BOONE-ified GPS DUDE
Joined: 18 Jun 2004
|Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:47 pm Post subject: What is the *True* mileage of the Sheltowee?
|Johnny Molloy's book came up with a 282 mileage for the ST. Is he right?
I measured the ST planimetrically (horizontal distance) in a GIS and it clicked out to 260 miles. That is a low number. I generalized the arc, so switchbacks and curvy details were lost. An even more generalized GPS track for the entire trail can be found at http://www.sheltoweetrace.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=62#62.
That's why the trail mileage on this site is a low number, if you were wondering.
Ok. So with a generalized arc, I estimate that I shaved off 2-8 miles of the total. However, my trail might not be accurate, so that could change the total...but not by much, since it is good data.
If we add in the elevation change, it definitely revises the number upward. I'd estimate that on average, for every 10 miles you hike on the ST, you go up and down a total of 16,000 feet. That's generous too. (For example, the portion of the ST between KY-1274 and Clear Creek Furnace at Cave Run is 9 miles horizontal and your cummulative elevation change is 5,600 ft.)
But that elevation sum is not tacked on to final mileage. If you do the trig, then a 10mile horizontal with a 3-mile vertical gives you an additional .05 mile hiked per horizontal mile (16% slope). So if you hiked 10 miles, then you actually 10.5 after you factor in the elevation.
So to be generous, the ST could be 268 horizontal miles with an estimated true distance (268 + 268*.05) of 281.4. Pretty darn close. But alas, due to the exponential nature of calculating true distance, the final number will change.
If in that 10 horizontal miles you did your 3 miles of up-n-down on a series of 25% slopes then your 10 mile hike is actually 10.7 miles. If they were 45% slopes (sick, impossible crazy fun!) then it's 11.4 miles. At a 60% slope (steep stairs) the true distance is double the horizontal.
Of course we could just fall back on 2 miles per hour....or 140 hours.... or 20 days of 7-hour hikes. Whew!
Help map trails by submitting your waypoints and trail photos.