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One Mile = One Mile. Or Does It?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

1 mile = 1760 yards = 5280 feet = 63360 inches
1 mile = 1.60934 km = 1609.34 m = 160934 cm
In mathematical terms this is a no brainer.

As a practical application, related to hiking, the above info is mostly useless.

I hiked both, Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Saturday's hike was 11 miles round trip and we climbed 2257 feet over 5.5 miles.

Today's hike was "only" 9 miles round trip with a gain of 3220 feet over 4.5 miles.

Which one do you think was the tougher hike?
Surely the shorter one.

But not just elevation is the decider whether you're doing an easy mile or a hard mile. Terrain is another variable. Nice forest path vs. loose rock for example. And what about temperature? Extreme heat drains your energy quickly.

Turns out, of course, that Saturday's longer hike also had the smoother trails and lower temps, which made today's hike, with temps in the 90s, very tough, though beautiful.

Saturday's hike: Islip Saddle (6593') to Mt. Islip (8250') to Mt. Hawkins (8850')
The trail follows the Pacific Crest Trail.

Today's hike was local in our San Gabriel Mountains. Chantry Flat (1760') over Winter Creek Trail to Manzanita Ridge (4980')

In conclusion: One Mile ≠ One Mile
Just like one pound ≠ one pound. But you already knew that.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    beautiful pictures!
    2023 days ago
    Great job! Loved the pics!
    2024 days ago
    Definately! When estimating hiking time, I estimate an hour each 2 miles PLUS an additional hour for every 1000' elevation.

    Once I looked at the map and saw two paths to the same lake: one from the trailhead ABOVE, and one from below. I chose the trailhead from above. In the end, I stopped after just a few minutes as the trail was so rocky with loose stones, I was afraid I would twist my ankle. (The next day I did the climb on the trail from below, which was a VERY well maintained trail.....)
    2024 days ago
    I agree! I hike too, but in the Appalachian Mountains. My daughter and I did a portion of the Appalachian Trail just this summer.

    My dream is to hike the John Muir Trail. Are you near there? Have you hiked it? I would love to hear about it. It seems impossible to plan a hike that long from the opposite coast!!
    2029 days ago
    What beautiful scenery. Makes me miss the mountains. -- Lou
    2031 days ago
    That is a great point to keep in mind and can be applied to many things. When looking at an accomplishment (or lack thereof), there are many circumstances to consider when doing the full evaluation.

    You must never get bored with the beautiful scenery!
    2031 days ago
    Gorgeous, no matter how you measure it!
    2032 days ago
    What beautiful places to hike! You are a lucky woman emoticon
    2032 days ago
    Beautiful pics!
    And you are correct, the terrain and elevation make a BIG difference in the amount of energy used and how demanding a hike is, so mileage is only a piece of the puzzle! One's energy level, mood, the weather/trail conditions, and equipment issues all stir the pot, too -- even 'small' changes can have big impacts. But all these things make hiking a dynamic exercise and ultimately rewarding!!! emoticon
    2032 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    Beautiful pictures from both hikes. You certainly are getting some great workouts with the hiking you have beeb doing.
    2032 days ago
    Beautiful photos. And good point!
    2032 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    The scenery you hiked through is absolutely breathtaking! Great job on the hikes!
    2032 days ago
  • KITT52
    beautiful pictures thanks for sharing

    great job on the hike too
    2032 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    WOW, thanks for the information, the PICS are emoticon
    2032 days ago
    I just love the scenic pics. Your so blessed to have those to walk. I live in Alabama...we have pinetrees and clay. lol.

    Your right a pound is a pound and a mile is a mile so lets do this.
    2032 days ago
    Great pictures. good blog
    2032 days ago
    I know what you mean about the hiking steepness. There's a rule for biking that I can't remember anymore (I used to bike a LOT) where it was like each % grade reduces your speed by 1 mph, so if you're counting calories burned and you biked a 3 mile stretch up a hill with a 2% grade at 12 mph (so, 15 minutes), you would factor that in as biking at 14 mph for 15 minutes- not sure that's the exact rule but it was something along those lines I assume the same type of thing goes for walking! The steeper the climb, the harder it is!
    2033 days ago
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