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[at-l] Help me plan my 4th



"t." wrote:

> ...I looked at my old at maps from Springer to Fontana.  I have two for
> the
> NoGa part.  a  '95 version and a '98 version.  the 95 has a bigger scale
> for the elevation guide;  1500-5000 vs 2500-4500. (what a difference
> that makes!) It makes this section look smooth and rolling.  but then
> the 98 version makes it look like a roller coaster of hills.  granted
> most of them in the 500' elevation gain, but, lots of them (except for
> the couple like blood mtn.) .

Note the vertical exaggeration: 10:1 for the newer vs 5:1 for the older.
It's the same terrain. My rule of thumb is that before you start to notice a
500' gain you're over it (this does NOT apply to Albert Mt ;) ). On a well
graded trail, say less than 600' climb per mile, I can hike forever
(well....).

Keep your pack weight down, though. Say to under 25 pounds.

> In the NC section ... Is Gary's speed reasonable for a hike?  No offense
> Gary; You did monster distances. I don't know about those 16 mile days,
> but, is 10-12 mpd possible?

Speed and distance are two separate things. I start usually at 7:00AM, to
make 20 mile days I go until 6:30 PM. No great speed, just hours. I like to
hike. You don't need all those camp luxuries if you hike until you drop ;)
Earl did it on corn meal mush...

My rule of thumb (the other thumb) is 2 mph, not counting breaks. A tad
faster downhill. A bit slower in the rain.

> What is a *realistic* pace for both of those sections? I'm in fairly
> good shape for a 40 y/o non-athlete type.  I just drink too much beer,
> and, eat too much pizza.  :)

Mmmm, pizza and beer...

> I run regularly and try to make it to the
> gym a couple time a week.  i've found that weight training really helps
> the hike.

You sound in a lot better shape than I am, brother.

> anyway, I usually plan 8-10 miles per day in the smokies, but
> these are the longest days of the yr.  and the southern appalachians are
> not the smokies.  what do you think?  if I planned a 5 night trip?...

I  plan 15 mile days - although I recently got talked out of it by this List
for the Whites (Thank you, List). If you are used to 8-10 mile days, stick
with that in N GA.

Pittsburgh and I regularly get into discussions about whether hiking is
supposed to be fun (he says it is, imagine). It's not easy being driven...

- Type A Gary from Fairfax