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Re: [at-l] Trail Challenge vs Challenge of the Trail

roland horth wrote:

> I do
> find it interesting how the trail has been lengthened to remove a
> straight
> up and down section and replace it with a graded trail.  I don't know,
> I
> felt at times on my thru-hike that the trail was rather overdone, but
> there
> were numerous, if not many more times, found myself cursing the way
> the
> trail was set up to hit every viewpoint and tromped
> up/down/around/through
> some very nasty terrain.

   Switchbacks are generally built not for the purpose of making the
hike less strenuous, but rather to reduce erosion on steep grades.
Other "trail hardening" projects, such as the installation of rock steps
(recent work at Dragon's Tooth & Blood Mtn. are examples) are meant to
provide a clear path for hikers through rocky areas, so that they will
not detour onto adjacent steep, soft soils & widen the footbed.

The heavy use that the AT gets in some places has mad necessary more
engineering than some of us would prefer.  I do enjoy rockwork, however.

- Priest

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