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View Full Version : Do you prefer uphills or downhills



fiddlehead
06-06-2005, 23:45
I've heard of some folks who prefer uphills to downhills but can't imagine it.
So I wanted to see a poll to find out the percentages.
Personally i am believer that "downhill is free speed" but then speed isn't always the purpose is it?
Also, I have learned to really enjoy the uphills if i start out really slow, build up speed slightly and don't stop until the top where i always stop (on a substantial climb) (also, drugs help)

Lone Wolf
06-07-2005, 06:07
I enjoy both equally. I ain't got bad knees.

Skeemer
06-07-2005, 08:36
LW wrote:
I ain't got bad knees

Ain't that the truth...you are so lucky when you don't have inherent knee or ankle issues to contend with. Hikers come in all shapes and sizes, young and old, but if you don't have good knees and feet you can lose your motivation to walk real fast.

I actually prefer uphills in mornings when it's cold or cool. Going down it's too easy to stumble on a root, rock or gravel and take a nasty tumble.

When it's 95 and sunny, I guess I'll take the downhills over a climb...no matter how steep.

The Cheat
06-07-2005, 08:43
I admit it, I prefer uphills. Downhills seem to be alot harder on me.

Footslogger
06-07-2005, 08:51
When I'm hiking uphill I prefer downhills and vice versa ...

'Slogger
AT 2003

dje97001
06-07-2005, 09:19
Uphill. One weaker knee... then there is the payoff of the view... and I haven't really had tons of experience with poles yet... but I imagine that they will make downhill less painful.

Skyline
06-07-2005, 09:29
Except for the kind of downhills found in the Whites and Western Maine--where you need your hands AND feet--I prefer downhills over uphills. Guess my knees are in better shape than my lungs.

Sly
06-07-2005, 10:42
Uphills!

Doesn't the exercise release endorphins? You get that high, giddy feeling once you reach the top...

Maybe it's the pot. ;)

Footslogger
06-07-2005, 10:59
Uphills!

Doesn't the exercise release endorphins? You get that high, giddy feeling once you reach the top...

Maybe it's the pot. ;)=================================
Yeah ...but when ever the grade changes to downhill all those endorphins go AWOL and are replaced with the thoughts of an impending uphill "payback".

'Slogger

Just Jeff
06-07-2005, 11:15
Uphills seem easier to me...downhills are harder on the quads and knees.

On shorter hikes, I prefer ups and downs to level trails, though. On hikes more than ~3 days, I like the PUDS interspersed with some level stretches.

littlelaurel59
06-07-2005, 12:32
Alas, in my younger days the downhills were a piece of cake. Now in middle age, I experience IT Band syndrome from downhills if I'm not careful. I've recently started some new quad strengthening exercises to see if that will help. Hiking in the Kilmer/Slickrock Wilderness this weekend- I'll see if that helps.

dougmeredith
06-07-2005, 13:19
When I'm hiking uphill I prefer downhills and vice versa
What you said.

Doug

Crazy Larry #1
06-07-2005, 13:25
uphills. i usually take baby steps into in any major hill and towards the top my strides get longer. when i am going down a steep decline i will turn my body either to the left or right so that my feet are sideways as i step down, plus it is much easier for me.......

Old Hickory MH
06-07-2005, 19:19
It's down hill for me, bad heart makes going uphill slower and me a nuisense to my sons who hike with me. I will admit though sometimes at the end of the day that last down hill can really be a bear. It's always easier to stop going uphill and catch your breath than putting on the air breaks on a steep downhill. Thank God for POLES!!!!

old hickory......... I'd rather die living life than live life dying!

Heater
06-07-2005, 20:00
My knees handle the uphills mo' better.

Ridge
06-07-2005, 21:21
Me and Husband prefer UpHills. Most of the spills we've incurred have been going downhill. Knees get sore also.

mark10203
06-07-2005, 22:10
Mild downhills for me, please. The time passes by and the scenery is taken in.

fiddlehead
06-07-2005, 22:58
Results are very interesting. So it seems to be true that most prefer uphills! I'm surprised.

Seeing a lot of people here that have bad knees, i'd like to relate something that i learned from hiking: on one of my first hikes thru the whites, i was fortunate enough to see 2 "hut girls" carrying those monstrous boards loaded down with gear. Each one must've weighed 70-90 lbs. They were flying down one of the steepest hills i had ever seen before.

Later on, they stopped for a view break at a beautiful spot. They were very good-looking also so, my friend and i who were thru-hiking, stopped to talk and discussed their technique in flying down these mtns with huge packs. They suggested a technique that i use to this day in my hiking (and running style): Bend the knees, almost like proper parrellel skiing technique with your weight a little bit back, and hit each step as if you are going to be stepping on ice and you don't want to put your full weight on each step as you might slip or blow out a knee. Always be looking/thinking 2 steps ahead and when done properly, it's almost like gliding down the descent.

I now have stronger knees than when i began hiking in the 60's. I also loosen up my shoulder straps a bit so that the weight holds me back a little bit rather than accelerate me down the hill. The hard part is staying in control and not going to fast. Almost like breaking on each turn in skiing.

Anyway, hope this helps those who worry about those downhills. (they are to be enjoyed after all that work of getting up there) fh

Rain Man
06-08-2005, 09:56
I haven't had any serious falls, but every fall I'd had myself or have seen others have have been on downhills.

So, it's not all "knees."

Rain:sunMan

.

Scribe
06-08-2005, 13:12
I prefer downhill, but must admit that I go just as slowly "down" as I do "up". Someone on this site has a motto "Start slowly and then slow down". I like that.

Megabite
06-19-2005, 00:55
going uphill, you can stop and take a break, and the break will help. going downhill, the pain's just going to come back in a few steps...

-- Megabite

Rockjock
06-20-2005, 09:46
My knees tear me up coming down hill. I can't wait to try fiddleheads suggestion of "skiing" down the mountain, makes sense.:dance

superman
06-20-2005, 09:56
Pat from Maine and I are both down hill specialists. Maybe that's why we hike together.

Lilred
06-20-2005, 12:04
They suggested a technique that i use to this day in my hiking (and running style): Bend the knees, almost like proper parrellel skiing technique with your weight a little bit back, and hit each step as if you are going to be stepping on ice and you don't want to put your full weight on each step as you might slip or blow out a knee. Always be looking/thinking 2 steps ahead and when done properly, it's almost like gliding down the descent.

This is how I go downhill as well, and can get up some pretty good speed, even when it's steep. Also though, put a little spring into the knee. Let it bend a little with each step so that you are slightly bouncing as you go down the hill. Emphasis on 'slightly'.

grrickar
06-20-2005, 12:51
Uphill, because there is generally a better view at the top. Steep downhills are rough, but then again, so are steep uphills.

kyhipo
06-20-2005, 13:45
it dont matter to me just let me hike baby and then show me my tent:dance ky

Cookerhiker
06-21-2005, 07:16
... for all the reasons previously mentioned.

Tractor
06-22-2005, 20:10
...just give me trail, and the time to hike it, and a little near level ground every now & then for a nice surprise! Knees like uphill. The kid in me loves downhill. Uphill vs. downhill when it's wet. We all like it all!