I want to know about this too.
Steep trail issue
January 17, 2021 at 8:49 pm #49376hikerobbyParticipant
I’m struggling finding a 60% slope that’s an hour long for the Z3 Weighted climbs. After much research I found a 18% trail near Portland OR, I have been doing it most of the 24 week plan for the “STEEP uphill hike” workout, but it is only 1 mile and 850 ft of vert. I can find a 50% slope if I bushwhack up the side of the steepest hill around, but that is only 0.1 miles and 300 feet elevation. Would I do the 50% short slope 10-15 times? Or the 18% one mile repeat 3 times?
If you don’t live at the base of a alpine climb, where are people finding a 60% slope that takes an hour? Even climbing Mt Hood from Timberline Lodge is only 27% the first 3 miles, even steep scrambles only seem to be 40%.
LindsayTroy on January 18, 2021 at 12:06 am #49378
I’m not an expert at this, but a 60% grade according to my google search is around a 30 degree slope. That should equate to a blue run at a ski hill. Are you perhaps mixing % grade with slope angle?
I may be confused, that’s for sure. I am 90 minutes from a ski hill, and my understanding is that blue runs are typically 25-40% grade. A 100% grade is one foot vertical and one horizontal which is 45 degrees and typically double black diamond. The toughest Tour De France grades are about 10% and only occasionally are the steepest driveways over 20%. According to TP the steepest hill I have done has a 40% grade and that was using hands often, more of a scramble. The one I regularly run is pretty steep at 18% and most people wouldn’t hike it. In Scotts ME video, he says use a 50-60% grade, and I am thinking that would be a 5.2 rock climb or steep ravine. But I am confused bc the 50% slope he said he was doing in his video did not seem like he could have reached out and touched the side with his hand like I have done on 50% slopes.
I use double blacks at my local ski area when I do water carries. If I lived in Seattle still I’d use those staircases up to Capitol Hill or something. I wonder if there is something similar in Portland, you’ve got some good hills there for sure. I have found I have to bushwhack because sane people with incorporate switchbacks on anything that steep usually.
I was trying to figure out the grade for the double black I have used, but I have decided I don’t trust Training Peaks’ metrics for this data. I know it’s not 40-45 degrees because I’ve skied some of those at other ski areas (Taos!) (Edited) I believe it’s about 29 degrees (55%) (according the people on the internet and my husband using Google Earth), and that’s only for the steepest section, overall it’s a bit mellower. I have had use my hands to grab onto aspen shoots and grass during the very last (and steepest pitch). Especially with a heavy pack that I’m afraid will tip me over backwards if I’m not careful!
Question — how do you decide what the steepness of the slope is? I ask because I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect hill sprint hill (ideally 20% grade). I’ve been looking at Strava segments, Training Peaks metrics for a selection, and Gaia GPS. They all differ quite a bit in their assessment of a slope. Maybe it’s time to get that sticker to put on a ski pole to eyeball it myself. I’m also going to go try Google Earth now.LindsayTroy on January 18, 2021 at 10:26 am #49450
I just re-watched the video and you are correct it is confusing. If you look at the accompanying article here you can see that Scott describes it a little better as
We have had good success using slopes ranging from 30–100 percent grades (17–45 degrees). Sixty percent is a slope on which you can just barely reach out to stabilize yourself for balance with your hand while only slightly bending forward at the waist.
So I would say go with what you got. When I lived in a 2-dimensional state (Maryland) I used to do these on the stairs at my gym. It wasn’t super fun but it was effective. With COVID being a factor, you may look for an outdoor staircase like a football stadium, where you can socially distance and not risk getting sick and setting back progress.LindsayTroy on January 18, 2021 at 10:30 am #49451
Rachel- Scott suggests using poles so that you don’t tip backwards!
Question — how do you decide what the steepness of the slope is? I ask because I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect hill sprint hill (ideally 20% grade). I’ve been looking at Strava segments, Training Peaks metrics for a selection, and Gaia GPS. They all differ quite a bit in their assessment of a slope. Maybe it’s time to get that sticker to put on a ski pole to eyeball it myself. I’m also going to go try Google Earth now.
I think those stickers aren’t very useful. I like this thingy but you do have to have a paper map with 1:24,000 scaling (such as USGS maps) but you can achieve the same thing with google earth or if I’m pretty sure I know my route, I sometimes use this guy and you can click the miles at the bottom to get it in metric (much easier to have rise and run on the same scale!)
“We have had good success using slopes ranging from 30–100 percent grades (17–45 degrees).”
The steepest trail around is 30% and that’s still not close to 60%. Stairs would work but I def couldn’t go uphill for 60 minutes like the ME workout says. If I lived in the alpine or desert I could find things, but bushwhacking up a rainy fern-covered hill in winter is going to be miserable.LindsayTroy on January 19, 2021 at 2:09 pm #49523
If you use stairs, you are constantly going up and down. Wouldn’t climbing down so regularly take a toll on the knees? The goal of this is to train uphill. How tall should the building be to make this more effective?
The steepest trail around is 30% and that’s still not close to 60%. Stairs would work but I def couldn’t go uphill for 60 minutes like the ME workout says.
I think ultimately the answer is, you want to find the tallest hill/staircase you can. Yes, going down may impact your knees and if you have knee issues you should probably look for a different solution or talk with your doctor. One solution may be using a stair master or a treadmill set to 30% incline. But if you don’t have a mountain to climb up for an hour, you’ll probably have to do laps.LindsayTroy on January 20, 2021 at 1:22 pm #49575
I would say the 18% trail is probably better. Depending on the setting, could you bring enough water that you can do 1 lap + dump then jog/hike back down to keep the legs going and throw some fresh water jugs into the backpack and do a second (and/or third) lap. But I think whatever it is you choose you’ll need to do laps.Scott Semple on January 28, 2021 at 6:54 am #49932
Let’s back up a bit. Don’t fixate on just one element. “Not ideal” does not equal pointless. How could it?
As @lindsaytroy said, just use what you have.
I haven’t watched that video in a while, but I think the 60% slope idea comes from Verkhoshansky who developed muscular endurance training. The only available “slope” of that angle for him was an escalator somewhere in Russia (as far as I remember).
I just did my first ME weight carry on that 18% hill (850 feet in 1 mile) with 53 pounds and I have to say…. I don’t think it’s steep enough. I did two laps and I am completely fine today, recovery-wise. I read that these are supposed to be killer and to expect to be sore for days and that the limiting factor should be your legs “If your legs are not the speed limiter then add more weight.” This certainly was not the case and I jogged parts of the second lap. Since adding more weight would put me over 60 pounds, my guess is that this hill is not steep enough. Unfortunately the only steeper hill than this are mountains and those are an hour or more away. Perhaps I need to switch the workout to the weekend so I can get out of town. Another option would be to carry 80-100 pounds so my legs would be more stressed. Or I could do 80 meters of 40% stairs 16 times.
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