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Mileage differences

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Mileage differences

Postby oldschool » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:50 am

Bill,

Hi. I noticed a small issue the other day when getting info on a climb up Mt Yale.

When you go to the page for the Denny Creek route it says it's 8.75 miles round trip. But when you go to print out the Denny Creek route using the "print" .pdf icon for the route it shows 8.00 miles round trip and prints out as 8.00 miles round trip. Not really sure if there are more like this on other mtns/routes.

Not a huge issue but I did notice the difference. Thanks for a great site.

Mike
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby sgladbach » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:03 am

I'll complicate things for you. The USFS profile at the trailhead say 12 miles RT.

There used to be an old trail that swung s to e to n around the timbered hill at the meadows area. This trail brought you to the SE ridge at its southern most point.

Later a climber's trail developed with short swichbacks to the SE ridge from the meadows. Basically, the snow route. Shortest route.

Finally, the 14ers initiative built a trail (not easily usable in the snow) that travels north from the meadows for 1/2 mile, then does a climbing traverse back south until it reaches the SE ridge.

When I climbed it two weeks ago, I estimated my route choice at 9 miles. If you're really curious, take a measuring wheel and roll it (I suppose the rouite still matters!) This is how the USFS and the 14ers initiative arrive at their final #s.
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby oldschool » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:16 am

Thanks for the info. Not a huge deal as the length is not a big difference in this case. Interesting info though. Just did Yale on Saturday and we made our own "shortcuts" so no telling how far we climbed. All I know is we went up till there was no more up, then we came down! Didn't know if this was a "computer" thingy or just an error.
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:42 am

Sorry, sometimes I forget to update the PDF versions and it should read 8.75 miles. Sorry about the PDF file confusion.

Yale is not 10 - 12 miles RT. I've carefully GPSed the standard route several times, removed the normal gps "drift" and came out with similar numbers each time. And a note about map wheels: they are less accurate than today's GPS technology, as long as you know what GPS drift data to discard. The wheel doesn't take into account all of the small twists and turns on a trail. Yale doesn't have a ton of switchbacks, but the trail certainly isn't straight enough to be measured well with a map wheel. If you use TOPO! or other software that has a measuring tool, you can come up with estimates that are at least as accurate as a map wheel. Plus, you can zoom in and account for known switchbacks much easier.

Part of the problem is that many USGS maps are outdated. Yale is a perfect example, as Steve mentioned. And there are many others, including some popular, standard 14er routes. For Yale, just look at the old dotted line on the topo vs. the current standard trail (blue):
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby oldschool » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:11 pm

Thank you Bill.
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby sgladbach » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:09 pm

sgladbach wrote: If you're really curious, take a measuring wheel and roll it (I suppose the route still matters!) This is how the USFS and the 14ers initiative arrive at their final #s.


Bill, I was referring to an actual wheel in the field. Like the Sherrif uses to measure your skid marks! When we were building trail for the Colorado tTrail foundation in the San Juans, the district ranger insisted on sending out his own ranger to measure foot-by-foot.

I believe (don't quote me) that the 12 mile route may have been another trail (not on your topo, but I guarantee it exists). That trail left the current trial in the meadows at 11,100' (near where the two trails in Bill's illustration diverge). In that meadow, it headed south on a climbing traverse rounding point 11,910' and coming to the ridge top from the east, slightly below timberline at at 11900' . This could have been 12 miles. I hiked it once in about 1985.


Bill's distances on his described routes are the most accurate you'll find (If you find the route, not always possible in snow cover.)
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby dsunwall » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:27 pm

The map posted at the trailhead looks a little different yet. I took this in 2007 and noticed it is still there this winter. I had to laugh at those switchbacks, looks like a rooster comb.
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:34 pm

sgladbach wrote:
sgladbach wrote: If you're really curious, take a measuring wheel and roll it (I suppose the route still matters!) This is how the USFS and the 14ers initiative arrive at their final #s.


Bill, I was referring to an actual wheel in the field. Like the Sherrif uses to measure your skid marks! When we were building trail for the Colorado tTrail foundation in the San Juans, the district ranger insisted on sending out his own ranger to measure foot-by-foot.

Oh, I gotcha. You're right, that would probably be quite accurate.

Dwight, that map is hilarious. :lol: They don't even have it drawn to the correct, upper saddle. This change took place many years ago.
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Re: Mileage differences

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:48 pm

Not really sure if there are more like this on other mtns/routes.


In this old f*rt's experience, it's the rare mountain/trail that DOESN'T have some variation in the listed/posted route lengths. Different trail guides, posted signs, NPS directions, etc., all tend to vary--sometimes by quite a bit.

I'll bet we could start a fun thread on which folks offer the routes they've seen with the greatest posted variance. Anyone got a contribution?
Bill "Blind Willie" Cummings

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