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  1. #101
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guthook View Post
    21 - 1701.2 to 1702.2, 1130': North from Thundering Falls Road (1300' in 1.2m)***

    ***: This is the most surprising to me. Who remembers this climb? Not me!
    I just knew that had to be Quimby. I thought that climb was a real hard one on a hot afternoon. I had trail legs by then and still had to take multiple breaks. I think it was the first climb like that in the north and really got my attention.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    I just knew that had to be Quimby. I thought that climb was a real hard one on a hot afternoon. I had trail legs by then and still had to take multiple breaks. I think it was the first climb like that in the north and really got my attention.
    Good catch... And yet somehow that climb still doesn't register in my memory. I know it's there, and I know I did it a few times, but... I guess it just doesn't have the same kind of punch in the gut that some of the others have. Possibly because there's no big view at the top :-)

  3. #103
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guthook View Post
    Good catch... And yet somehow that climb still doesn't register in my memory. I know it's there, and I know I did it a few times, but... I guess it just doesn't have the same kind of punch in the gut that some of the others have. Possibly because there's no big view at the top :-)
    Here was my journal entry re Quimby:

    The day had been a piece of cake until I got to the climb up Quimby Mountain. It was time to pay the piper, and oh he was not gonna be cheap. The temps had warmed and it was the hottest part of the day. I was briefly back to having sweat drip off my elbows. The mosquitoes even made a return. Oh joy.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    I just knew that had to be Quimby. I thought that climb was a real hard one on a hot afternoon. I had trail legs by then and still had to take multiple breaks. I think it was the first climb like that in the north and really got my attention.
    I had a similar experience on that one. It completely caught me off guard.

  5. #105
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I remember Quimby, although I didn't know the name of the mountain I was climbing. It was the first day of my first backpacking trip in 15 years (Sept. 2000). My journal notes that I did pretty well on the 1,250-foot, mile-long climb; pausing for 5 minutes at a nice rock only once. It was a warm-ish Fall day I recall. I still think that SOBO Kinsman was a great deal harder.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Before I did the climb out of NOC, I kept hearing how hard it was. When I finally got there and did it, I thought to myself "You guys haven't hiked in Maine or NH yet have you? This is nothing".
    That was a special day for me in 2006. I got there in the evening, ate a burger felt dogass tired and set up my tent up the river and went to sleep.

    The next day I woke up starving, much more than normal, so I went back to the resturant and it was the first day my I felt that Hiker Appetite feeling; I ate a very large breakfast, including pancakes, eggs, bacon...and tons of coffee. And then I just shot up the trail, not one issue with all that stuff in my gut, normally I would have been suffering massive bouts of heartburn.

    Before that day I was still struggling with my depressed appetite and although I could feel myself getting stronger by the day, the increases were incremental at best. That day was a massive jump in my energy and appetite.


    Here's all the packs outside of that resturant at NOC.


  7. #107
    Registered User jdc5294's Avatar
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    There's a couple spots on Katahdin that are on par with the steepest you'll see anywhere, there's a spot I believe still in GA or maybe NC that was hand over hand climbing with a fire tower at the top, I'll have to go back to look up the name of the mountain. In terms of steepest grade before you get to basically bouldering, I still believe parts of the Katahdin switchbacks were right up there with anything else on the AT.
    There's no reward at the end for the most miserable thru-hiker.
    After gear you can do a thru for $2,000.
    No training is a substitute for just going and hiking the AT. You'll get in shape.

  8. #108
    Registered User Statue's Avatar
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    Wildcat, Albert Mountain, Twin Peaks, Garfield, Jacobs Ladder, Stratton, Madison, Webster all kicked my butt.

  9. #109
    Registered User 4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chair-man View Post
    Cool info, I like to see half mile calculation and see where the north side of Blood Mt GA stacks up against some of the others.
    Quote Originally Posted by guthook View Post
    Chinook, I've been thinking of doing this for a while, and your link pushed me over the edge-- with the elevation data from my apps, I wrote a little program to calculate steepest sections of the trail for a given length of trail segment. In case anyone's interested in this, the calculation skips overlapping trail segments (ie, if 1.0 to 2.0 is slightly less steep than 1.5 to 2.5, the former segment is discarded), and measures segments that are exactly 1 trail mile long, grading them by the steepness of that 1 mile. I went through afterward and added info for the full climb, rather than just the 1.0 mile.

    Here are the results for top 25 steepest 1 mile segments on the AT*
    1 - 1794.1 to 1795.1, 1760': Asquam Ridge Trail to Kinsman Notch (2180' in 1.7m)
    2 - 2181.6 to 2182.6, 1640': O Joy Brook to The Gateway (2120' in 1.4m)
    3 - 1858.6 to 1859.6, 1640': Mt Madison to Osgood Tentsite (2850' in 2.3m)
    4 - 1865.6 to 1866.6, 1500': Pinkham Notch to Wildcat E (2000' in 1.5m)
    5 - 1869.9 to 1870.9, 1430': Carter Notch to Carter Dome (1530' in 1.1m)**
    6 - 1813.4 to 1814.4, 1420': Liberty Brook to Franconia Ridge Trail (2180' in 1.8m)
    7 - 1880.1 to 1881.1, 1360': Just north of Mt Moriah to First Crossing of Rattle River (1600' in 1.3m)
    8 - 1930.8 to 1931.8, 1340': Hall Mtn Lean-to to Sawyer Notch (1530' in 1.3m)
    9 - 1823.8 to 1824.8, 1330': Galehead Hut to South Twin Mtn (1130' in 0.8m)
    10 - 1907.8 to 1908.8, 1330': Mahoosuc Notch to Mahoosuc Arm (1600' in 1.4m)
    11 - 1839.6 to 1840.6, 1250': Crawford Notch to Mt Webster (2650' in 3.2m)
    12 - 1585.6 to 1586.6, 1230': Mt Prospect to stream at base of Greylock (1450' in 1.4m)
    13 - 1985.3 to 1986.3, 1200': Crocker Cirque to South Crocker (1330' in 1.1m)
    14 - 1982.9 to 1983.9, 1200': South from Carabassett River (1020' in 0.9m)
    15 - 1932.0 to 1933.0, 1200': Sawyer Notch to Moody Mtn (1300' in 1.3m)
    16 - 1789.9 to 1790.9, 1180': Last mile to South Peak Moosilauke (total, 2920' in 3.0m)
    17 - 1918.5 to 1919.5, 1170': North from East Peak Baldpate (1070' in 0.9m)
    18 - 1804.0 to 1805.0, 1170': Eliza Brook to South Kinsman (1310' in 1.4m)
    19 - 1964.6 to 1965.6, 1160': Moose & Deer Stream to Saddleback (1480' in 1.9m)
    20 - 1818.5 to 1819.5, 1150': Lafayette to Garfield Notch (1460' in 1.5m)
    21 - 1701.2 to 1702.2, 1130': North from Thundering Falls Road (1300' in 1.2m)***
    22 - 1934.5 to 1935.5, 1090': South Arm Rd to Old Blue (2180' in 2.6m)
    23 - 1788.7 to 1789.7, 1080': Bottom of S. Moosilauke (total 2920' in 3.0m)****
    24 - 1830.0 to 1831.0, 1070': Zeacliff to Zealand Falls Hut (1070' in 1.0m)
    25 - 2000.9 to 2001.9, 1070': Bigelow Avery Peak to Safford Notch (1860' in 2.0m)

    Notes:
    *: the mile numbers are not an exact match for the Data Book, since I haven't adjusted it from my GPS tracks yet.
    **: Wildcat to Carter Notch is 1120 in 0.8m, but the calculation missed because the entire climb is less than 1 mile. Maybe I'll try half-mile segments next time.
    ***: This is the most surprising to me. Who remembers this climb? Not me!
    ****: This is from the field near Glencliff Road, so Moosilauke shows up three times on this list, once for the north side, and twice for the south side.

    ME: 10
    NH: 13
    VT: 1
    MA: 1

    I was kind of surprised by the results, which is why I'm sharing them here. I hope some of you think this is as entertaining as I do
    Interesting data, and most surprising is that NOT ONE of the sections occur before New England. I figured most would be up north, but there just had to be something in the southern Appalachians . . .
    Memory lane question: I am wondering if any of the climbs in northern GA and/or the Nantahalas would have made the list years ago? I haven't hiked there since the 1970's but man were there some steep climbs straight up and over the ridges. I've been told that a lot of switchbacks were added in some sections and there was trail rerouting/regrading done as well (partly due to erosion I've heard). Then again, it could also partly be the starting out issue - not being in trail shape and those areas are pretty rugged and still kick people's asses just starting out.
    One thing's for sure - SOBO's are definitely hardcore hitting all that in the first 400 miles

  10. #110

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    The Wildcats - in fact the whole section from Pinkham Notch to Gorham, NH. Actually, add the up and over and that horrible descent from Madison!
    Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time -- Steven Wright

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Interesting data, and most surprising is that NOT ONE of the sections occur before New England. I figured most would be up north, but there just had to be something in the southern Appalachians . . .
    Memory lane question: I am wondering if any of the climbs in northern GA and/or the Nantahalas would have made the list years ago? I haven't hiked there since the 1970's but man were there some steep climbs straight up and over the ridges. I've been told that a lot of switchbacks were added in some sections and there was trail rerouting/regrading done as well (partly due to erosion I've heard). Then again, it could also partly be the starting out issue - not being in trail shape and those areas are pretty rugged and still kick people's asses just starting out.
    One thing's for sure - SOBO's are definitely hardcore hitting all that in the first 400 miles
    I've started running the calculations using 0.5 mile instead of 1.0 mile for the distance to check, and it actually has much better representation of the southern part of the trail. It's not finished yet, but here are some things I've found so far--

    First of all, I'm going to need to write a more involved algorithm for sorting climbs, since right now it's just taking the steepest half mile section of trail, comparing to the second steepest half mile, and so on. But how do you compare a climb of 1000 feet in 0.8 miles to a climb of 1500 feet in 1.0 miles? Hard to say. Also, Bly Gap and Albert Mountain's steepest sections are pretty short, so even though they're wicked steep, they didn't show up in these calculations.

    As for the findings so far, Maine and NH still have all of the top 20, with Pinkham Notch to Wildcat as the steepest half mile (1020 feet in 0.5 miles... not really a surprise there!). The first climb outside of New England to make the list is going into Port Clinton (#27). After that, there are a few representatives from PA, NY, VA, and TN.

    I'll post the full results later this evening

  12. #112

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    The climb out of Lehigh Gap is pretty steep and the first time you get to a "white mountain" type scramble up a cliff. It is a short climb though, maybe 1/4 mile?

    Guthook, if you calculated grade, divide elevation by distance, you would find the steepest climbs.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Guthook, if you calculated grade, divide elevation by distance, you would find the steepest climbs.
    That's what I'm doing-- take a look at the previous set of measurements for an example. The next shot will be with 0.5 mile segments rather than 1.0 mile segments.

    The problem is deciding what length of trail segment is worth measuring. For instance, a single stair might have an infinitely high grade if it rises vertically, but it's only six inches high so not significant. More realistically, there will be many trail segments that gain 100' in 0.1 mile. But consider the difference between one of those segments, and another segment that gains steadily 450 feet over 0.5 miles. The 0.1 mile segment is technically steeper, but that 0.1 mile segment might have flat segments on either side of it.

  14. #114
    Registered User 4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Yeah at some point you have to limit the number of data points used. Plus shorter climbs are no where near as taxing, at least to me, even if they are multiple ones. There is a definite difference in terms of how long steep climbs tire you out, especially this aging hiker. Given the same amount of trail hiked in a day, I recover much better from say four 500 foot climbs spread out over the course of say a 10 mile day, than from having to do a 2000+ foot climb all in 2 to 3 of those miles. Franconia to Liberty Springs section starts kicking my ass about half way up even though it isn't difficult trail - just steep and constantly up. Wildcat also kicks my butt - steep and tougher trail as well. Add that it freaks me out a bit - I have to remind myself not to look around or down too much.

  15. #115
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    south kinsman, toughest & steepest yet for me. . .seemed to go on and on, steeper and steeper. . .and then the summit--it's flat!

    oops, hope i didn't ruin anyone's hike. . .lol.

    .com

  16. #116
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Yeah at some point you have to limit the number of data points used. Plus shorter climbs are no where near as taxing, at least to me, even if they are multiple ones. There is a definite difference in terms of how long steep climbs tire you out, especially this aging hiker. Given the same amount of trail hiked in a day, I recover much better from say four 500 foot climbs spread out over the course of say a 10 mile day, than from having to do a 2000+ foot climb all in 2 to 3 of those miles. Franconia to Liberty Springs section starts kicking my ass about half way up even though it isn't difficult trail - just steep and constantly up. Wildcat also kicks my butt - steep and tougher trail as well. Add that it freaks me out a bit - I have to remind myself not to look around or down too much.
    It works differently on me. Liberty, Kinsman, Wildcat were all tough but I got in a rhythm. The sections were we go 20up-20down, 30up-30down for miles just wears me out and tears me up.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  17. #117
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    Which of those Climbs is in MA?? I did the entire state this year and nothing stood as particularly challenging

  18. #118
    Registered User 4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand View Post
    Which of those Climbs is in MA?? I did the entire state this year and nothing stood as particularly challenging
    12 - 1585.6 to 1586.6, 1230': Mt Prospect to stream at base of Greylock (1450' in 1.4m)

  19. #119
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    Never mind - I found it
    12 - 1585.6 to 1586.6, 1230': Mt Prospect to stream at base of Greylock (1450' in 1.4m)

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    Thanks for doing the calculations...interesting stuff!

    My vote goes to the Wildcat climb, which I did as a day-hike AFTER completing most of Maine!

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