Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 77
  1. #1

    Default AT success rate inflated by comforts

    1. oodles of hostels
    2. trail magic
    3. friends and family meeting up with hikers
    4. slackpacking
    5. cell phones

    I wonder how low the success rate would be for thru-hikes if not for the increasingly more common instances of trail help?

    I'm not talking about light-weight gear which helps the physical side of hiking which obviously carries over to the mental side. I'm referring to the opportunities for spirit raising things like a soft bed, a call to a loved one from a mountain top, a meal at a road crossing, etc.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-08-2004
    Location
    Glencliff NH
    Age
    50
    Posts
    1,481
    Images
    5

    Default

    Check CDT stats.

  3. #3
    Registered User dharmabum86's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-10-2004
    Location
    Acworth, GA
    Age
    40
    Posts
    74
    Images
    2

    Default Where at?

    Where would someone find the number of thru-hikes ever completed on the AT and where would you find the CDT stats at? It's probably right under my nose

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes, back in my day we walked backwards on broken glass the whole way with an angry wolverine in our packs. Those damn slackers today.

  5. #5
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-12-2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Age
    35
    Posts
    3,027
    Images
    10

    Default

    Lobster:

    This is not the first time you have posted this thread idea and you just recently inquired about finding an online list of people so that you could find all those who didn't walk the whole trail. What is your deal? Are you that bored with life that you have to knock the accomplishments of men and women who had the guile to go plan a long walk, executed it and had a wonderful time in the process?

    What are you trying to accomplish, i'm really interested. Have you walked the whole AT? What is the fascination? Did you hike every inch of the trail on your hands and knees, blind, with 200 lbs on your back?

    Yes there are tons of "thru-hikers" who didn't walk the whole trail. Yes more hostels are up than ten yrs ago and there are more trail angels. But you also still have to walk up and down hills, that certainly hasn't changed.

    Anyway, I hope you respond, but I won't wait around
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  6. #6
    Registered Troll
    Join Date
    09-17-2002
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    1,128
    Images
    16

    Default

    I like the thread. Trail angels at every road crossing has got to suck.

  7. #7
    Geezer
    Join Date
    11-22-2003
    Location
    Portsmouth, NH
    Age
    71
    Posts
    2,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay
    Yes, back in my day we walked backwards on broken glass the whole way with an angry wolverine in our packs. Those damn slackers today.
    Didn't it snow every day back then, except for a week or so with a hurricane and/or tornadoes, and or course a straight month of 100+ degree temps and all the water sources dried up? I remember those days. The mountains were steeper, too, and taller, if I recall.
    Frosty

  8. #8

    Default

    It's funny how folks get defensive if they think somebody is belittling their accomplishments. They often couch their comments in humor.

    Instead of getting defensive, why not broach the subject of whether the public's perception of the AT may change and whether this may have negative repercussions for the trail, such as funding, etc.

    By the way, the trails were steeper! Switchbacking, especially in the Nantahalas, has made things easier. It probably evens out with trails being taken off roads and the length of trail increased.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Didn't it snow every day back then, except for a week or so with a hurricane and/or tornadoes, and or course a straight month of 100+ degree temps and all the water sources dried up? I remember those days. The mountains were steeper, too, and taller, if I recall.
    No, it snowed DURING the tornados and the only thing we had to drink was dirt. We couldn't afford mountains, we had to climb each other.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lobster
    Instead of getting defensive, why not broach the subject of whether the public's perception of the AT may change and whether this may have negative repercussions for the trail, such as funding, etc.

    By the way, the trails were steeper! Switchbacking, especially in the Nantahalas, has made things easier. It probably evens out with trails being taken off roads and the length of trail increased.
    Defensive about what? Don't you have to make some logical statement that has some importance to me so I can be defensive about it. I like being defensive, but you have to work with me here. As for the public's perception of the AT, they don't have one. Most people have no idea the AT exists. As for funding, are you from another planet? The ATC has no money and you won't even buy a subscription to their publication so you can make fun of thruhikers. You are correct about the Nantahalas, you used to have to tie a rope to your belt and pull yourself up the hill.

  11. #11
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-12-2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Age
    35
    Posts
    3,027
    Images
    10

    Default

    Just as I thought Lobster. You didn't answer any of my questions, though it's OK since I pretty much knew all the answers to them anyway

    Your only intention is to stir the pot here and cause trouble. This is the THIRD! time you've brought up a thread like this in the last 3 weeks. No one was getting defensive at all, you just clearly want to cause drama.

    Don't try to avoid the questions by saying we should worry about what the public thinks. The public doesn't give a hoot about the AT, the folks in the community do.

    Lastly, if you're so concerned with calling out hikers who haven't hiked the whole trail or who have recieved trail magic, well then I have a suggestion (since you seem to have so much free time to speculate). Why not go down to Springer in March and track all the hikers. You can go down with a clip board and write everyone's name down and then mark off when they get a free soda or ride. You can also count the number of skipped miles. Then in September you can go up to Katahdin and call them all out and proclaim that they actually aren't thru-hikers. Wouldn't that be a hoot!
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-15-2003
    Location
    Gonic, NH
    Posts
    3,338
    Images
    246

    Default ..and it was all uphill, both ways!

    I personally think that the toughest thing to climb is what Blue Jay and Frosty are piling up. I'm really enjoying reading this thread, keep up the good work, guys. Your replies are much more meaningful than the original question.

    Lobster's using the word "inflated" seems to imply that the number or percentage of hikers finishing falls into the same category that Frosty and Blue Jay have so eloquently described- I disagree that this has changed. I would say that the success rate might be slightly higher today than in the past because of better equipment and preparation but there are many more people starting.

    I think that the success rate might dip slightly once Lobster institutes his mandatory drug testing of thru-hikers or having to log in at checkpoints. As to his statement:
    Instead of getting defensive, why not broach the subject of whether the public's perception of the AT may change and whether this may have negative repercussions for the trail, such as funding, etc.
    the outside world’s opinion of hikers has actually improved as more stories about the A.T. appear in newspapers and on TV. When I first set foot on the trail people thought all thru-hikers were bums, now it is down to 50%.

  13. #13

    Default

    Damn, I was sure Old Fhart was going to say it was harder back when we couldn't afford feet.

  14. #14
    Registered User weary's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-15-2003
    Location
    Phippsburg, Maine, United States
    Posts
    10,115
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lobster
    1. oodles of hostels
    2. trail magic
    3. friends and family meeting up with hikers
    4. slackpacking
    5. cell phones

    I wonder how low the success rate would be for thru-hikes if not for the increasingly more common instances of trail help?

    I'm not talking about light-weight gear which helps the physical side of hiking which obviously carries over to the mental side. I'm referring to the opportunities for spirit raising things like a soft bed, a call to a loved one from a mountain top, a meal at a road crossing, etc.
    I suspect most of these things are either neutral or perhaps, even detrimental to successfully completing a thru hike. A hostel every few days certainly helps the budget slightly. The rest are as apt to be distractions as benefits in my experience.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    31,072

    Default

    Rusty's Hard Time Hollow caused 100s of thru-hikers to fail to reach Katahdin.

  16. #16

    Default Who cares...

    #1. Loved the hostels especially Miss Janets, The Cabin and Kincora. You forgot the motels with cable TV...loved em!

    #2. Really appreciated the trail magic..."Apple" was the best. Always liked the break time and the conversation was appreciated too.

    #3. Oops...my wife met me once at Harpers Ferry and my parents once in the Smokies.

    #4. Didn't slackpack...just wanted to see for myself if I could HMOH.

    #5. No cell phone...cost, weight, re-charging, etc.

    I was famous for taking zeros in town, especially in bad weather when I loved going out for a steak. I'm sure these contributed to my being able to complete my thru-hike. But why should that matter to anyone other than myself???? It did seem to bother one dip**** who sent me a message saying that "when I got to missing the trail I should put on my backpack and go into town for a steak." The way I hiked or didn't hike must have bothered him.

    I enjoyed my hike and the Trail immensely...and all the above contributed to it.

    Thanks A-Train & Blue Jay for recognizing the obvious.

  17. #17

    Default

    I don't dispute that having more comforts can "recharge" a person mentally, an increase his or her chances of completing a thruhike, but I think the vast increase of online activity regarding the trail has had an even greater effect. 5 years ago, there were far fewer sites like these on the web (trailplace may have been the only one, actually), and the only journals online were those on personal websites. Planning involved running into someone at a local outfitter who'd hiked part (or all) of the AT and taking their advice to heart. The only planning guides were by Christopher Walken (he last hiked the trail in the mid-80s!), or WFs (Out of print since 93(?), but still better than Walken's).

    Now if you want advice about hiking the AT, you can search databases of online forums, find specific questions that you have, or ask new questions and get throughtful responses from dozens of thruhikers. If you want to read about the experience, Trailjournals stores the writings of thousands of thruhikers on the AT alone. Much more than the comforts available to hikers on the trail, I think it is these things that have increased the success rate for thruhikers the most.

    I would bet that the average aspiring thruhiker on Springer Mountain in 2005 has a much better grasp of what to expect in the next 2000 miles than did one 10 years ago.

    Lobster, your assertion that the trail is not as steep now would be refuted by the late Earl Schaffer, who said several times during his last thruhike that the trail had only gotten steeper.

    -howie

    Quote Originally Posted by lobster
    1. oodles of hostels
    2. trail magic
    3. friends and family meeting up with hikers
    4. slackpacking
    5. cell phones

    I wonder how low the success rate would be for thru-hikes if not for the increasingly more common instances of trail help?

    I'm not talking about light-weight gear which helps the physical side of hiking which obviously carries over to the mental side. I'm referring to the opportunities for spirit raising things like a soft bed, a call to a loved one from a mountain top, a meal at a road crossing, etc.

  18. #18
    Spirit in search of experience. wacocelt's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-07-2002
    Location
    State of Flux
    Age
    47
    Posts
    527
    Images
    9

    Default

    Christopher Walken
    That can't be the actor Christopher Walken?

    lobster, if you aren't trying to disparage the people who complete the trail, you could always quit dodging the question and give a clear answer as to why you are so curious about the completion rates and fringe benifits of todays hikers. Hope that logic isn't too vague for you.
    Everything is exactly as it should be. This too shall pass.

  19. #19

    Default success rate

    All this "trail help" also helps makes it a lot easier to quit the trail. I knew many hikers who went into town with every intention of hiking back out, but never did. It's a lot easier to get home when you have a cell phone, family, or a trail angel for a ride.

    -TANK

  20. #20
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
    Join Date
    09-27-2002
    Location
    Laramie, WY
    Age
    69
    Posts
    7,151
    Images
    90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TankHiker
    All this "trail help" also helps makes it a lot easier to quit the trail. I knew many hikers who went into town with every intention of hiking back out, but never did. It's a lot easier to get home when you have a cell phone, family, or a trail angel for a ride.

    -TANK
    ====================

    Sooooo True !!
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •