View Full Version : Asking recommendation for 45% slope trail (more details inside)

01-04-2005, 09:14 AM
I have two boys (6 and 12) the 6 year old just completed Lonesome Lake Hike without any problems so I think his limit is 'LonsomeLake plus some but not double'. We have used sleds to ride down Lonesome Lake trail and it was a wonderful motivational experience expecially for the 6 year old.

I am looking to go January 8th again. I am seeking recommendations for a trail which is ideal for going down on sleds. I thought that if it was going around 45% most of the time it would be great. The Lonesome Lake trail was almost perfect. I did sled the Crawford Path from Mizpah Cutoff 8 years ago and that was good too.

I live in Maine so Grafton Notch or Northern Presidentials would be ideal. Please give me some recommendations.



01-04-2005, 09:45 AM
45%?!?!? Neither Lonesome Lake nor Crawford path are anywhere near 45%!

David Metsky
01-04-2005, 09:56 AM
45% is pretty much the Tuckerman Ravine headwall. There are maybe 2 ski trails in New England with slopes approaching that steepness. The Lonesome Lake trail is probably in the order of 10-15%, tops. Doubling that will lead to extremely fast sledding.


01-04-2005, 10:05 AM
hmm. I think I might be Math Challenged. Already then, let's revise the percentage :eek: I apologize. Let's just say slightly steeper than Lonesome Lake. Somewhere around 20 - 25%

01-04-2005, 10:26 AM
Brambor -

You were correct. You mentioned a 45 PERCENT grade, which equals a 24.2 DEGREE slope. Shame on all you mathematic ignoramouses :p

However, I have no idea what the percent grade of Lonesome Lake is.

01-04-2005, 10:34 AM
It might be helpful to define some terms here. I think it’s possible we have a case of mixed references or concepts here. Grade usually is referenced in percent; slope is given in degrees of angle. There is a difference between a 45% (45 percent) grade and a 45 degree slope.

If I correctly remember my math, a 50% grade would mean 1 ft of “rise” for every 2 ft of “run” -- which translates to a 30-degree slope angle. That might help in visualizing what a 45% grade would look like.

A 45-degree slope would actually give us a 100% grade -- 1 ft of rise for every 1 ft of run. Notice it still is only half way to vertical!

Did this help, or add to the confusion?


David Metsky
01-04-2005, 11:08 AM
Confusion of degree vs percent, not the first time I've done that.

There aren't any trails in the northern Presidentials that I can think of that I'd want to sled down, especially in the current conditions. There really aren't any that lend themselves to an extended run. Possibly parts of the Randolph Path, but there are many sections that would be marginally insane to sled.

One trail that has been sledded for many years is the Carriage Road on Moosilauke. Keep in mind that you'll be encountering skiers, hikers, and snowmobilers, but it's still a fun ride. I've sledded parts of the Sherbourne trail coming down from Tuckerman Ravine, and the Huntington Fire Road as well.


01-04-2005, 11:50 AM
Ack! Shame on me is right! I had a vision of some poor 6yo kid careening down Huntington. Glad I can push that picture out of my head.

I'm not familiar enough with Grafton Notch to be much help. If you're back in the Franconia area, the Mt. Kinsman trail might be worth considering; it's not very steep from the Bald Knob point the rest of the way down. That's about 2.4 miles, if memory serves. But I suspect there's not much snow up there right now.

01-04-2005, 11:52 AM
You guys are right. I used percentage when I was thinking degrees. When David replied first I thought I'm just having a senior moment so I revised my request to 20 percent.

At any rate any trail that does not go flat in too many sections but instead goes steadily up, curving - that would be a fun trail to do.

01-04-2005, 05:11 PM
What is the slope in degrees of a slide that has 150 meters of rise and 225 meters of run?
(The grade is 67%)

01-04-2005, 05:17 PM
What is the slope in degrees of a slide that has 150 meters of rise and 225 meters of run?
(The grade is 67%)

about 34 degrees.

01-04-2005, 08:42 PM

01-05-2005, 08:16 AM
Huh. I always thought grade was epxressed in terms of percent. However, I checked my copy of DeLorme Topo and, sure enough, they calculate grade by dividing elevation gain by linear distance (rise divided by run), just as previously described. All of the killer trails I hiked which I thought had 45 degree average grades are suddenly not so steep! I learned something new.

So if you are climbing a vertical cliff, the slope is 90 degrees and the grade is infinite. Let's not even get into the measurement that uses radians!

01-05-2005, 08:39 AM
Reviewing my Trigonometry, it turns out that grade (given in percent = “rise” divided by “run”) really is the tangent of the slope angle.

So if you want to translate grade into slope angle . . . you’re all set if you have (a) an old-fashion slide rule that will handle Trig functions (and know how to use it); or (b) book of math tables; or (c) a new-fangled electronic calculator that will convert the calculated tangent to its corresponding angle.

(Thinking I need to get out more these days . . . :eek: )


01-05-2005, 01:34 PM

sine (angle) = opposite/hypotenuse
cosine (angle) = adjacent/hypotenuse
tangent (angle) = opposite/adjacent

figure out which three things you know (opposite side, adjacent side, hypotenuse, or the angle) and go from there

tangent (33.6) = 150/225


I remember a few things from school... :D


01-05-2005, 01:41 PM
Well done, spencer!

(Just thought someone ought to acknowledge your great explanation.)

01-05-2005, 02:20 PM
The 150/225 in question is the steep part of the slide, according to the USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle, on Cliff's east side.

01-05-2005, 07:33 PM
To answer the original question, I would think parts of Nineteen Mile Brook Trail might be sleddable. There is a bit of a drop off on one side in a couple of spots to be careful of. But the trail is well graded, certainly on the lower part.