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#19
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 12:40 pm 
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Ok, your thumping along a basic 3500' to 5000' elevation gain trip.  Your muscles are nice and warmed up, you feel like you can just keep going forever.  Then, your companion needs to stop.  If the break takes longer than 10 minutes my legs are very stiff and tight when we start back up.  It may take me 10 minutes to warm back up.

Does anyone else have this problem.  Do you think stretching during short breaks would help?

I have almost lost friendships over the issue of  rest stops.  And I rarely want to stop longer than 5 minutes on the way down.  To me, you're going to pound your feet and knees, so you may as well get it over with.

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catwoman
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 1:25 pm 
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This is an interesting topic.  I'm not so sure that those super steep elevation-gains would be a part of my regular itineraries, but sometimes they are, and I've definitely encountered differences in paces and fitness levels, etc. with different partners on whatever terrain/elevation-gain.  Perhaps it's one reason I wind up going alone so often.  I was on a snowshoe trip a few weeks ago and never even broke a sweat (I definitely was hoping to get the exercise benefit of it, too) because of a big difference in abilities.  Other times, I may be with someone who's quite the machine and I can't keep up.  I know what you mean how it can hurt friendships!  Would love to hear people's suggestions or opinions on this!
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MCaver
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 1:44 pm 
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This is the main reason I usually hike alone, although from the other side of what Pappy posted. I am slow on the trail, particularly with elevation gain. But the most frustrating thing for others is my photography. If I see what I consider a good photo, I'll stop to take it. That means setting up the tripod, etc. Plus, I'll shoot from different angles and with different compositions until I feel I have adequately captured the scene. Then I have to pack all my gear again. I've been known to stay in one good spot on a trail for over an hour.  tongue.gif  I don't know any hikers that would be willing to tolerate that. But photography is my main reason for going hiking.
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salish
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 2:02 pm 
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Pappy,

I don't think I ever take a break that lasts longer than five minutes, unless I'm studying something interesting I've found in the forest.  If I take longer than five minutes I start getting sore and tired and need to stretch again. And lazy. But I probably take a LOT of these five minute breaks. I don't take breaks so much on a clock pattern or just when I get a little tired. I take them when my heart is thundering really hard and feels like it's going to burst out of my chest. It usually takes 3 or 4 minutes for my pulse to return to "dead" like it usually is.

Cliff

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My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
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Stefan
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 2:06 pm 
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When I go out with my friends, we all go at our own pace.  That is understand once we get out of the car.  We all know the end desination which is usually a summit....and we can easily follow each other's footsteps in the snow....

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Art is an adventure.
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Karen
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 3:10 pm 
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Interesting thread here!!

Having lead groups over the years, hiked with friends, and hiked solo the subject of breaks often comes up. I tend to hike more and more with friends rather than groups. We pretty much go at our own pace unless route-finding is of real concern. One slow friend always tags along and is at the "end" of the line but is perfectly content with camera and time to ponder -- no ego involved. On trips like these breaks don't matter because we take them as needed. Mine are usually short, especially in the winter. As much as I love food, I don't like to stop long on a cold day. Some dear friends of mine take long, long lunches no matter how inclement the weather ... I won't go out in the winter with them anymore. When I'm outdoors I'm outside to be outside, not to eat. Ten to fifteen minutes is about as long as I stop on a winter trip unless I'm alone and concentrating on photography. In general it's hard to get going after a stop much longer than 10 minutes (at least for some of us), especially if you have to go uphill after a repast.

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stay together, learn the flowers, go light - from Turtle Island, Gary Snyder
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twocoots
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 5:31 pm 
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My regular hiking buddy and I (thus the twocoots) complement each other well on hiking speed/breaks.  I tend to be "destination" oriented while he is "journey" oriented.  I push him a little and he makes me smell the roses.  I'm 50 and he's over 60 and I have less and less trouble taking the breaks as the years go by.  Stretching definitely helps.
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polarbear
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 8:09 pm 
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The length of the break is proportional to the amount of blueberries along the trail.

T=kB

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#19
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 8:52 pm 
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pbear, I think you have something there, because my picking / eating technique is to bend over with knees locked.  Thus, getting a hamstring stretch at the same time!  

Those breaks I never seem to complain about.  biggrin.gif
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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 9:04 pm 
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I'm in pretty good shape, (Asgaard pass in a little over an hour) and I usually hike alone.  I dont break much.  If I do its for 15 min or so.  I DONT tighten up.  If I hike with a partner I adjust my speed to theirs!  What's the point of sharing all this beauty with someone you care about and then hiking miles/minutes away from them?  I usually hike with Dante or my cousin Kerry.  I dont want to be out of talking distance with them.  The sharing of the wonder makes up for any loss of speed!  I get out a lot.  Im off July and August every year.  I can wait for someone if need be.  Besides, my friends tend to be close to as fast as me!

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Lazyboy
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 9:42 pm 
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If I break over 5 minutes it's a meal break.  My normal breaks at altitude are just 60 seconds or so.  I get my wind and move on.  On the trail I might lean against a rock or stump for a minute or two but that's it.  At my age it takes too long to get warmed up and moving again.
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catwoman
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 10:56 pm 
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BPJ, if your friends are just about as fast as you, then apparently this isn't much of an issue for you.  That's fortunate.
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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 11:11 pm 
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I will always go as fast as the slowest person in the party. I've seen too much trouble caused by split parties to ever split a party without discussion and a specific plan. I've seen problems on the Waptus Lake trail. We were heading down the trail and stopped for lunch on the bridge where it crosses the river. A party came down and asked about one of their members who had gone on ahead. We hadn't been by. Now they were extremely worried because they had no idea what could have happened to him and they had to head up the trail and search. We eventually caught up with him and it turns out that he had missed the turn off to the bridge and had waded across the river at the horse ford. On another occasion we had someone take off in a fresh snow situation where the route was unmistakable and people had beat down a trail back to the car, or so it seemed. We were extremely lucky to find him after dark as the temperature was dropping into the teens. There is a good chance he wouldn't have made it through the night. A party can only travel as fast as the slowest member. BPJ outlined the social aspect extremely well.

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Ascot Paws
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PostThu Mar 07, 2002 11:31 pm 
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Hey Joe, I hike up Asgaard is 59 minutes 12 seconds and I take breaks when my buddies take breaks. When I hike alone I only take breaks for photos. In fact I usually grab a bite out of the pack then keep on walking while chewing. If it is really sunny I'll stop and soak up the rays. Otherwise the explorer in me overrides needs for rest.
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mvs
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PostFri Mar 08, 2002 1:35 am 
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I think I'm unusual in that I set a good fast pace most of the day, or at least feel obligated to keep up with the strongest partners. But when the climb is over, and it's time to head home I like to slow down. Especially on a multiday trip. I'm reluctant to say goodbye to the mountains and like to take one long break if my partners allow it (30 minutes?). Of course, cold will keep me moving. But when you've finished a hike, and you'll get back to the car at 6 pm, why not linger and dawdle for an hour on the descent and get to the car at 7? I think it's worth stiffening up a little, and provides a nice ending to a hard day.

Good topic!
--Michael
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