scale USGS DEM data. Details on its accuracy can be found here: http://eros.usgs.gov/#/Guides/dem

-I do not have a count of number of ascents and descent because I didn't bother with distiguishing/defining these terms. For my project, I took Dem elevation samples at .05 increments to generate an elevation/distance profile. However, within those samples I have still have both elevation gain and loss loss data; meaning that hills smaller than .05 miles long are still captured in the calculations.

Basically, as long as the hill registers in small scale DEM (larger than a speed bump) it's in the calculation.

MedicineMan

03-14-2011, 16:48

Didn't DelDoc hike the AT, twice getting data, and the second time using top of the line professional GPS equp. that required triangulation in neighboring towns along the way, and then give this data to the ATC?

fredmugs

03-14-2011, 18:48

I have a simple explanation. Elevation is what is reported by some guy holding (or carrying) a GPS.

A NOBO generaly starts when the weather is colder and finishes in the late summer. A SOBO generally starts after the snow has melted from Katahdin and generally hikes in much warmer weather.

When it's cold your scrotum tends to shrink and you bend over slightly to compensate. Do that over how many miles the AT was the year you did it and.....variance explained.

A NOBO generaly starts when the weather is colder and finishes in the late summer. A SOBO generally starts after the snow has melted from Katahdin and generally hikes in much warmer weather.

When it's cold your scrotum tends to shrink and you bend over slightly to compensate. Do that over how many miles the AT was the year you did it and.....variance explained.

4eyedbuzzard

03-14-2011, 20:53

I have a simple explanation. Elevation is what is reported by some guy holding (or carrying) a GPS.

A NOBO generaly starts when the weather is colder and finishes in the late summer. A SOBO generally starts after the snow has melted from Katahdin and generally hikes in much warmer weather.

When it's cold your scrotum tends to shrink and you bend over slightly to compensate. Do that over how many miles the AT was the year you did it and.....variance explained.

Scientific explanations like this one are why I hang out here at WB.

A NOBO generaly starts when the weather is colder and finishes in the late summer. A SOBO generally starts after the snow has melted from Katahdin and generally hikes in much warmer weather.

When it's cold your scrotum tends to shrink and you bend over slightly to compensate. Do that over how many miles the AT was the year you did it and.....variance explained.

Scientific explanations like this one are why I hang out here at WB.

johnnyblisters

03-14-2011, 21:35

When it's cold your scrotum tends to shrink and you bend over slightly to compensate. Do that over how many miles the AT was the year you did it and.....variance explained.

What happens to the female geographers then?

What happens to the female geographers then?

Pedaling Fool

03-15-2011, 06:59

What happens to the female geographers then?

Maybe they should all be female:D

Maybe they should all be female:D

JAK

03-15-2011, 08:51

If there was no friction you could start at Katahdin and your potential energy would take you all the way to Springer without any effort, unless you had to pass over something higher than Katahdin along the way. Does the AT go to the very top of Mount Washington, or any higher elevations than Katahdin? I'm guessing it does. So you would need a running start at Katahdin. lol

JAK

03-15-2011, 08:56

The equation of motion for a frictionless SOBO or NOBO as a function of initial velocity will be left as an exercise to the student. ;-)

Pedaling Fool

03-15-2011, 09:12

If there was no friction you could start at Katahdin and your potential energy would take you all the way to Springer without any effort, unless you had to pass over something higher than Katahdin along the way. Does the AT go to the very top of Mount Washington, or any higher elevations than Katahdin? I'm guessing it does. So you would need a running start at Katahdin. lol

Yes the AT goes directly over the very top of Mt Washington. And as far as mountain hieghts go (on the AT), Katahdin isn't all that high, Mt Wash is much higher and many high points in GSMNP, to name a few...

As for the friction part...Ok, whatever you say;)

Yes the AT goes directly over the very top of Mt Washington. And as far as mountain hieghts go (on the AT), Katahdin isn't all that high, Mt Wash is much higher and many high points in GSMNP, to name a few...

As for the friction part...Ok, whatever you say;)

Pedaling Fool

03-15-2011, 09:13

BTW, Katahdin has it's reputation, not so much for altitude, rather for how you get to that altitude.

LDog

03-15-2011, 09:42

"515,000: Elevation Change on the AT, In Feet. (Equals Almost 100 Vertical Miles)"....according to the November 2008 Backpacker magazine. 3 year old estimate. From: the bathroom reading archives.

The difference between this and the 629K one based on a usgs elevation model is significant. I wonder if such route changes could be account for such a difference?

The difference between this and the 629K one based on a usgs elevation model is significant. I wonder if such route changes could be account for such a difference?

Pedaling Fool

03-15-2011, 09:51

The difference between this and the 629K one based on a usgs elevation model is significant. I wonder if such route changes could be account for such a difference?

I would think it's probably operator error or maybe equipment problems. No matter how much one makes a measurement on this scale there will be some variation. I can't get a consistent measurement on my bike on certain routes, some errors are my fault and others are because of the limits of the computer on my bike, such as measuring acceleration/deceleration, I'm sure it's not that accurate at doing as opposed to measuring constant velocity. However, my measurements are always within 0.1 of a mile, give or take...

However, it's true when you have errors of that size gotta be something else, but doubt it has anything to do with route changes, although they do factor in.

I would think it's probably operator error or maybe equipment problems. No matter how much one makes a measurement on this scale there will be some variation. I can't get a consistent measurement on my bike on certain routes, some errors are my fault and others are because of the limits of the computer on my bike, such as measuring acceleration/deceleration, I'm sure it's not that accurate at doing as opposed to measuring constant velocity. However, my measurements are always within 0.1 of a mile, give or take...

However, it's true when you have errors of that size gotta be something else, but doubt it has anything to do with route changes, although they do factor in.

chasegru

03-15-2011, 12:26

I would think it's probably operator error or maybe equipment problems.

I should clarify, as we're already past the point of getting too deep in the weeds. :datz

The 629K is based off of two sources of data. 1) The AT centerline .gpx file (no elevation data) and 2) the USGS small scale DEM data (applied to the .gpx file).

No GPS receiver elevation data (as GPS receivers are prone to losing signal) was used in obtaining this number, only USGS DEM data.

I should clarify, as we're already past the point of getting too deep in the weeds. :datz

The 629K is based off of two sources of data. 1) The AT centerline .gpx file (no elevation data) and 2) the USGS small scale DEM data (applied to the .gpx file).

No GPS receiver elevation data (as GPS receivers are prone to losing signal) was used in obtaining this number, only USGS DEM data.

Pedaling Fool

03-15-2011, 16:41

I should clarify, as we're already past the point of getting too deep in the weeds. :datz

The 629K is based off of two sources of data. 1) The AT centerline .gpx file (no elevation data) and 2) the USGS small scale DEM data (applied to the .gpx file).

No GPS receiver elevation data (as GPS receivers are prone to losing signal) was used in obtaining this number, only USGS DEM data.

Yeah, some how I glazed over this, as well as other posts, despite posting right after it.

In my case, drawn on topo software, with sample points every 0.05 miles. This is going to best gps units data which will cut in and out due to blind spots and the canopy.

As for sample points approach infinity/ elevation gain approaches infinity: not following your logic there... more sample points results in higher degree of accuracy, but not indefinite increase.

The 629K is based off of two sources of data. 1) The AT centerline .gpx file (no elevation data) and 2) the USGS small scale DEM data (applied to the .gpx file).

No GPS receiver elevation data (as GPS receivers are prone to losing signal) was used in obtaining this number, only USGS DEM data.

Yeah, some how I glazed over this, as well as other posts, despite posting right after it.

In my case, drawn on topo software, with sample points every 0.05 miles. This is going to best gps units data which will cut in and out due to blind spots and the canopy.

As for sample points approach infinity/ elevation gain approaches infinity: not following your logic there... more sample points results in higher degree of accuracy, but not indefinite increase.

Captain Blue

03-15-2011, 16:53

chasegru - Do you have this information broken down by state or section?

Your numbers are quite amazing. These numbers show much higher total elevation gain than previously reported numbers which were, perhaps, estimates.

Your numbers are quite amazing. These numbers show much higher total elevation gain than previously reported numbers which were, perhaps, estimates.

fredmugs

03-16-2011, 08:01

What happens to the female geographers then?

Would you take directions from a girl?

Would you take directions from a girl?

chasegru

03-16-2011, 08:32

Do you have this information broken down by state or section?

A quick (NOBO) breakdown comes out to:

Springer to Damascus, VA- 177177' of Ascent; 177633' of Descent

Damascus, VA to Fayetteville, PA- 188136' of Ascent; 190381' of Descent

Fayetteville, PA to Bennington, VT- 109261' of Ascent; 108955' of Descent

Bennington, VT to Katahdin- 155325' of Ascent; 151654' of Descent

I've attached some screen shots with the profile, if anyone wants/needs a specific section's profile breakout, I'll be happy to oblige.:)

A quick (NOBO) breakdown comes out to:

Springer to Damascus, VA- 177177' of Ascent; 177633' of Descent

Damascus, VA to Fayetteville, PA- 188136' of Ascent; 190381' of Descent

Fayetteville, PA to Bennington, VT- 109261' of Ascent; 108955' of Descent

Bennington, VT to Katahdin- 155325' of Ascent; 151654' of Descent

I've attached some screen shots with the profile, if anyone wants/needs a specific section's profile breakout, I'll be happy to oblige.:)

LDog

03-16-2011, 08:44

A quick (NOBO) breakdown comes out to:

Springer to Damascus, VA- 177177' of Ascent; 177633' of Descent

Interesting stats ... 3844 calories/day ...

Springer to Damascus, VA- 177177' of Ascent; 177633' of Descent

Interesting stats ... 3844 calories/day ...

chasegru

03-16-2011, 08:51

Interesting stats ... 3844 calories/day ...

Only for a moderate/slow pace, 195 day hike

Only for a moderate/slow pace, 195 day hike

10-K

03-16-2011, 10:26

Only for a moderate/slow pace, 195 day hike

Carrying a 40# pack....

Carrying a 40# pack....

LDog

03-16-2011, 10:31

Only for a moderate/slow pace, 195 day hike

Hope this simple spreadsheet holds up to formatting

Sec Cals Days Cal/day

1 153792 40 3844.8

2 187413 50 3748.26

3 160547 50 3210.94

4 182866 55 3324.84

195 3532.21 (Avg)

I see. The total days on the trail were 194. Average caloric requirement was 3532/day, and it looks like calorie requirements decreased? I would have expected greater calorie requirements thru the NE?

Hope this simple spreadsheet holds up to formatting

Sec Cals Days Cal/day

1 153792 40 3844.8

2 187413 50 3748.26

3 160547 50 3210.94

4 182866 55 3324.84

195 3532.21 (Avg)

I see. The total days on the trail were 194. Average caloric requirement was 3532/day, and it looks like calorie requirements decreased? I would have expected greater calorie requirements thru the NE?

Graywolf

03-16-2011, 14:04

Ok we have discussed the AT. So what about the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail?

THEN...

Combine together and you have your elevation gain for the Triple Crown.

This is actually an interesting thread...

THEN...

Combine together and you have your elevation gain for the Triple Crown.

This is actually an interesting thread...

Feral Bill

03-16-2011, 16:16

Would you take directions from a girl?

I take it you're single.

I take it you're single.

rickb

03-16-2011, 18:26

As for sample points approach infinity/ elevation gain approaches infinity: not following your logic there... more sample points results in higher degree of accuracy, but not indefinite increase.

Imagine a ten foot cross cut saw blade held horizontally.

Now measure the elevation gain an ant would encounter were he to walk up and down the teeth.

Even over 10 feet his elevation gain would be substantial.

Imagine a ten foot cross cut saw blade held horizontally.

Now measure the elevation gain an ant would encounter were he to walk up and down the teeth.

Even over 10 feet his elevation gain would be substantial.

chasegru

03-16-2011, 21:20

Ok we have discussed the AT. So what about the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail?

THEN...

Combine together and you have your elevation gain for the Triple Crown.

Gotcha covered (see attachments)

NOBO CDT total elevation gain-457340 ft

NOBO CDT total elevation loss-457770 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation gain-753190 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation loss-752160 ft

and (once again)

NOBO AT total elevation gain-628900 ft

NOBO AT total elevation loss-628620 ft

So: NOBO Triple Crown gain-1,839,430 ft

NOBO Triple Crown loss- 1,838,550 ft

All number created using the same methodology-small scale DEM data applied to .gpx files

THEN...

Combine together and you have your elevation gain for the Triple Crown.

Gotcha covered (see attachments)

NOBO CDT total elevation gain-457340 ft

NOBO CDT total elevation loss-457770 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation gain-753190 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation loss-752160 ft

and (once again)

NOBO AT total elevation gain-628900 ft

NOBO AT total elevation loss-628620 ft

So: NOBO Triple Crown gain-1,839,430 ft

NOBO Triple Crown loss- 1,838,550 ft

All number created using the same methodology-small scale DEM data applied to .gpx files

The Old Fhart

03-16-2011, 22:19

chasegru-"As for sample points approach infinity/ elevation gain approaches infinity: not following your logic there... more sample points results in higher degree of accuracy, but not indefinite increase." Chasegru is correct. The theory behind integral calculus teaches that as the number of samples approaches infinity, the value of the integrated data approaches some finite asymptotic value, not infinity. The large the number of samples, the more accurate the answer will be.

Imagine a hiker going from Springer to Katahdin. Their hiking speed may go up or down over the entire distance but their speed never reaches infinity.;)

Imagine a hiker going from Springer to Katahdin. Their hiking speed may go up or down over the entire distance but their speed never reaches infinity.;)

garlic08

03-16-2011, 22:24

Gotcha covered (see attachments)

NOBO CDT total elevation gain-457340 ft

NOBO CDT total elevation loss-457770 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation gain-753190 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation loss-752160 ft

and (once again)

NOBO AT total elevation gain-628900 ft

NOBO AT total elevation loss-628620 ft

So: NOBO Triple Crown gain-1,839,430 ft

NOBO Triple Crown loss- 1,838,550 ft

All number created using the same methodology-small scale DEM data applied to .gpx files

Well, this is very interesting news. The PCT is now nearly as steep as the AT! Until a few moments ago, I'd only heard that the AT had nearly twice as much climbing per mile as the PCT, something like 220 ft/mile for the AT vs 120 for the PCT. At least that's what all the AT hikers who thought the PCT was an easier trail always told me.

NOBO CDT total elevation gain-457340 ft

NOBO CDT total elevation loss-457770 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation gain-753190 ft

NOBO PCT total elevation loss-752160 ft

and (once again)

NOBO AT total elevation gain-628900 ft

NOBO AT total elevation loss-628620 ft

So: NOBO Triple Crown gain-1,839,430 ft

NOBO Triple Crown loss- 1,838,550 ft

All number created using the same methodology-small scale DEM data applied to .gpx files

Well, this is very interesting news. The PCT is now nearly as steep as the AT! Until a few moments ago, I'd only heard that the AT had nearly twice as much climbing per mile as the PCT, something like 220 ft/mile for the AT vs 120 for the PCT. At least that's what all the AT hikers who thought the PCT was an easier trail always told me.

Wise Old Owl

03-22-2011, 21:44

Fair Question: the data comes from USGS Digital Elelvation Model data. NOBO calculated from a NOBO .gpx file. And SOBO calculated from a SOBO .gpx file.

So... you are correct NOBO descent should equal SOBO ascent and vice versa. You'll notice the numbers are within 100 feet of each other, and the difference reflects...oh we'll call it the tolerance (fudge factor). After all, we can't even agree on how long the damn thing is in miles...

I admit it's silly to provide this number down to the foot. Better stated:

NOBO Ascent/ SOBO Descent: approx. 629850 ft

NOBO Descent/ SOBO Ascent: approx. 628600 ft

I will agree with this as I have made numerous caculations on Google Earth and noticed an "error" of 30 to 90 feet in several directions including up and down.

So... you are correct NOBO descent should equal SOBO ascent and vice versa. You'll notice the numbers are within 100 feet of each other, and the difference reflects...oh we'll call it the tolerance (fudge factor). After all, we can't even agree on how long the damn thing is in miles...

I admit it's silly to provide this number down to the foot. Better stated:

NOBO Ascent/ SOBO Descent: approx. 629850 ft

NOBO Descent/ SOBO Ascent: approx. 628600 ft

I will agree with this as I have made numerous caculations on Google Earth and noticed an "error" of 30 to 90 feet in several directions including up and down.

Wise Old Owl

03-22-2011, 21:46

I take it you're single.

Spoken as a true knowledgeable Feral Man.;)

Spoken as a true knowledgeable Feral Man.;)

azb

03-30-2011, 12:00

The snow is the difference. Many SOBO hikers start early in the Spring and encounter snow on the peaks. Even a few inches of snow added up over many vertical miles of climbing add up. The NOBO hikers don't encounter the snow, so the overall elevation for them is lower.

Simple really.

Az

Simple really.

Az

Theosus

11-27-2011, 22:21

I wonder... I keep hearing the total elevation gain from ascents being equivalent to X amount of Everest summits. Typically it is 14-17. However, having watched an Everest show the other day, I discovered most people fly up to base camp, around 9000', where they wait around a bit before hiking up to the 14,000' level, where they hang out for weeks to let their bodies adjust. So, a typical Everest summit is only 20,000', not the full 29,000 feet. This means we should up the number of "Everest summits" we can compare a successful AT completion... Since in reality climbers are only doing 2/3 of the mountain. Of course that's 2/3 more of Everest than I would want to do, I'm not diluting their accomplishments at all.

Kookork

11-27-2011, 22:57

That estimate was total hiking I've done--not just the AT.

Your estimate means you have hiked equal to six AT thru hike,right? about 13000 miles

Your estimate means you have hiked equal to six AT thru hike,right? about 13000 miles

Kookork

11-27-2011, 23:00

You're quibbling over 1/100th of a percent?

In WB we quibble for even less than this, just because it is fun and we can.

In WB we quibble for even less than this, just because it is fun and we can.

Kookork

11-27-2011, 23:04

I have a simple explanation. Elevation is what is reported by some guy holding (or carrying) a GPS.

A NOBO generaly starts when the weather is colder and finishes in the late summer. A SOBO generally starts after the snow has melted from Katahdin and generally hikes in much warmer weather.

When it's cold your scrotum tends to shrink and you bend over slightly to compensate. Do that over how many miles the AT was the year you did it and.....variance explained.

+3.You gotta try some standup comedies. You have a great sense of humor and I am dead serious.

A NOBO generaly starts when the weather is colder and finishes in the late summer. A SOBO generally starts after the snow has melted from Katahdin and generally hikes in much warmer weather.

When it's cold your scrotum tends to shrink and you bend over slightly to compensate. Do that over how many miles the AT was the year you did it and.....variance explained.

+3.You gotta try some standup comedies. You have a great sense of humor and I am dead serious.

Kookork

11-27-2011, 23:13

Well, this is very interesting news. The PCT is now nearly as steep as the AT! Until a few moments ago, I'd only heard that the AT had nearly twice as much climbing per mile as the PCT, something like 220 ft/mile for the AT vs 120 for the PCT. At least that's what all the AT hikers who thought the PCT was an easier trail always told me.

Don't worry.When Republican win the presidential election again then AT would be the steeper one again

Don't worry.When Republican win the presidential election again then AT would be the steeper one again

peter lechthoff

03-13-2012, 10:15

hi dragoro, I just passed my mouse on the AT Centerline on Google Earth in order to know who steep the AT is? and how steep are the steepest miles???

According to my numbers so far - counting ups and downs from 5 meters = 16,4 feet on -, the total elevation gain for NOBOS is: 525,100 feet and the total elevation loss is 523,800 feet.

That means you have to climb 482 ft each mile and descend 482 ft the next mile. Considering that there are flat parts on every trail (unless the Southern Appalachians??), the steeper parts have to be a lot higher than this. But how much higher?

According to my numbers so far - counting ups and downs from 5 meters = 16,4 feet on -, the total elevation gain for NOBOS is: 525,100 feet and the total elevation loss is 523,800 feet.

That means you have to climb 482 ft each mile and descend 482 ft the next mile. Considering that there are flat parts on every trail (unless the Southern Appalachians??), the steeper parts have to be a lot higher than this. But how much higher?

postholer.com

05-08-2012, 20:22

Would be interesting to know how much total you've hiked up and down.

http://postholer.com/images/at_elev.jpg

That's my take, YMMV. :cool:

http://postholer.com/images/at_elev.jpg

That's my take, YMMV. :cool:

rocketsocks

05-08-2012, 20:25

http://postholer.com/images/at_elev.jpg

That's my take, YMMV. :cool:

holy cow.....i felt that one.

That's my take, YMMV. :cool:

holy cow.....i felt that one.

Connie

05-22-2012, 12:38

One time I checked it. I was carrying the GPS, not really needing to look at it. The trail was well-marked.

Anyway, that trail with all the ups and downs of ridges and mountains was about as strenuous as I would ever want. I decided to look at the elevation gains, losses, and overall gains and losses of that hike.

I use that information for consideration of trails that look challenging on the topo map. I trace the route and look at the elevation gains, losses, and overall gains and losses.

If cool weather, why not? If hot weather, maybe another time.

Maybe not, after all.

I do that, because I got the TOPO! Trails CD for my state. I do that because I really am not into a physically challenging hike unless it is terrain I really want to see.

Anyway, that trail with all the ups and downs of ridges and mountains was about as strenuous as I would ever want. I decided to look at the elevation gains, losses, and overall gains and losses of that hike.

I use that information for consideration of trails that look challenging on the topo map. I trace the route and look at the elevation gains, losses, and overall gains and losses.

If cool weather, why not? If hot weather, maybe another time.

Maybe not, after all.

I do that, because I got the TOPO! Trails CD for my state. I do that because I really am not into a physically challenging hike unless it is terrain I really want to see.

OzJacko

06-10-2012, 06:45

According to my Wikipedia search, Everest base camp is at 17,700ft. The figures in this thread would then suggest that the elevation gain on the AT is some 55.6 times base camp to summit on Everest.

I do think the AT would be easier and more pleasureable for me to do than one Everest however.

Recent photo I have seen of the "rush hour" on Everest also suggest that crowding on the AT has a long way to go to catch up.

http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/news25433.html

I do think the AT would be easier and more pleasureable for me to do than one Everest however.

Recent photo I have seen of the "rush hour" on Everest also suggest that crowding on the AT has a long way to go to catch up.

http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/news25433.html

RockDoc

06-30-2012, 13:31

Don't you know that the digital age makes it possible to be a few hundred feet off, to four decimal places???

And??? How does this explain why the descent for a northbound hike is not the same as the ascent for a southbound hike?

And??? How does this explain why the descent for a northbound hike is not the same as the ascent for a southbound hike?

Kookork

03-26-2013, 12:14

According to my Wikipedia search, Everest base camp is at 17,700ft. The figures in this thread would then suggest that the elevation gain on the AT is some 55.6 times base camp to summit on Everest.

I do think the AT would be easier and more pleasureable for me to do than one Everest however.

Recent photo I have seen of the "rush hour" on Everest also suggest that crowding on the AT has a long way to go to catch up.

http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/news25433.html

Considering the Everest summit is 29000 feet high and base camp is 17700 then base to summit is 11300 vertical feet .

Now considering the ascent of At which somebody mentioned is 428515 feet divided by 11300 equals ~ 38 so AT thru hike is like 38 times base camp to summit not 55.6 .

I do think the AT would be easier and more pleasureable for me to do than one Everest however.

Recent photo I have seen of the "rush hour" on Everest also suggest that crowding on the AT has a long way to go to catch up.

http://www.whatsonxiamen.com/news25433.html

Considering the Everest summit is 29000 feet high and base camp is 17700 then base to summit is 11300 vertical feet .

Now considering the ascent of At which somebody mentioned is 428515 feet divided by 11300 equals ~ 38 so AT thru hike is like 38 times base camp to summit not 55.6 .

Pogo

06-04-2013, 00:29

One of this year's thru-hikers is carrying a Suuntu Core which measures altitude changes. I plugged his daily figures into a spreadsheet and got total ascents of 71,613 and descents of 72,473 from the beginning of the approach trail to Hot Springs. Don't know whether this supports any particular set of figures that was posted above, but it's another data point.

My guess is that side trips to shelters and water would make his totals higher than just mapping the trail.

My guess is that side trips to shelters and water would make his totals higher than just mapping the trail.

Don H

06-04-2013, 16:48

They aren't even because the north end is higher than the south end.

Well if you're the Bob "501" McCaw then you would know ;)

Well if you're the Bob "501" McCaw then you would know ;)

theoilman

06-04-2013, 17:07

629850 total elevation gain, divided by a 150 hiking day thru = approx. 4200 feet elevation gain per day.

For this old man, 2500 to 3000 ft elevation gain per day is a good day, and the most I want to do.

I'll never make it! (nor do I plan on doing a thru)

For this old man, 2500 to 3000 ft elevation gain per day is a good day, and the most I want to do.

I'll never make it! (nor do I plan on doing a thru)

JAK

06-04-2013, 20:11

For what it's worth, 1 mile of cumulative elevation gain is the equivalent of 10 miles of distance in terms of energy expenditure. So the 100 miles adds the equivalent of 1000 miles, so roughly 1/3 the effort is due to all the ups and downs. Hell of a lot more interesting than 3000 miles of flat.

atraildreamer

07-13-2013, 14:24

I have posted the following 7 part series of articles:

Appalachian Trail Elevations by States and Sections

They are found in this area of the website:

AT Articles - Data and Schedules

Here is a direct link to the article(s):

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php?19-data-and-schedules

(http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php?19-data-and-schedules)

Appalachian Trail Elevations by States and Sections

They are found in this area of the website:

AT Articles - Data and Schedules

Here is a direct link to the article(s):

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php?19-data-and-schedules

(http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php?19-data-and-schedules)

Sly

07-13-2013, 14:58

Considering the Everest summit is 29000 feet high and base camp is 17700 then base to summit is 11300 vertical feet .

Now considering the ascent of At which somebody mentioned is 428515 feet divided by 11300 equals ~ 38 so AT thru hike is like 38 times base camp to summit not 55.6 .

Or 4 times from sea level?

Now considering the ascent of At which somebody mentioned is 428515 feet divided by 11300 equals ~ 38 so AT thru hike is like 38 times base camp to summit not 55.6 .

Or 4 times from sea level?

Kookork

07-13-2013, 21:13

For what it's worth, 1 mile of cumulative elevation gain is the equivalent of 10 miles of distance in terms of energy expenditure. So the 100 miles adds the equivalent of 1000 miles, so roughly 1/3 the effort is due to all the ups and downs. Hell of a lot more interesting than 3000 miles of flat.

Beautiful comparison and numbers. Thanks. I did not know about the one to ten comparison before.

Beautiful comparison and numbers. Thanks. I did not know about the one to ten comparison before.

Kookork

07-13-2013, 21:17

Or 4 times from sea level?

Actually 14.7 ( almost 15 times) from sea level to summit of Everest.

428515/29000= 14.7

Actually 14.7 ( almost 15 times) from sea level to summit of Everest.

428515/29000= 14.7

Kookork

07-13-2013, 21:19

Actually 14.7 ( almost 15 times) from sea level to summit of Everest.

428515/29000= 14.7

Or if the AT thru is around 5 months long then one sea to summit of Everest every ten days for 5 consecutive month. That says something ,huh?

428515/29000= 14.7

Or if the AT thru is around 5 months long then one sea to summit of Everest every ten days for 5 consecutive month. That says something ,huh?