Nice post! I'd have bet money Mahoosuc Notch to Mahoosuc Arm would have been in the top three. It was steep but a very fun climb.
Flatfoot, Ga->Me 2013
I lost road access to part of my AT corridor boundary in Maine at Sawyer Notch. Guess what my choices are to access Sawyer Notch
Section 10 from 1932.2 to 1932.7 with 799 change -- Sawyer Notch to Moody Mtn (1300' in 1.3m)
Section 15 from 1930.8 to 1931.3 with 754 change -- Hall Mtn Lean-to to Sawyer Notch (1530' in 1.3m)
If someone thinks the trail is steep in that area, the corridor is even worse.
I'm glad to see confirmation that hiking in Maine and NH is a lot harder than I'm used to. I'm training for my future AT hike in the toughest part of the entire trail I lost 10 pounds over the Summer, just hiking weekends. I want to know how steep that 3 mile section is between Katahdin Stream Falls and the Tablelands is. GF and I climbed that in the rain. We went down the Saddle trail, thinking it would be easier. Nope. Not any easier, but once we started down, we were committed. I can remember coming down Sugarloaf on my butt quite a bit and that climb up Crocker Mountain was pretty tough. I really don't remember the climb up, but the climb back down scared the bejeezus out of me. It was steeper going down!
I'm a firm believer that navigating a steep downhill with a pack is much harder than climbing it.
GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014
Unless there's enough snow to bring out my ice axe and glissade down. That's what I did on my last clueless weekend.
I always know where I am. I'm right here.
There was this aluminum ladder in Harriman NY that was pretty steep.
I wonder what Roan would rank if the data was from 2011, before the other switchbacks were added.
One of my most vivid memories from my 2005 SOBO attempt was coming down Old Blue. I was planning on camping on the other side of South Arm Rd. It was something like 1.5 miles from the peak to the road. I hiked for about a mile and came across a break in the trees while on a slow descent. The road below looked so small. There was no way it was only half a mile of trail down to it.
Sure enough, another 50 meters or so and the trail made a turn to go straight down the mountain. I just remember it being straight down a steep mountain. I was glad I was camping at the road that evening.
I still have pictures from that break in the trees, where you can see the road below. Every time I show that picture to people I tell them about that descent.
2005 SOBO Attempt (500 miles)
2017 SOBO Planning
North from the NOC is no joke, especially for the south
It was definitely shorter, but Albert Mtn. seemed tougher than Stecoah Gap. It might be just because the Albert Mtn climb was at the end of the day during a thunderstorm, though.
How does Huntington ravine central gully or Madison Gulf trail compare to the steepest parts of the AT?
Albert isn't bad. It only stands out in people's memories because it's the first time you use your hands.
Stecoah Gap/Jacob's Ladder is probably the best climb in the lower section.
Bluegrass- let's see the photo! I've just gotten back into backpacking in the last year, section-hiking the trail for the first time since I was a teen. Back then I hiked the presidential range and lafayette pretty much fearlessly with a group from my summer camp in NH, and Bear Mtn CT on the AT with the boy scouts. Funny how things are much scarier as you get older and haven't been doing it all along! But I'm workin on it bit by bit so i can do the whole trail. So far, coming down St John's Ledges and Wetauwanchu/Barrack Matiff in a downpour put a little fear of god in me! Heading north into Mass in the spring and I'm sure I will get some more experience with steep the farther I go.