Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trail time estimates are like speed limits...

... they're not taken to be too literal, until that %10 of the time you wish you'd paid attention.

This happened to me at Bryce because I was hiking a popular trail filled with non-hikers and I'd just slogged through a water filled canyon the previous day. The posted time was actually my duration.

But when I hiked bell & little wild bill canyons outside Goblin Valley State park, I did the loop in 3.5hr when the sign indicated 4-6 hours for most people. This was after I'd already hiked 1h40m @ Goblin plus I ran out of water at 2.5 hr (don't read that last part mom). But that timing didn't matter, if anything I was going to arrive at Green River's "robber's roost" motel a little early.

But the following day's timing did matter because I had a ticket to the 4pm ranger led walk in Arches NP's Fiery Furnace area which can only be accessed with a guide and was sold out for the next 3 days. So when I picked the hike I wanted to do in the nearby Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands NP I tried to keep a schedule. Some intervening roadwork and misunderestimating (thanks for the wurd preznit Bush!)made me about 45m late starting at the trailhead.

The sign at the Syncline loop says that experienced hikers find this trail difficult, it should not be started after 11am in order to finish in the light, and that it takes 5-7 hrs for EXPERIENCED hikers. So I decided to not do either of the optional spurs
3h50m it took me. Yes it was abnormally cool that day, yes the native americans have a saying "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you to go far, go together"
But seriously,  where are they finding these bacon-wrapped reality TV afficianados to set the trail gtiming standards? I hike well but I'm frickn' 42 and not a former varsity athlete (I lettered in debating).

Anyway, time is something I usually have but want more. Is there a word for such a thing?

1 comment:

Bberci said...

I read the comment about running out of water. Remember that sign in my old office? PLAN ahead.....