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CascadeClimber

What gives with these crappy 'new' trails

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I walked down from Ingalls yesterday and, in a fit of frustration over all the stupid-ass switch backs, started down an old way-trail. It made a bee-line from Ingalls Pass to the the Esmerelda Basin trail just 11 minutes from the lot (4 minutes from the 'new' trail junction). It had a grand total of four switchbacks and was not at all overly steep. Between the 'new' Ingalls trail and that moronic Cascade Pass trail( about four miles and 36 switchbacks to cover 0.9 miles as the crow flies), I just don't understand. Does anyone have an explanation for these trails that have so many switchbacks that they are practically flat? Parts of the new Ingalls trail actually go downhill on the way up.

:anger:

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to make them wheelchair accessible. what the hell is your problem. don't you care about the cripple people?!!

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Not quite wheelchair accessible, but close.

 

The NPS has standards to which new trails are to be constructed. They are to make the parks more accessible to the less fit among us.

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to make them wheelchair accessible. what the hell is your problem. don't you care about the cripple people?!!

 

 

:lmao:

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I have heard in the past that the old standard of 10% grades was for livestock, but perhaps they have an even lower standard for "Front-country" trails (it'd be hard to justify that for something more remote where greater fitness is required to get there in the first place, wouldn't it?).

 

In trailbuilding workshops with the Access Fund, there was a guy named Jim Angel who used to say that the ideal angle for a climbers' approach trail was closer to 20%, where he said you could walk causally and maybe even have your hands in your pockets but nobody would feel compelled to cut switchbacks. Whether that is the exact right angle or not I'm not exactly sure but I liked his concept. I have never liked calf-straining trails that head straight up the hill as I find them uncomfortable, and they exacerbate runoff management and tend to become sandy or dirty or rocky trenches.

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I have never liked calf-straining trails that head straight up the hill as I find them uncomfortable, and they exacerbate runoff management and tend to become sandy or dirty or rocky trenches.

 

Speaking of which, how was your weekend :tup: :tup:

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We had a good time on a trail that would be more to cascadeclimber's liking.

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There's got to be some happy medium, but 10% grade is not it.

 

Yeah, and then the powers-that-be spend their time and energy scratching their collective heads about why people are cutting the switchbacks and then wasting money having minions pile logs in the cuts.

 

The PCT between Snoqualmie Pass and Kendall Pass is another example.

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some compromise between cascade pass and the Eldorado approach trail would please me..

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some compromise between cascade pass and the Eldorado approach trail would please me..

 

Have I got the trail for you: the Old Cascade Pass trail. Takes off from the 5th or 7th switchback - not sure exactly. Pretty much straight up to the pass. One really dyno creek crossing, death assured if you slip. (There would be perhaps 20 seconds of extreme suffering first.) I recommend shorts, no bug repellent, & "Dollar Store" running shoes in order to fully appreciate it's charms. JR dragged me up it last year. Of course he expressed pure scorn for the "new" trail. Disclaimer: I was not wearing "Dollar Store" running shoes. I am not nearly hard-core enough for that.

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The main reason for the really low gradient trails is to make them easy, but one other thing is that high use trails--and most especially trails that get stock use like the PCT--end up getting pretty loose. Steeper trails carry more water in the spring, and they get rutted out. So lower angle, more heavily constructed (you know, water bars, steps (check dams) in steep spots) trails are a good fit for higher use areas that get more casual users anyway.

 

I'm not saying some of the routes out there are a little overkill on the easy, but there is minor trail conservation logic that goes with it.

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some compromise between cascade pass and the Eldorado approach trail would please me..

 

Have I got the trail for you: the Old Cascade Pass trail. Takes off from the 5th or 7th switchback - not sure exactly. Pretty much straight up to the pass. One really dyno creek crossing, death assured if you slip. (There would be perhaps 20 seconds of extreme suffering first.) I recommend shorts, no bug repellent, & "Dollar Store" running shoes in order to fully appreciate it's charms. JR dragged me up it last year. Of course he expressed pure scorn for the "new" trail. Disclaimer: I was not wearing "Dollar Store" running shoes. I am not nearly hard-core enough for that.

 

Ahem, I thought THE old Cascade Pass trail began at or near the Boston Mine and was massively shorter but I neer actually laid foot on it...just heard people describe it.

 

Another har-de-har is the 4?, 5? mile thing to Lake Serene...about 10,000 switchbacks and stairs to go about a mile.

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The main reason for the really low gradient trails is to make them easy, but one other thing is that high use trails--and most especially trails that get stock use like the PCT--end up getting pretty loose. Steeper trails carry more water in the spring, and they get rutted out. So lower angle, more heavily constructed (you know, water bars, steps (check dams) in steep spots) trails are a good fit for higher use areas that get more casual users anyway.

 

I'm not saying some of the routes out there are a little overkill on the easy, but there is minor trail conservation logic that goes with it.

 

I think Mark hits it on the head. Sure you can be a Macho trail user, but its more "cool" to be one thats saavy enough to deal with and appreciate the bigger picture.

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Maybe we need both in some places (like Cascade pass). Have a no livestock, beginner hiker trail that crosses a more direct minimal maintenance footpath. I've hiked places in the Wallowas where this became the case, even if not planned. The horse trails the NFS has been pressured to build by the dude ranch/trail ride guys cris-crosses the older to-the-point trails. With the Wallowas being less brushy, it's easy to use the old trails and without the lifestock trail errosion is minimal.

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I think the switchbacks on some of the trails are overkill. Instead of ruining about (1 mile trail) about 15840 sq ft, they ruin about 63360 sq feet (4 mile trail). Even with drainage problems, what is better for the land and more disruptive to wildlife?

 

Ever hike in New Zealand? Most of the trails go straight up, people don't complain there.

 

Get rid of the switchbacks and let Darwin do the rest.

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Ever hike in New Zealand? Most of the trails go straight up, people don't complain there.

 

The popular trails in New Zealand are well contoured with not particularly steep grades in my experience.

 

Steep, popular trails erode quickly and require substantial repair or replacement often.

 

 

Ever seen the Inca trails? Those have lasted quite well.

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Another har-de-har is the 4?, 5? mile thing to Lake Serene...about 10,000 switchbacks and stairs to go about a mile.

 

I still occasionally have nightmares that involve that trail at night, a 90 lb haulbag, no ski poles, a dead headlamp and the smell of turkey chili :laf: :laf: :mistat:

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There's got to be some happy medium, but 10% grade is not it.

 

Although I haven't seen this "new" trail, I suspect that the NPS is targeting an 8% grade, as that is the maximum grade allowed for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. Since these trails are on lands owned/managed by the federal government and/or built with funds from the feds, any new construction must be in compliance with this Act. In my line of work, I've been dealing with this Act since it became law back in 1990. But since about 2000, it's been really hitting the fan everywhere.

 

You can thank Jeff Pagels for getting the ADA shitter at Camp Muir as a result of his ADA lawsuit. :rolleyes:

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I suspect that the NPS is targeting an 8% grade, as that is the maximum grade allowed for ADA

 

can't interstate freeways go up to that grade?! I'm sorry, but that standard is Retarded (pun intended)

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Interstate freeways can actually exceed that grade, and sections of many of them do. Look at I-84's Dead Man's Grade coming down into Pendleton for a local example.

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Maybe we need both in some places (like Cascade pass). Have a no livestock, beginner hiker trail that crosses a more direct minimal maintenance footpath. I've hiked places in the Wallowas where this became the case, even if not planned. The horse trails the NFS has been pressured to build by the dude ranch/trail ride guys cris-crosses the older to-the-point trails. With the Wallowas being less brushy, it's easy to use the old trails and without the lifestock trail errosion is minimal.

 

This has got to be the solution, but the trails have to be completely separate.

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I suspect that the NPS is targeting an 8% grade, as that is the maximum grade allowed for ADA

 

can't interstate freeways go up to that grade?! I'm sorry, but that standard is Retarded (pun intended)

 

Well Thatcher. You have obviously never spent any of your life in a wheelchair. I cannot believe you are so ignorant. It is hard having a decent quality of life as it is living with a disability, and then people like you critcize for wanting rights.

 

It is really hard pushing yourself up any type of ramped incline so I can't imagine it would even be ADA addressing the trail issue.

 

 

 

How about you stop complaining about people living with disablities and get off your ass and start hiking a little further off the beaten path and use your legs because you actually can.

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Well Thatcher. You have obviously never spent any of your life in a wheelchair. I cannot believe you are so ignorant. It is hard having a decent quality of life as it is living with a disability, and then people like you critcize for wanting rights.

 

It is really hard pushing yourself up any type of ramped incline so I can't imagine it would even be ADA addressing the trail issue.

 

How about you stop complaining about people living with disablities and get off your ass and start hiking a little further off the beaten path and use your legs because you actually can.

 

geeez kat, didn't you read my first post: "to make them wheelchair accessible. what the hell is your problem. don't you care about the cripple people?!!"

 

i was defending those people, not criticizing them.

 

anyways, the new low grade trails still aren't good enough for wheelchairs. i think the new trails are more intended for people who are out of shape, overweight, or just want a casual walk in the wilderness rather than working hard to enjoy God's beautiful creation.

 

and last but not least...this is a photo of me atop mount rainier.

inglis470.jpg

 

so you misjudge me. if you are in a wheelchair, strap on those sticks and crampons and start hiking those high grade trails. that's what i did.

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