Climbing Everest

I came across a very interesting article recently on the Appalachian Trail site http://www.whiteblaze.net about elevation gain and loss on the trail.  A long time ago I read a statistic about the AT that the total elevation gain for 2,181 miles is akin to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times from sea level!  However, I have never known how accurate that figure really is.

The article is written by Steve Shuman and he apparently spent months coming up with the following data.  The problem is that while GPS driven programs can come up with a computer generated number, this data is based upon what’s called “centerline” data taken from GPS.  This data is not quite accurate because it does not account for very small elevation gains or losses.  That’s where Steve Shuman comes in.  He sat down with every USGS 7.5 minute topographic quad for the entire trail, and actually COUNTED each contour line that the trail rises or falls.  He has come up with a series of tables representing the staggering amount of climbing Marie has been doing!  Are you ready for this?

The first is the total elevation gain: 515,000 feet!  That’s 97.5 miles up, 97.5 miles down.  Or climbing and descending Mt. Everest 18.4 times.  Or… is anybody tired yet?  Let’s look at the tables.

Total Elevation Gain in feet:

ME 69,357.2

NH 52,969

VT 35,802.2

MA 18,761.6

CT 11,094

NY 19,139.4

NJ 11,584

PA 30,955.5

MD 6,421.3

WV 3,027.5

VA 129,103.7

NC/TN 103,577.6

GA 23,362.7

 

AVG~~~MILES~~~STATE
307………76.1………Georgia
272……..380.8……..North Carolina/Tennessee
241……..535.7……..Virginia
173………17.5………West Virginia
157………40.9………Maryland
135……..229.3……..Pennsylvania
160………72.4………New Jersey
217………88.2………New York
215………51.6………Connecticut
208………90.2………Massachusetts
239……..149.8……..Vermont
329……..161.0……..New Hampshire
242……..286.6……..Maine

So for the state of Maine, which is 286.6 miles long, Marie climbed an average of 242 feet every mile,  or 69,357.2 feet total!  New Hampshire has the highest average elevation gain at 329 feet per mile, while Pennsylvania is the flattest at “only” 135 feet per mile.  Georgia is the second steepest state at 307 feet per mile.  And by the time Marie gets out of Pennsylvania, she will have climbed 249,662.9 feet and hiked 1,125.1 miles.

If anyone is interested in the full article you can find it at http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?31293-AT-Elevation-Gain-and-Loss-by-Section

 

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