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LIGHTENINGLIFE's Photo LIGHTENINGLIFE Posts: 216
5/4/11 1:56 P

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Over here we don't have signs like that. But a lot of walking guide books will say if it is a easy, moderate or strenuous walk. The latter will totally kick your butt and will probably include some scrambling.

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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,465
4/23/11 2:02 P

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Well said, conditions can change a cakewalk into a mudwalk, or a dangerous situation depending on the trail.

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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,468
4/18/11 7:44 P

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JRIMM,

I agree that many ratings and estimates can seem pretty conservative.

But I can see this from a Ranger's perspective when they are grading trails - better that someone finds a trail a cakewalk, rather than someone gets themselves into trouble on a trail that is beyond their ability/preparedness.

And of course, it depends on the conditions - some trails can be pretty easy most of the time, but hard and treacherous when wet.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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JRIMM4's Photo JRIMM4 SparkPoints: (25,119)
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4/18/11 4:35 P

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I'll give a 'third' to Motivated's assesment! I find that the the ratings on the trails in my area are usually what I would call conservative, in regards to difficulty rating and time estimates. This suprised me at first as I don't feel that I'm that experienced or in that great of over all shape, but those are definetly improving as I do more!!

JR

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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,465
4/18/11 9:04 A

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If you aren't familiar with the "10 essentials" concept you should look into that. I think Motivated summed it up pretty well about "experienced" for the sign on the trail, but if there is doubt a ranger or some authority at the park may be able to explain what they mean. I would imagine it's about fitness and preparedness. An out of shape newbie hiker would likely have a difficult time on a trail like that, and likely as not should look for an easier trail.

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,468
4/17/11 9:16 P

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In my opinion, "experienced" on a trailhead sign can probably best be interpreted as meaning "well prepared", rather than necessarily meaning "back country hikers of many years standing who can navigate using the stars only".

Prepared would typically mean reasonably fit ("experienced" trails are often steeper), wearing sturdy footwear (they aren't as well formed), have looked at the map and have some idea of where they are going, and carrying some basic gear like a waterproof jacket, some water, a snack and a small 1st aid kit.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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RONDARC's Photo RONDARC Posts: 10,670
4/16/11 6:22 P

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I'm cautious of those signs but I still have to try the trail and if it get's to difficult for me, I know I can turn back. I do like them because they prepare me for what's ahead.

~~ Ronda~~

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AMANDA-RAE3's Photo AMANDA-RAE3 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/16/11 4:32 P

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Last week my fiancé and I went on a hike at Carter Caves state park (Eastern KY). We did the 4Cs trail (cross-country), and at the trailhead, were greeted by a sign saying, "we recommend this trail for experienced hikers." It went on to describe the hilly, rocky terrain we'd encounter, and this was almost enough to deter me personally from trying.

We managed to finish the trail in the suggested six hours with time for breaks. I'll admit, the trail kicked my butt at parts. They weren't lying when they said it was hilly. I'm happy though. Normally I would've let that sort of description sway me from even attempting the trail, especially since this was our first hike of the season.

So, when you see cautionary signs like this, how do you react?

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