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Re: Summits


The AT has the tendency to go OVER everything in sight, the higher the
better, is the rule. This fact is the subject of much hiker grumbling.
There is even an acronym for it - PUD, for "pointless up and down." 

Ridge walks are to me among the most pleasant parts of the trail, and
these are generally wooded ridgelines without a lot of exposure such as you
are asking about. 

Having done _half_ the AT (and parts of the rest) I can report that there
are a few places, not many, but some, where the trail goes over rocky
summits. Some of these are smooth rock "domes," others may be craggy. I
don't have a total recall memory to name them all or even recall that much
detail, but there are a _few_ places where you're the tallest thing up

But the north half of the AT - the one I haven't done - has more exposed
rock than the south half, particularly in New England. One place you
_don't_ want to be is the knife-edge on Katahdin, but the AT does not go
there, if memory serves. 
There are also some - again, not many - rocky scrambles, where you have to
climb up or down near-cliff-like features. 

So all I can say is that south of Harpers Ferry there are _few_ really
exposed summits or narrow ridges. 

What I get a little fearful of is lightening on exposed sections during
bad weather.  When a thunderstorm rolls thru, it can feel like being in an
artillery barrage. 

Also sometimes there are blue-blazed trails _around_ summits esp. for bad


> Jim Bruton, jbruton@quest.arc.nasa.gov,
  Chinle, AZ