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[pct-l] AT verses PCT and Down Bags verses Bathtubs

Hungry Howie wrote:

>Monte Dodge wrote:
>>"Bottom line is about ten times the number of people finish the AT as the 
>>PCT which may be a more accurate gage of the to trails. On CDT would be 
>>even tougher still!!"
>I wouldn't think that that's an accurate guage...how about a comparison
>between sucess rates instead of raw hiker numbers?  The AT is about 1 in 
>10, I'm pretty sure the PCT is higher.  That seems to point the opposite 
>way.  I don't really care which is the "toughest" trail, hell, they're all 
>a HUGE challenge anyway you look at them 500,000ft/2100miles vs. 
>350,000ft/2650miles...They both sound like fun!

Howie -
Monte likes to play this game -- to see if he can stir up some controversy 
on this subject.  But he ignores the fact that a lot more people start the 
AT than the PCT.  I remember his amazement at all the AT thruhikers who kept 
saying "Wow, after the AT, the PCT is REALLY easy"   :-))

Truth is that you've got it right - they're both a challenge - just 
different challenges.  The PCT challenge is horizontal (miles/day) and the 
AT challenge is vertical (elevation gain/mile).  There are no 2500 ft per 
mile grades on the PCT.  We spent 2000 miles on the PCT looking for 
something that might be even vaguely as steep as the AT - but it wasn't 
there.  On the other hand, the looking kept us interested sometimes when 
things might have otherwise gotten boring  :-)

Also - don't take those elevation gain numbers too seriously - you'll do 
350,000 ft elevation gain on the PCT before you get out of California.

Both trails are great - just don't expect them to be the same - that would 
set you up for real disappointment. Take it as it is - not as you want or 
expect it to be.

Walk softly,

PS - the CDT is even better   :-))

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