View Full Version : The roller coaster

09-01-2013, 13:31
So since I want to start section hiking the trail next year, I decided to test myself and I hiked from Ashby Gap (Rt 50) to Bears Den. Just under 14 miles. Boy that was challenging for me. I did really well, the last 5 miles were getting really rough for me. But boy was I so proud when I arrived at Bear's Den!! Last week I hiked from VA 55 (Manasses Gap) to Rt 50 which was around 12 miles. That was a more enjoyable hike!

Train Wreck
09-01-2013, 14:39
You picked a tough one to start with! great job!
I remember that section well. We got a late start at Ashby Gap (11:00 am) and the day just never seemed to end. Either I didn't stay hydrated enough, or eat enough, but combined with the up and down and up and down and up and down... by the time we got to the rocky trail just before Bears Den, I felt so awful that I nearly passed out. I never did figure out what exactly went wrong, but I have never felt like that anytime before or since on the AT. Probably all those factors combined, but it sure took me a toll on me.
Some people will act like all those PUDs (Pointless Ups and Downs) are no big deal, but that was one roller coaster ride that was NO fun and I'll not be buying another ticket :)
Virginia has some great hiking - enjoy!

09-01-2013, 15:39
Once you've knocked out a few more sections you'll look back at this and laugh. When I started section hiking a 500 foot elevation gain was tough. Tough as in I couldn't get to the top without stopping. Then it was 750. Then 1,000.

09-01-2013, 20:42
I felt like that too during the last few miles. I drank 2 liters of water and I made sure to eat some salty snacks and lots of fruit. But I just got very exhausted! Today I feel pretty decent though, a little stiff but not too awful bad.

Fredmugs I can't wait until I get to that point!!

09-01-2013, 21:53
That is def a challenging first section hike. Congrats and continue on from there to HF. It's a great and easy 1 night hike. STop in a David lesser which is nice and then head in to HF for a breakfast/ lunch on Sunday morning.

09-01-2013, 22:16
Did Sky Meadows to Bears Den two weeks ago. The puds are no worse than other parts if the AT.

It wasn't the hills that were tough as much as the high humidity was.

Train Wreck
09-01-2013, 22:22
Did Sky Meadows to Bears Den two weeks ago. The puds are no worse than other parts if the AT.

It wasn't the hills that were tough as much as the high humidity was.

It's not the hills that are tough, it's all the valleys in between :D

09-01-2013, 22:56
That's a tough section KelBel especially doing it in the heat and humidity while possibly not being in optimal hiking/thru-hiking condition.

Steep trail and big elev gains(2500 ft+) and roller coasters pale in comparison with trail sections that sandwich a deep roller coaster between steep long ascents on both sides. It's all good though.

09-02-2013, 07:21
It was pretty humid that day! When the trail seemed to finally get flat again it was so rocky that there was constant rock hopping and balancing acts! I think that's why my feet were so sore! Thanks for the suggestion Studlintsean, I think the hubby and I want to do a weekender heading to harpers ferry so I am definitely going to check it out!