March 20, Don’t Be Fooled

Many people out West where I live are naive to the brutal nature of trails on the East Coast. Switchbacks were not in the trail builders lexicon when they built the A.T. Many trails out west were built with horse and stock animals in mind making the grades gentler and the overall trail conditions more accommodating underfoot The trails I have often hiked back East in the Adirondacks or the Whites go straight up the mountain regardless of the terrain or angle.

To give this some perspective, the Pacific Crest Trail is ~20% longer (2675 miles) yet the AT has 60% more elevation gain. The Continental Divide Trail is over 40% longer (~3100 miles) but the AT gains almost 30% more elevation.  Here is a link to a good website by the Appalachian Mountain Club with some of these stats: AMC

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March 19,Training Day

I’ve always been of the mindset that if I had enough time to train everyday  hiking 15-20+ miles I would have already started my trip. Considering that, I do think it’s a good idea to be in decent overall shape and get some miles in with a pack on to reduce the stress your body will feel day-one.


Hiking up Mt. Royal in Frisco, Colorado

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