Trail Ladder?

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Here’s a perfect example of the mentality of the trail designers we’re dealing with on the Appalachian Trail.

Some trail designer decided the best option for the trail is to go up/down this 10-foot undercut rockface. And the best solution for navigating that is to carry a heavy 24-foot aluminum extension ladder miles into the wilderness, tie it to the rock with ropes and wires, and then have hikers wearing 40 pound backpacks with trekking poles in each hand climb up and down the ladder.

Instead, how about using the way off camera to the right that doesn’t need a ladder? Or how about not making the trail go over every single rock outcropping along it’s 2198 mile length? How about going around the rock outcroppings instead of over them? If there’s a view, sure, go over it so we gaze with awe upon the countryside. But this one is in a valley surrounded by dense forest. Why are we going over the top of this? Am I the only person thinking logically here?

Maybe when I’m done with my hike, I can change fields and get a job with the National Park Service or the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Imagine the trail improvements I could implement. But then again, I might not fit into the culture of government work if I start using foreign concepts like logic and efficiency.

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