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  1. #1
    Senior Member BISCUT's Avatar
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    Legitimate Trail Times

    I have 3 trips left in my NH4K endeavor. I was wondering if there is a specific place to find legitimate average times for a hike online. I have Isolation, Bonds, and Owl head to go. I'm usually on target or a little quicker for the WMNF Guide Book ascent but tend to fly on the decent. I wanted to see what I should expect for day trip pack weight times for my remaining 3.

    I see many tip reports and some are great at listing their time while others don't mention. I'ts not a race for me but I am trying to do these on day trips with a looong road trip before hitting the trail. I've searched a lot of google but I think I'm missing something.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Click on what ever mountain you want. Gives description, and times for different routes.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/nh-4000-footers.html

    Pretty sure (not possitive) his times are less than AMC book times.
    Last edited by JustJoe; 09-10-2015 at 02:14 PM.
    Joe

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
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    Apart from any typos or calculation errors they are AMC book times.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohamed Ellozy View Post
    Apart from any typos or calculation errors they are AMC book times.
    I stand corrected. I thought I'd compared your times to AMC's and found them to be a bit less. Thanks for clearing that up. And I love the site. Have referred to it many times.
    Joe

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    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    The first time I did Owl's Head, it took me fourteen hours. The second time, it took me eight. With that much range for a single person, I don't think getting a bunch of times from people all over the internet is going to help much.

    You know how you normally do relative to book (I presume). Then apply appropriate modifiers. Owl's Head tends to be faster than other hikes of that distance and elevation, although it depends a lot on how comfortable you are descending the slide. Isolation is probably about par although the footing does seem to be getting a bit worse, so if you're particularly sensitive to that it may slow you. Bonds are sometimes a little on the fast side but the weather exposure also has some serious pace implications as the day moves away from bluebird.

    Beating book by more on descent than on ascent is fairly rare. The footing is so often a bigger pace limiter than the ability to put out energy. Remember that round-trip book time isn't just double the one-way book time...

  6. #6
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Somebody on another forum had an interesting idea: you could use the fastest known time on a hike as your basis for comparison. Not only can you get a ranking of which hikes are most difficult (not just distance and elevation, but also footing), but you might find that you consistently take, say, three times as long as the FKT. I've never tried applying this idea, and I doubt there are enough hikes with known FKTs to make this useful for most people, but I thought it was worth sharing. Apparently, track & field athletes do this kind of comparison frequently.

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    I am usually pretty close to average book time, sometimes faster descending if its not really steep and footing is good. But see, there are always these qualifiers. What's the weather like that day? Traveling solo or with one other hiker or in a group? It took me 11:45 to do Owls Head solo a few weeks ago. I was super careful on the slide and took my time. How many photos are you taking? That can take up a lot of time especially on a spectacular summit like Bondcliff.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I'm like you Biscut, I do 99% of my hikes as day trips, driving 3-4 hours to hit the trail head and doing the same heading home. I don't find this impacts my times at all (well, not counting the year the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and I did several hikes a bit hung over after some pretty short nights. ). I actually find the drive is a major opportunity to get fully hydrated and eat plenty so I am ready to roll when I hit the trail head.

    As far as times I've tried a variety of ways to calculate times, up to and including some elaborate spreadsheets that had adjustments for vertical ascent, etc. At the end of the day I find the AMC Guide times and my relative performance to these times the best metric. I'm pretty consistent with how often I stop and for how long, number of photos I take, etc so I know on easy trails I'm 25-30% faster than the Guide and on super steep, beat down hikes like a Huntington Ravine or a Six Husbands I'm going to be at or above Guide time. I think any system to base my times against other people's times would be flawed at best and likely totally useless. Too many variables. The AMC Guide seems to take into account roughness of footing, ascent, etc pretty well so that is what I've gone back to using as a benchmark. I use the same listed Guide down for calculating ascents and descents because I tend to be cautious coming down on rougher trails.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  9. #9
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    The AMC Guide seems to take into account roughness of footing, ascent, etc pretty well
    Not in the book time. It is 30 minutes per mile, 30 minutes per 1000' of up. The climb is determined by the WMG editor counting contour lines on the topo. No corrections for stream crossings, poor footing, semi-technical sections, etc. A 1000' sheer vertical cliff has a round-trip book time of 30 minutes (30 minutes up, zero down.)

    Mohamed's FAQ is appropriate here.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    Not in the book time. It is 30 minutes per mile, 30 minutes per 1000' of up. The climb is determined by the WMG editor counting contour lines on the topo. No corrections for stream crossings, poor footing, semi-technical sections, etc. A 1000' sheer vertical cliff has a round-trip book time of 30 minutes (30 minutes up, zero down.)

    Mohamed's FAQ is appropriate here.
    I am aware of that formula but the AMC Guide times still seem to have additional criteria taken into account. As an example:

    Lincoln Woods Trail (flat, easy piece of cake): From Trailhead to Osseo Trail junction is 1.4 miles, 125' ascent and 45 minutes in AMC Guide

    The Cornice (much rougher with PUD): From Castle Trail junction to Caps Ridge Trail junction is 1.3 miles, 100' ascent and 1 hour 10 minutes in AMC Guide

    Shorter, less climbing and much rougher and there seems to be extra time included for it in Guide. If times are purely distance and elevation this should not be the case. What am I missing? Is the up and down ascent used versus nominal value. i.e if you start at elevation of 1000, descend to 800 and then climb to 1100 is AMC Guide using 100' or 300' in their time estimate? Elevation gains in Guide appear to be the nominal gains so that extra time has to be coming from something else. I can think of many other similar comparisons with trails I've done.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  11. #11
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I am aware of that formula but the AMC Guide times still seem to have additional criteria taken into account. As an example:

    Lincoln Woods Trail (flat, easy piece of cake): From Trailhead to Osseo Trail junction is 1.4 miles, 125' ascent and 45 minutes in AMC Guide

    The Cornice (much rougher with PUD): From Castle Trail junction to Caps Ridge Trail junction is 1.3 miles, 100' ascent and 1 hour 10 minutes in AMC Guide

    Shorter, less climbing and much rougher and there seems to be extra time included for it in Guide. If times are purely distance and elevation this should not be the case. What am I missing? Is the up and down ascent used versus nominal value. i.e if you start at elevation of 1000, descend to 800 and then climb to 1100 is AMC Guide using 100' or 300' in their time estimate? Elevation gains in Guide appear to be the nominal gains so that extra time has to be coming from something else. I can think of many other similar comparisons with trails I've done.
    My bad on this one. It is 0.7 miles, 50' and 25 minutes for Cornice example mentioned above. Used the wrong line.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  12. #12
    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    Not in the book time. It is 30 minutes per mile, 30 minutes per 1000' of up. The climb is determined by the WMG editor counting contour lines on the topo. No corrections for stream crossings, poor footing, semi-technical sections, etc. A 1000' sheer vertical cliff has a round-trip book time of 30 minutes (30 minutes up, zero down.)
    Not necessarily true, Jon: many of the distances on the AMC maps are reportedly determined by surveyor's wheel rather than map projection. So were it an actual trail, not only would it wrest the "most difficult regular hiking trail in the white mountains" title away from Huntington, it might also allow hikers a generous round trip book time allowance of at least 41 minutes. And for planning purposes if engaged in a peak bagging quest, if you're willing to carry it I think a hang glider is allowed...
    Last edited by alexmtn; 09-12-2015 at 03:45 PM.

  13. #13
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    The most accurate determination is your historical time, relative to book time. There are, as pointed out above, some routes that will be faster for most, or slower for most, because footing or grades are easier than (or harder than) average. Rougher footing can be less of a problem in winter when a trail is broken out and therefore faster. Lots of factors to consider.

    Tim
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    The most accurate determination is your historical time, relative to book time.

    Tim
    That's probably the best advice you'll get relative to times.

    Another factor on Owl's Head is the 2 major brook crossings. If water is low and they are rock hops, that saves time. Some people don't mind wet feet and splash across. I chose to change shoes 3x and that probably cost me 15 minutes each time but the comfort was worth it for me.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  15. #15
    Senior Member 1SlowHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BISCUT View Post
    I have 3 trips left in my NH4K endeavor. I was wondering if there is a specific place to find legitimate average times for a hike online. I have Isolation, Bonds, and Owl head to go. I'm usually on target or a little quicker for the WMNF Guide Book ascent but tend to fly on the decent. I wanted to see what I should expect for day trip pack weight times for my remaining 3.

    I see many tip reports and some are great at listing their time while others don't mention. I'ts not a race for me but I am trying to do these on day trips with a looong road trip before hitting the trail. I've searched a lot of google but I think I'm missing something.
    If your looking for more data points I did it in 12.5 hrs moving time 14 hrs total time.
    ratio of moving time to book was 1.1, back then I typically did 1.3 to 1.5 times book. The long flat LW trail is what lowered my overall time time. My slowest is always going up, I hold my own on down and level. So if you typically meat or beat book , you'll probably beat it by quit a bit. have you checked wikiloc for owlhead tracks,you could probably get a fe more data points (just make sure they aren't winter hikes)
    Marvin from RI,
    http://1slowhiker.blogspot.com
    48/48NH4K, 67/67NE4K, 100/100NEHH, 44/48 WNH4K
    Trail Adopter of Black Pond Trail (pemi)

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