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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5- Hiking Terminology

Welcome to Day 5 of my series "31 Days to Becoming a Smarter Hiker".  Today, I will be talking about hiking terminology.  Have you ever read a trip report and wondered what in the world some of the terms meant?  I know it took me a few reports to understand what they were talking about.  So, I have compiled a list of 12 terms that I think will be beneficial for you know to prepare for your hikes.

1. Altitude:   The height of a place or thing above sea level.

2. Bald:  Mountain with an open, grassy summit, that is void of trees

3.  Blowdown:  Anything blown down on the trail by the wind.
4. Cairn:  A constructed mound of rock located adjacent to a trail used to mark the trail route.  Used in open areas where the tread is indistinct.

5.  Destination Trail:  A trail which connects 2 distinct points (A to B) rather than returning the user to the original beginning point.

6.  Elevation Gain:  The sum of every gain in elevation throughout an entire trip.  For example if there is an elevation gain of 2000 ft. within a 2 mile span you know you will be huffin and puffin.  If the gain is only 200ft in 2 miles, it will be a leisurely stroll.

7.  Loop Trail:  A trail system that forms a loop giving the users the option of not traveling the same section of trail more than once on a trip.

8. Old Growth Forest:  Forests that have never been logged, or have not been logged in many decades characterized by a large percentage of mature trees.

9.  Saddle:  Ridge between 2 peaks.

10.  Switchback:  A sharp turn in a trail to reverse direction and to gain elevation.

11.  Trailhead:  An access point to a long distance trail often accompanied by various public facilities such as bathrooms, trail information etc.

12.  Turnout:  A place where the trail widens to permit trail traffic traveling in opposite directions to pass.

These are just a few of many hiking terms you can find here.  These terms are ones that I have encountered in various trip reports and that I find useful in everyday hiking.

Do you have a hiking term that you think is important that is not listed?  Please share the term and its definition with us.

Happy Hiking!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for those! I actually didn't know quite a few!