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I have not done the whole AT but lots of the northern parts. Just
this summer we did the 100 mile wilderness and Katadin. I have been
up K many times but only once before on the AT (and my wife had not
been up it). Indeed the knife edge is definitely not for someone
bothered by exposure. But it is only one of the ways down the
otherside, you don't have to do it. Incidentally there are some hard
rock-climb moves on the way up K, but they are not exposed and have
helpful iron rungs.
There are lots of places with rocky ledges that if you walk over to
the edge might bother you. Just stay comfortably back. I can't
recall any where that is not an option.