steep trails

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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drm
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Re: steep trails

Post by drm » July 9th, 2018, 6:43 am

Regarding how to compare short vs longer steep trails: multiple the feet/mile by the number of miles. So two miles long at 1138ft/mi comes to a score of 2276 steep points, while 2000 ft/mi for a half mile comes to 1000 steep points. Kind of artificial but sort of works.

Another factor for me i the footbed quality. The Wyeth trail is the smoothest steep trail in the area while the closed Ruckel Creek trail had some really nasty eroded gravely sections near the top.

pcg
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Re: steep trails

Post by pcg » July 9th, 2018, 9:48 am

drm wrote:
July 9th, 2018, 6:43 am
Regarding how to compare short vs longer steep trails: multiple the feet/mile by the number of miles. So two miles long at 1138ft/mi comes to a score of 2276 steep points, while 2000 ft/mi for a half mile comes to 1000 steep points. Kind of artificial but sort of works.
I see your logic and at first glance it seems to make sense, but then... isn't that just elevation gain?

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texasbb
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Re: steep trails

Post by texasbb » July 9th, 2018, 10:00 am

drm wrote:
July 9th, 2018, 6:43 am
Another factor for me i the footbed quality. The Wyeth trail is the smoothest steep trail in the area while the closed Ruckel Creek trail had some really nasty eroded gravely sections near the top.
To me, footbed's difficulty looks something like:

Loose > Smooth > Rough

Any kind of soil, scree, or talus that moves is far more difficult than other things, but a smooth footbed is more difficult than a (stable) rough one. Smooth tread denies your heels the occasional chance to rest on stuff (on the steep trails) and increases blisters and other repetitive stress injuries (on all trails). Trails should have rocks and roots and steps and twists and variations in grade. So called well-graded trails are a royal pain. Nobody with a transit should be allowed anywhere near a trail design or work crew.

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aiwetir
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Re: steep trails

Post by aiwetir » July 9th, 2018, 10:18 am

Keeping it the same neighborhood, by my math Mt. Defiance is slightly steeper up to the bend where it levels off and generally steeper because it's a shorter way to the top if you don't count the flats to get to the bottom. If you cherry pick the first 1.4 miles of steep on Defiance, it's generally a bit steeper than most of Starvation manages to get.
- Michael

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jeffstatt
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Re: steep trails

Post by jeffstatt » July 9th, 2018, 11:10 am

CampinCarl wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 8:52 pm
Here's a good one:

Nasty Rock trail in Willamette National Forest

http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide ... _Rock_Hike

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=22750

2500' in 1.6 miles

Hike it and you'll likely have this stair-stepper to yourself!
Ooo gonna check this one out!

BigBear
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Re: steep trails

Post by BigBear » July 9th, 2018, 2:36 pm

My vote would be for Rudolph Spur. Think of it as Benson Plateau Direct.
(I never hiked it because I don't like trails that hit the contour lines head-on.)

Others in this category would include:
Elevator Shaft
Rock of Ages
Munra Point
Wyeth Trail (the original lookout trail...if there's a switchback, it's not the original)
Primrose trail (before the Falls Fire (circa 1991), you had climb on your hands and knees because the limbs were too low)


Bonus sectional:
The first half-mile of the old Cripple Creek Trail (the only time I've slid backwards on gravel while ascending a trail). FYI, the old trail disappears under the logging roads and reapepars on the upper side. I hiked this about 20 years ago and gave up after a few miles. For those off-trail walkers, knock yourself out. It eventually leads to Cache meadows.

Would the last 20 feet of the Angels Rest Trail count (this is a climb, right)?

CMH
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Re: steep trails

Post by CMH » July 9th, 2018, 2:57 pm

I have a spreadsheet of trails from the Gorge and nearby areas. Below are the top 10 trails in terms of average grade.
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Dave Rappoccio
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Re: steep trails

Post by Dave Rappoccio » July 9th, 2018, 3:43 pm

Out of every trail mentioned so far Elk Mountain is the one that always destroys me. Everything else will get me sweating and in rough shape, but Elk Mountain has made me actively hate life both times I've done it.

Most of the good ones have been mentioned already but I would like to throw in a vote for Heartbreak ridge on Table Mtn. Also the Tanner Creek cutoff. I've never gone up either, but going down was pretty rough. The cutoff trail might not even exist at this point.

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RobinB
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Re: steep trails

Post by RobinB » July 10th, 2018, 6:46 pm

The trail to Lake Constance in the Olympics has always been rough - possibly rougher than Aasgard (though without the hazards):
  • 1.6 miles
  • ~3200' EG (1400' to 4600')

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Re: steep trails

Post by [email protected] » August 11th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Just did Cripple Creek to Serene Lake and while it may not statistically be the steepest...geesh! Thankfully someone has logged out the trail that the Forest Service seems to have abandoned, but the trail tread has quite a side slope. Combined with the elevation gain it made for a heckuva hike. Poles definitely help.

The rare Oregon oak meadow openings and old-growth Doug fir make it all worth it though. Hopefully someday can be added to the Roaring River Wilderness--it already feels like Wilderness to me.

http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide ... _Loop_Hike

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